Tag Archives: constantine

Constantine: The Complete Series coming to Blu-ray & DVD 10/4/16

constantine-blu-rayDarkness is rising, demons are everywhere … and one man stands between humanity and its worst nightmares: John Constantine. Warner Archive Collection and DC Entertainment bring the live-action television series, Constantine: The Complete Series, to Blu-ray and DVD on October 4, 2016 via WBshop.com, Amazon and popular online retailers.

Based on the wildly popular DC character, seasoned demon hunter and master of the occult John Constantine (Matt Ryan) is armed with a ferocious knowledge of the dark arts and a wickedly naughty wit. He fights the good fight – or at least he did. With his soul already damned to Hell, he’s decided to abandon his campaign against evil … until a series of events thrusts him back into the fray, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect the innocent. With the balance of good and evil on the line, Constantine will use his skills to travel the country, find the supernatural terrors that threaten our world and send them back to where they belong. After that, who knows … maybe there’s hope for him and his soul after all.

Matt Ryan stars as Constantine, a role he has since reprised for Arrow and as the voice of the animated character in the upcoming Justice League Dark.

The cast features Angélica Celaya (Dallas) as Zed, Charles Halford (True Detective, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Chas and Harold Perrineau (Lost, Blade: The Series) as Manny.  Guest appearances include Jeremy Davies (Justified), Lucy Griffiths (True Blood, Preacher), David A. Gregory (One Life To Live), Michael James Shaw (Roots, Limitless), Claire van der Boom (Game of Silence, Hawaii Five-0), Skyler Day (Parenthood), Mark Margolis (Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad, Oz), Charles Parnell (The Last Ship), Michael McGrady (Ray Donovan, Southland), Joelle Carter (Justified) and Max Charles (The Strain, The Neighbors).

Writer Daniel Cerone (“The Mentalist,” “Dexter”) serves as executive producer with David S. Goyer (“Man of Steel,” “The Dark Knight Rises”). “Constantine” is produced from Bonanza Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. The show is based on the wildly popular comic book character from DC.

The release features the series’ 13 episodes, a trailer, on set featurette, the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con Panel and “DC Comics Night at Comic-Con 2014 Presenting Gotham, The Flash, Constantine and Arrow.”

Around the Tubes

HEARTTHROB-#1-Marketing-PDF-1It’s new comic book day tomorrow! What are folks excited for? We’ll have our picks in a bit, but until then here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

Journalism.co.uk – Safe House: The making of a graphic novel about Tanzania’s child brides – Really interesting and definitely want to check this out!

TechCrunch – Supreme Court affirms Google Books scans of copyrighted works are fair use – Should be interesting to see where things go from here.

GamePolitics – Good night and good luck – Sad to see the site go.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – A-Force #4

The Beat – Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1

CBR – Heartthrob #1

Newsarma – Best Shots Reviews: Amazing Spider-Man #10, Goldie Vance #1, Constantine #11, More

David Goyer v Comics: Rise of the Anti-Hero

unnamed(1)This is a bit of a correction to my earlier piece about Zack Snyder. Not that I think I was inaccurate in anything I said there, but I do think it was a bit unfair of me to put all the problems with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (pronounced buvvis-doge, I think?) on the shoulders of the director. The auteur theory of film criticism is a deeply flawed one, after all. And in addition to having a director who really doesn’t seem to understand the comic books he professes to love, the film also has David Goyer as its screenwriter.

And David Goyer doesn’t understand superheroes. Which I understand is kind of a bold statement, given that David Goyer is responsible for making the modern era of superhero movies possible.

But bear with me.

Background

As I said above, Goyer is the most prolific screenwriter of the modern era of superhero films. He wrote all three of the Blade movies (and directed the last one) in the late 90s, before the modern superhero boom, and their success allowed projects like Singer‘s X-Men movies and Raimi‘s Spider-Man movies to go forward and prove that the public’s appetite for costumed heroes hadn’t been killed off by Joel Schumacher. And before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was born, Goyer was writing Batman Begins and the Dark Knight, which at the time were seen as the future of the genre.

