Category Archives: Television

Around The DC Universe: Titans, Jason Todd, The Longbow Hunters, and More!

Welcome to “Around the DC Universe,” Graphic Policy’s weekly guide to the best comics and shows on DC Entertainment’s premium subscription service.

Original Series

After a week away from this column I had a bit of catching up to do with Titans. The show continues to be one of the best that DC has ever produced, finally bringing the team together in one episode and introducing the second Robin, Jason Todd in another. With the series entering its second half the characters are really starting to gel as a group. It’s a lot of fun to see the chemistry between them at work and watching Dick take on the villainous Nuclear Family as Robin was tremendously satisfying. Jason too is very well done. There aren’t many portrayals of the character to hold up against Curran Walters’ for comparison but he does a good job defining him nonetheless. Walters’ Jason evokes the blend of sympathy and disdain that the character demands with a screen presence that is magnetic. He’s a great addition to the regular ensemble and I hope to see more of him as the series develops.

Comics

One of the earliest series I recommended through this column was Kevin Smith’s run on Green Arrow. This time around I call your attention to another classic story featuring the emerald archer: The Longbow Hunters by writer/artist Mike Grell. From the same era as Miller and Mazzuchelli’s Batman Year One and Tim Truman’s Hawkworld, this three issue mini series reintroduced Oliver Queen to the post-Crisis DC Universe. Grell’s Ollie is a grounded, urban vigilante on the hunt for a serial killer who stalks the streets of Seattle amidst a much larger affair involving rogue intelligence operatives and mysterious assassins. Fans of the TV show Arrow will recognize many familiar elements in the mini series itself and the follow up ongoing series with artist Ed Hannigan, several issues of which are also available on DC Universe in Green Arrow (1987). While the art is gorgeous and the stories compelling in their own right I do think this run is missing something. A notably conservative creator Grell never fully embraces the liberal politics that have been one of  Oliver’s trademarks ever since Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams got their hands on him in the late seventies.  One might expect a critique of the lefist point of view, coming as the series does at the height of the Reagan era, but ideology is mostly ignored to the detriment of the characterization of comics’ proudest liberal. While it does strike slightly right of the bullseye, The Longbow Hunters is still a high water mark in Green Arrow’s career and is worth the attention of anyone who is interested in his adventures.

Technical Issues

The addition and subtraction of new comics remains the biggest problem with the DC Universe service. As I reported several weeks ago, the powers that be seem to be discussing how to improve the comics portion of the site by changing how the library is curated. What this means is still being left vague by the moderators of the community forums but the sense of disaffection among users is palpable. Nothing has been added to the comics library to replace Dark Victory after that title expired on November 12th and there have been no announcements about any forthcoming special features.

While I appreciate DC’s commitment to using subscriber feedback to improve the user experience, by not continuing  to rotate new special feature titles while they discuss a fix they’re giving the impression to anyone who doesn’t follow the community forums that they’ve abandoned comics streaming as a feature. Coming on the heels of the demise of Filmstruck it doesn’t breed confidence in Warner Brothers’ long term commitment to this product or its users. I for one think that there is a lot of untapped potential in DC Universe and would hate to see it fail to live up to it. 

The CW’s “Elseworlds” Crossover Gets the DC Comic Book Treatment

There’s a lot we still don’t know about this year’s Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash DCTV crossover event, “Elseworlds,” one thing readers are pretty clear on is what that title is a reference to. “Elseworlds” is the name of a popular line of comics from DC’s past that completely reimagined the worlds of DC’s greatest heroes. It’s a part of the company’s legacy, something that’s nodded to in a unique new image that’s promoting the three-night event.

Drawn by comic book artist Amy Reeder and designed to look like the cover of one of DC’s monthly comics, this illustration also includes the classic, all-lowercase “Elseworlds” logo. With LaMonica Garrett’s Monitor seen looming in the background, Reeder’s illustration portrays the heroes of the crossover—Green Arrow, the Flash, Supergirl, Superman and Batwoman—seemingly battling each other. Beneath them, Jeremy Davies’ maniacal-looking Dr. John Deegan can be seen looking up at them in delight, suggesting he might be the cause of the mayhem. Fans will also notice that the Flash in the image is actually Stephen Amell, while Green Arrow is Grant Gustinsomething already teased through photos.

Reeder has drawn several highly regarded comics for DC, including the bestselling New 52 Batwoman series, which helped to define the Kate Kane version of the character.

Look for the “Elseworlds” crossover event to kick off on Sunday, December 9 at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST), then continue at the same time on December 10 and December 11 on The CW.

The Venture Bros. Podcast: Finale! Season 7 Ep 10: The Saphrax Protocol

We survived the election to bring you in-depth analysis of the Season 7 finale of The Venture Bros.. Join us for a look at the season’s themes, “Empire Strikes Back vs Barbarella” (only one of them has Terence Stamp playing Dildano) and a whole lot of Guild of Calamitous Intent ritual borrowed from the Masons. Steven Attwell explains who the fuck is Saphrax (and also who’s Hank & Dean’s mom!) and we get into the twin’s psychology again (Jungian and otherwise).

Fair warning: Elana’s knowledge of the Masons largely comes from watching avante-garde filmmaker Matthew Barney’s Cremaster cycle and we both geek out about Alan Moore’s From Hell (which are probably Hammer and Publick’s sources on The Masons anyway).