On the other hand, few people think of the scripts as the major virtues of any of these projects. Now a largely forgotten franchise with only one decent entry, almost nothing in the Blade movies made sense and the movies largely thrived on Wesley Snipes‘ presence and a cheerfully gonzo approach to gore. The Nolan Batman films are called Nolan films for a reason, and there’s a whole cottage industry of Youtube videos and articles pointing out the logical problems in the Joker’s plan in Dark Knight or how there’s no way Batman faking his death in Rises would have worked.

But if there’s one thing these films have in common, they all feature dark anti-heroes. But most superheroes aren’t dark anti-heroes, which might explain why, for all that Goyer’s career has been founded on superheroes, he doesn’t particularly understand the characters or like the people who like them very much:

Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Huk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.

As many people before me have said, this betrays not just a creepy attitude to sexuality, but a fundamental misconception of both the character’s backstory (She-Hulk and the Hulk have never been romantically linked, because they are first cousins) and thematic import. To quote the Mary Sue, “since her introduction, She-Hulk has been a woman of agency and strength, one who quickly took control of her mutation to become a hero and who has never let herself be held back by sexist double-standards and the expectations of others who can’t handle her power, intelligence and sexual confidence.”

But What About Superman?

Thankfully, however, David Goyer hasn’t been approached to write a She-Hulk movie or TV show (seriously, the character would work wonders as a legal/comedy/action show, what are you waiting for Marvel?). The problem is that he doesn’t understand Superman either and he’s the guy that DC and Warner Brothers approached to write Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman:

“And it occurred to me that it’s one thing if you have super powers to say I’m going to be a good Samaritan and help people. But it’s another entirely, and in fact a little presumptuous to just put on a costume and call yourself Superman, and say I’m going to appoint myself the saviour of mankind.” (source)

If you have a problem with someone putting on a costume and trying to save the world, you probably shouldn’t be writing a movie about the character who created an entire genre around doing just that. And the problem is that, in addition to not liking the basic concept of superheroics, Goyer goes on to explain that he doesn’t get Superman’s  character specifically:

“And so this story was why does he become Superman? And we decided early on that’s not a choice he makes, but a choice that’s imposed on him.”

“The movie is about him deciding am I going to be human, or Kryptonian, to pick which lineage to follow. We wanted to give him this Sophie’s Choice of you can be human, or you can have your Kryptonian world back, but you can’t have both. If you have your Kryptonian world, humanity is going to suffer. He has to decide which world he wants to plant his feet in.”

“The whole raison d’etre of the movie is that choice. It’s nature versus nurture. And that’s why he puts on the glasses and becomes officially Clark Kent at the end of the movie.” (source)

There are a huge number of problems with this. First of all, it’s a terrible writing move for your characters to not make choices but have choices happen to them. It’s lazy Campbellian Chosen One handwaving and it makes your protagonist horribly passive when making choices is what makes them interesting.

Secondly, choosing between his human and Kryptonian nature is antithetical to what it means to be Superman. Our hero is an immigrant refugee who rather than be turned away (Action Comics #1 came out only 14 years after the Johnson-Reed Act of 1924) is welcomed into America’s heartland and is raised to be a good person by the Kents – which is why he chooses to become Superman and save people. But at the same time, Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster, adapting the Moses story (not the Christ story, Goyer!) have Superman discover and embrace his alien heritage – hence the Kryptonian baby blanket turning into his iconic cape – without rejecting his adopted culture either. Rather than bowing to the dictates of nativism or assimilation, Superman combines both cultures together: the Last Son of Krypton standing for Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

And finally, let’s talk about the neck-snapping, because man is Goyer defensive about the neck-snapping:

“The way I work, the way Chris works, is you do what’s right for the story. That exists entirely separately from what fans should or shouldn’t think of that character. You have to do what’s right for the story. In that instance, this was a Superman who had only been Superman for like, a week. He wasn’t Superman as we think of him in the DC Comics…or even in a world that conceived of Superman existing,” Goyer said. “He’d only flown for the first time a few days before that. He’d never fought anyone that had super powers before. And so he’s going up against a guy who’s not only super-powered, but has been training since birth to use those super powers, who exists as a superhuman killing machine, who has stated, ‘I will never stop until I destroy all of humanity.”

“If you take Superman out of it, what’s the right way to tell that story?” he continued. “I think the right way to tell that story is if you take this powered alien who says, ‘You can have your race back, but you have to kill your adopted race,’ the moral, horrible situation to be in is to actually be forced to kill, not wanting to, the only other person from your race. Take Superman aside, I think that’s the right way to tell that story.” (source)

To start with a seemingly minor point: Zod isn’t someone “training since birth to use those super powers,” because in Goyer’s own screenplay, Zod only got those powers when he came to Earth. (And then for some reason decided to terraform the planet so that the Kryptonians he’s genetically driven to protect would become weaker, but that’s beside the point.) Superman is the one who’s been training his whole life to use them because he’s the only Kryptonian who grew up on Earth. Which means he should be the one controlling the fight through his better understanding of his superpowers, which would hopefully avoid both the neck-snapping and the destruction of Metropolis (which is what people had more of a problem with).

But I want to circle around to something Goyer said, about Zod posing the choice of “you have to kill your adopted race” or let humanity die. The only reason that killing Zod equates to killing all of Krypton is because Goyer has Superman use his heat-vision to obliterate the “Genesis” ship that was carrying thousands of Kryptonian embryos, making Zod the last. And he doesn’t do it accidentally – Zod tells him what the ship is carrying and Superman says “Krypton had its chance.” And this is is the action of the supposed hero, of whom Goyer said:

“I think the movie is going to be the right movie for the times. I’m happy that movie is coming out in the summer, because I think it’s the kind of movie that the world needs right now.” (source)

unnamedNow He’s Gone Too Far

So imagine my surprise when it turns out that, back in 1986, David Goyer turned out to not understand Captain America. As this is my patch, allow me to preach for a moment:

“While reading Captain America, I find myself more interested in the villain and their exploits than in Cap himself. The basic problem stems from the fact that Cap isn’t a very interesting character. He’s a living symbol and aside from the problems of character development in a symbol, the fact that he is a symbol of the American dream creates a number of story problems.”

I’m beginning to see the underlying reason why David Goyer has a problem writing about Superman –  first, he gets distracted by surface issues (like red capes and blue tights) and misses the important character details. Here, the important detail is that it’s Steve Rogers who is the character, and his historical grounding makes him interesting. Second and more importantly, he fundamentally doesn’t grok ideological superheroes, and as a result sees story hooks as story problems:

“First of all, the America that created Cap in the ’40s no longer exists. To make matters worse, Cap was in suspended animation for the better part of two decades. What kind of effect does this have on a man? His “world” is gone. To the children of the 60s, the concept of a living symbol of democracy to boost war morale must have seemed totally outdated.”

Captain America being a Man Out of Time isn’t a story problem, it’s a great source of dramatic tension that Marvel has been using to fuel the comic ever since Lee and Kirby hauled Rogers out of the ice in 1964. And it works in two ways – first, it gives Cap a personal flaw that transforms him from the flawless Golden Age archetype into a properly angsty, interior Marvel-style character. Second, because Cap is an ideological hero, the contrast between his past and the new era automatically acts as a mirror with which we can examine the vices and virtues of both periods:

“Secondly, the Captain probably only appeals to part of the nation today. Most likely, he’s more popular with the conservative side, so his popularity is on the upswing now. but what about the people who resent what he represents? There must be people out there who are even insulted by his uniform. Some people see our country as an atrophied giant whose secretive diplomacy is thinly veiled behind a smile and a handshake. Our government isn’t nearly as upfront or virtuous as our elected officials would have us believe. What exactly does Cap represent? Everything that’s good in America? Does the Captain endorse every president that’s elected? Would he ever speak out against a candidate? Does the Captain acknowledge that there is corruption in the government?”