Matthew Barney as the Entered Apprentice Mason in Cremaster 3

Matthew Barney as the Entered Apprentice Mason in Cremaster 3

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Renewed for Season 7

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return Summer 2019 ABC President Channing Dungey announced today. This is before season 6 has aired which will happen in early 2019 for a shortened 13 episode run. It’s unknown what the length of the seventh season will be. With the launch of Disney+, Disney’s digital service, it was expected the ratings challenged show would switch to that platform from Disney owned ABC.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.stars Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was co-created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, who also serve as executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb.

Jon Cryer is Cast as Lex Luthor on The CW’s Supergirl

Another legacy DC live action actor is returning to the live action DC Universe as Jon Cryer has been cast to play Lex Luthor on The CW‘s Supergirl. The series has been leading up to and hinting at the character’s debut for quite some time.

Cryer has been a previous Luthor playing Lex’s nephew Lenny in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. He’s also played Felix Faust in Justice League Action and Justice League Action Shorts. His breakout role was Duckie in 1986’s Pretty in Pink and from there was a headliner in such films as Morgan Stewart’s Coming Home and Hiding Out. He also starred in 262 episodes of Two and a Half Men which aired on CBS.

Supergirl has regularly cast legacy DC actors on the show in different roles including Helen Slater who played the original Supergirl in the 1984 film, Chad Lowe player Captain Marvel/Billy Batson on Young Justice, Erica Durance who was Lois Lane on Smallville, Teri Hatcher who was Lois Lane on Lois & Clark, and Dean Cain who was Superman on Lois & Clark.

Lex will be a recurring role on the show and will debut on the 15th episode of the current season.

Krypton: The Complete First Season Comes to Blu-Ray/DVD on March 5, 2019

Krypton, the all-new series from executive producers David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Cameron Welsh (Constantine) tells the origin story of DC’s iconic Superman in a whole new way! Just in time for the second season on SYFY, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the action-adventure hit series Krypton: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2019. Fans can purchase the set which, in addition to all 10 exhilarating episodes from season one, contains over an hour of extra content, including the 2017 Comic-Con panel, featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel. Krypton: The Complete First Season is priced to own at $24.98 SRP for the DVD and $29.98 SRP for the Blu-ray which includes a Digital Copy. Krypton: The Complete First Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

What if Superman never existed? Set two generations before the destruction of Superman’s home planet, Krypton follows a young Seg-El, the legendary Man of Steel’s grandfather, who is faced with a life and death conflict – save his home planet or let it be destroyed in order to restore the fate of his future grandson. With Krypton’s leadership in disarray and the House of El ostracized, Seg fights alongside Earthly time-traveler Adam Strange to redeem his family’s honor and protect the ones he loves while saving the future of his legacy from DC Super-Villain Brainiac.

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, the Blu-ray release of Krypton: The Complete First Season will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 2-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital Copy of all 10 episodes from season one.

Krypton stars Cameron Cuffe (New Year’s Eve), Georgina Campbell (One Night, Black Mirror), Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2), Colin Salmon (Arrow), Elliot Cowan (The Golden Compass), Ann Ogbomo (Wonder Woman, Justice League), Aaron Pierre (Britannia, The A Word), Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness), Wallis Day (Will), with Blake Ritson (Da Vinci’s Demons, Indian Summers) and Ian McElhinney (Game of Thrones). Based on the DC characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Krypton is from Phantom Four Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television and is executive produced by David S. Goyer alongside Cameron Welsh.


BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES

  • Krypton: 2017 Comic-Con Panel
  • Krypton: Bringing the Home World to Life
  • A Lost Kingdom: Life on Krypton
  • Gag reel
  • Deleted Scenes

10 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

  1. Pilot
  2. House of El
  3. The Rankless Initiative
  4. The Word of Rao
  5. House of Zod
  6. Civil Wars
  7. Transformation
  8. Savage Night
  9. Hope
  10. The Phantom Zone

DIGITAL

The first season of Krypton is also currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

BASICS
Street Date: March 5, 2019
BD and DVD Presented in 16×9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 600 min
Enhanced Content: Approx. 61 min

DVD

Price: $24.98 SRP
2 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – ESDH, Latin Spanish, French

BLU-RAY

Price: $29.98 SRP
2 BD-50s
BD Audio –DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – ESDH, French, Latin Spanish

Disney+ Gets a Second Star Wars Live-Action Series Plus a Loki Live Action Series is Being Developed

Disney‘s much talked about digital service finally has a name, Disney+. Along with that announcement, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger has revealed new series that are being developed for it.

The service is getting a second live-action Star Wars series. This series will focus on Rebel spy Cassian Andor during the early years of the Rebellion and before the events of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Diego Luna will reprise the role of Cassian Andor.

The service is also getting a live-action series centered around the Marvel character Loki and will star Tom Hiddleston.

This is on top of other new stories set in the worlds of Monster Inc. and High School Musical as well as another Star Wars set live-action series, The Mandalorian which takes place after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order.

Disney+ is scheduled to launch in the U.S. in late 2019.

Grant Morrison’s The Invisibles is Being Adapted as Part of an Overall Deal

Grant Morrison and Universal Cable Productions are staying in business together after the success of Happy and Brave New World. As part of the deal Morrison will team with the cable-focused studio to produce content for linear and streaming.

The first project will be adapt his popular comic series The Invisibles. The series is set in 2020 and features a group of occult freedom fighters who look to better the world for everyone by any means necessary. The Invisibles ran for 59 issues over 3 volumes from 1994 to 2000. It was published by Vertigo, an imprint of DC Comics. Written by Morrison it featuring numerous artists.

The second season of Morrison, and Darick Robertson’s, Happy is in production for SyFy and Morrison is working on adapting Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World also for SyFy.

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