This really makes me wonder if Goyer ever actually read these comics, because literally every point here was answered in the pages of Captain America. Captain America isn’t a conservative, and in fact sides with the same youth who questioned America’s government in the 1960s. What makes Captain America a radical figure is that he represents America’s ideals and not its government.

As for speaking out against a candidate and acknowledging corruption in government, take the case of Richard Nixon, who in the Marvel Universe ran a smear campaign against Captain America and when the Watergate scandal threatened to unseat him from power tried to overthrow the government of the United States via giant Kirby flying saucer. Captain America stopped his coup and pursued him into the Oval Office to deliver him to justice, where Nixon took his own life rather than answer for his crimes. (For more on this, you’ll have to wait for an upcoming People’s History of the Marvel Universe…)

But as with Superman, David Goyer seems to have a problem with characters who think they’re better than he is, even if that’s not the case:

“On another level, one has to wonder what type of man would have the audacity to proclaim himself a living symbol of America. Was he elected by the common people? Is he a tool of propaganda, invested by the government to promote democracy? Does the Captain unquestioningly accept whatever the current American policy is or does he formulate opinions on his own? What would happen if someone convinced Captain America that socialism was a better way of life? Now, granted, as an Avenger, he’s been sanctioned by the government and given official status as a protector of the peace. Do you honestly expect us to believe that the government would enlist a masked crusader without even knowing his true identity?”

Again, this is basic origin-story stuff. Steve Rogers didn’t proclaim himself anything – he signed up for a dangerous super-science experiment because it was the only way for him to fight fascism. (Which answers the question about his “true identity” – Rogers’ military service is a matter of public record!) and when the experiment worked, the U.S government gave him his costume, his shield, and his rank so that he could be a symbol to boost civilian morale during WWII:

Inline image 2And yes, Captain America makes his own judgement about public policy – which is why he brought down three SHIELD helicarriers in the Potomac River rather than let HYDRA destroy our constitutional rights to due process, and why he’s going to go mano-a-mano with Iron Man in the upcoming movie.

And as for socialism…well, you already know my opinion about that.

Conclusion

So why go on this long rant? Because I love comic books and comic book movies, and I think they can be more than mindless popcorn-fodder and certainly more than the depressing and immoral mess that Goyer has given us.

And because David Goyer is Hollywood’s go-to man for most of these movies, his influence can harm an entire genre. Hence why it was problematic that David Goyer was the man who got the call to adapt Constantine for TV despite not wanting to have Constantine be bi. And why I am deeply depressed that, of all writers working today, David Goyer is the one adapting Sandman

Mini Reviews For The Week Ending 11/22

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Alex

Huck01_CoverAHuck #1 is fantastic. This is an innocent tale of hope and the inherent goodness of one man; that it comes from the man behind Kick-Ass surprises me greatly. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Saga Of The Jack Of Spades is the first issue in a successfully funded Indiegogo project aimed toward a young adult audience. Featuring a story that’s centered around four kingdoms based of the four suits in a deck of cards. It’s a unique concept that is executed fairly well, but fell a little short when it came to really drawing me into the comic. Maybe the next issue will do that, though. You can find a bit more information about the comic here, and it’s worth checking out when you’ve got a chance.
Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

 

Brett

Action Comics #46: Just so bad. I know there’s a big picture here, but something is so off with this Superman series, and Superman as a whole. Overall Rating: 6 Recommendation: Pass

BPRD Hell on Earth #137: Consistently entertaining, this series really ups the action and intrigue as the BPRD makes a move against New York with the US Navy. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Codename Baboushka #2: A fun spy comic with lots of action. The art is a little off at times, but the story is fun as all hell. If you like your Bond light and full of action, this kick-ass woman will fit your needs. Overall Rating: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Descender #7: The latest issue sets this series in a bit of a new direction by introducing some new characters. It also has a moment that actually caught me off-guard. And the art! Absolutely beautiful to look at. Each issue delivers and one of the best series on the market. Overall Rating: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: I just know the movie, so compared to that, this is a great adaptation. The art captures the manic and over the top events. For fans of Thompson, this is a must get. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

I Hate Fairyland #2: Just so twisted. And so much fun. Foulmouthed pint sized twisted fun. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

Jughead #2: The second issue continues to deliver mixing “real world” high school life with Jughead’s fantasies. Just a great blend and interesting type of storytelling. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Read

Pawn Shop: A series of interconnecting stories that’s heart touching and a fantastic read for those who like a slice of life story. This is one of the few comics I’ve read multiple times, and I feel like I catch something new each time. Overall Rating: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

The Paybacks #3: One of the funniest comics out there and such a great series. Mixes action, laughs, and superheroes perfectly. Overall Rating: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

Star Wars: Kanan #8: The best Star Wars comic out there right now. Based on Star Wars: Rebels, it’s giving us some great history before Episode III and between Episode III and IV. Overall Rating: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Transformers: Robots in Disguise #47: What should Optimus do next? This issue is laying the groundwork for that, and it’s interesting. Overall Rating: 8.1 Recommendation: Read

 

Elana

Constantine #6*: Consistently one of the best comics from DC or Marvel. Issue 6 is a perfect jumping on point for anyone who missed the earlier series. John takes his exorcism skills on tour through the 5 boroughs of NYC serving a realistic range of customers including party demons in Bushwick (lord knows, I’ve been there). The episode is funny with a dark foreboding at its core. Some force seems to want John to connect with that nice, hot, normal restaurant owner/chef he flirted with. John knows that everyone who gets close to him gets hurt. But being alone hurts too. Overall Rating: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Jughead #2: Tons of fun. I’m totally new to this series and I’m enjoying it immensely. Expressive, funny art from Erica Henderson is a perfect fit for Zdarsky’s jokes. Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Pretty Deadly #6: A whole new chapter of the story starts here. Still poetic and atmospheric the setting is shifting to the battlefields of World War 1. Rios’ art is moody and creative. It looks like no other comic on the stands and is the reason I’m giving this an Overall Rating: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Spider-Woman #1 CoverSpider-Woman #1*. I’m all for stories about pregnant superheros and super-heroes who become parents. The Danny Rand/ Misty Knight love story in Secret Wars Secret Loves was the best thing in the whole mega-event. But I don’t know why Spider-Woman is having a baby. It’s a character who has specifically said she didn’t want kids in the past. I’m not saying that pronouncements are set in stone. But I need the comic to do a better job of selling me on this. Right now it still feels like a violation of her spirit.

If Roger (aka Porcupine) is the dad I’m going to punch a wall. Heck, even if Ben Urich is (and he’s a great character who I’ve enjoyed for years) I’ll also be pissed. To be honest, I hope we never know. I like her independent dammit! Jessica Drew is one of my favorite super heroes. I never identified with her or anything, I just appreciated how shameless she was about loving her powers.

At least her clothes are realistic clothes for a grown woman. Sad that drawing that still feels like an achievement.

Overall Rating: 3 but I’m willing to be convinced later. Maybe.

 

Mr H

Batman and Robin Eternal #7*: Continuing off last weeks strong showing, this issue jumps Team Robin back in the drivers seat following trails of breadcrumbs to Prague. We get a little more insight to Mother and a scene where Bruce Wayne tries to set up a meeting with her. We also get a fun interrogation team up with Jason and Tim and a fun cliffhanger. Story moved well and art was fluid. Another good showing this week.  Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Extraordinary X-Men #2*: Seeing the X-Men use a reconstituted Sentinel as Cerebra is pretty cool. I enjoyed the issue quite a bit. Yes it feels like business as usual with the X-Men still hated and M-Pox seems like a retread of the Legacy Virus, but this time it seems more dire. Jean throwing away a “normal” life to do the right thing only to be unappreciated was a nice touch. I am enjoying Old Man Logan’s inclusion too. So while it doesn’t feel completely “All-New” it was new enough. Ramos and Lemire are a great team. I hope they stay on the title for a while. Plus bearded Colosus is awesome. Overall Rating: 8.5  Recommendation: Buy

 


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Mini Reviews

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


CageHero01_Cover-COLORSAlex

Cage Hero #1 is a surprisingly enjoyable mix of superpowers and mixed martial artists. A fun comic that has an amusingly unique take on the superhero origin story (even if the high school setting is somewhat familiar). Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read.

One of the more interesting takes on the vigilante heroes lately has come in the form of The Black Hood. Issue #6 is a standalone tale that focuses on the title character’s battle with an addiction to prescription  pain killers while he continues to go beyond the law in administering justice. The art is crisp and the colours entice you into the brutally honest world within these pages. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Mono is a superbly envisioned collection about a secret agent with a prehensile tale that is, frankly, visually stunning. This was a collection that captivated me from start to finish with it’s mix of pulpy goodness and pseudo history, it was a joy to read. Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

Brett

Art Ops #1 – A fascinating new Vertigo series I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s basic idea is that art is real, and there’s this agency that protects the beings within the pictures. At least that’s my understanding of it. It’s pretty out there. Not sure if I’m totally sold, but it’s absolutely original. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

ARTOPS-Cv1-96f41The Black Hood #6 – A one-shot that seems like it’ll lead into the next story arc. Howard Chaykin joins on art, and while I figured out the twist a bit before it was revealed, the comic is still really entertaining. If you’re looking for a comic about a cop/junkie/vigilante, then look no further! Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Chew #51 – The series is coming to its finale and this is our first look after its major confrontation and battle. We get to see where some characters are in their lives and what the world is like. There’s still some big questions to be answered, but this comic continues the over the top humor that consistently gets me to laugh. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

The Hangman #1 – This first issue is fascinating. It doesn’t quite get us to what I think is where the series goes next, but we learn about the boogeyman that is the Hangman in the mob. The comic is absolutely adult, and really puts the “dark” in Dark Circle. It definitely piqued my interest. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

Revival #34 – What brought all the folks back to life? We still don’t know what’s behind Revivers, but this issue has some impressive revelations that started to make the puzzle clearer. It’s also a hell of a confrontation between Dana and her father. It’s an issue full of emotion and catharsis, a great jumping on point. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Daphne

The final issue of the A-Force miniseries was awesome. Ending it with an all-out war that showcased dozens of Marvel Comics ladies was a great decision, and makes me super excited for the full series to come out. The series itself wasn’t as strong in the middle as its beginning, but it ended with a great climax and I can’t wait to see more. Overall Score: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Ms. Marvel ended on a high note in time for the big company-wide relaunch initiative. With Kamala’s world ending we finally get some plot points wrapped up in really satisfying ways, and the story ends in a really optimistic and emotional that is totally worthy of the Miss Marvel name. This was probably the best “Last Days” story to come out of Secret Wars, and I love that it left us with both closure and a great setup for things to come. I can’t wait to see what happens with the relaunch. Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy

Elana

Catwoman-45This has been a banner month for Catwoman, Constantine and Gotham Academy. Each has just printed it’s best issue yet. Each of these comics reaches a pinnacle of a completely compelling storyline here and delivers and delivers and delivers. These are among the best comics today. Buy. Buy. Buy.

Over the Garden Wall issues 1 and 2 are lovely contributions to the world of the animated show. I rewatched the cartoon after reading them and they fill in the blanks in the series so well that I would strongly suggest anyone who likes the cartoon pick up these comics immediately. They are charming and wistful like the series. They even contain a page of sheet music in the back! Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Heathen from comixology submit: promising fantasy/folklore story from a promising new creative talent Natasha Alterici. Compelling queer female lead. Evocative painted art. You can shiver it it looks so cold. I hope she continues the series! I’ll give it an 8 if she can keep this up! Recommendation: Buy.

Revenger from comixology submit: this is an angry comic. The art evokes Benjamin Marra (his art is also angry). If you are in the mood for angry, revenge violence with a very raw nerve core then give this a go. It’s got that ugly but compelling look to the art. Badass black butch female lead who reminds me of a cross between Grace Jones and The Man with No Name. Feels pretty punk rock. Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

Concrete Park Volume 2 this is a radical scifi book with politics on it’s sleeve. Striking character design. Impeccable world building. Check out those maps! The world they invent is completely unique. An urban dystopia in space. Strong critique of the prison-industrial system and sexism. It deserves a full length review. This was the best thing I got at New York Comic Con. I love it so much! And I’ve only read the 2nd volume. Definitely going to buy the first one but I think it speaks to how well written the 2nd volume is that I was able to get totally involved in it without any of the earlier information. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Kenny

Colder: Toss the Bones #2 continues its trend of being creepy as hell. Nimble Jack’s relentless tormenting of Declan plays on the idea of that feeling that someone is watching you. The story toys with that psychological idea to great effect. It is uncomfortable seeing Declan unknowingly having his life manipulated by Jack. Each of Jack’s action are so dark and uncomplicated by morality, that he has become a menacing figure who seems unstoppable at this point. This comic is still proving to be one of the best horror comics out and one that needs your attention. Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is moving in a completely new and exciting direction after the epic conclusion of TMNT #50. Issue #51 sets the stage for a Turtles’ arc as they try and navigate their new position as, well, I won’t spoil it for you. Find out for yourself and see the one of the most interesting premises for a Turtles story I’ve seen in a long time. Overall 8.5 Recommendation: Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

DC Comics Announces Tons of Additions to Arrow, Flash, & More!

With the fall television season quickly approaching, there’s tons of news coming out for this coming seasons of Arrow, The Flash and more!

Keiynan Lonsdale

Bummed that Constantine was cancelled? Well, the character is back from the dead. Matt Ryan will be guest starring as John Constantine on an episode of Arrow in this upcoming season. There was an effort to get the show moved to The CW when the series was renewed by NBC. Could this be a test to see more of Ryan’s fan favorite Constantine?

Wally West is coming to The Flash! Warner Bros. and The CW have cast Keiynan Lonsdale as West. In comics, the character is also known as Kid Flash! With Iris and Joe West it’s not a surprise the character would eventually show up, but his role, or if he becomes Kid Flash, remain a mystery. Lonsdale is a series regular, so chances are good we’ll see exactly that!

We know DC’s Legends of Tomorrow‘s villain is Vandal Savage, but who is bringing the classic character to life? We won’t have to wait for the team to assemble in 2016 to find out. It has been announced that Casper Crump has been cast in the role.

Actor Casper Crump

Vandal Savage is immortal, having spent the past 6,000 years moving like a virulent disease through history, whispering in the ears of despots and dictators, all leading to his eventual domination of the world.

First introduced in 1944, Vandal Savage has been one of the DC Universe’s biggest heavies for over 70 years, frequently going up against the Justice Society and most recently fighting alongside Etrigan the Demon and Madame Xanadu in The New 52’s Demon Knights. However, he’s never been brought to live action life before (though he’s appeared in animated movies and shows, including Justice League: Doom and Young Justice).

Falk Hentschel

Crump will first be seen in the role in the crossover episodes of Arrow and The Flash, before continuing onto DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.

We know Hawkgirl is part of DC’s Legend of Tomorrow, but we now have a Hawkman too! Falk Hentschel will be taking on the role of Carter Hall.

On DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Carter Hall is the latest reincarnation of an Egyptian Prince who is fated to reincarnate throughout time along with his soulmate, Kendra Saunders. Like Kendra, Carter can access the powers of the Hawk God, Horus, transforming him into the winged warrior known as “Hawkman.”

The character will first appear in crossover episodes of Arrow and The Flash.

JennaDewanCCJuly08While her older sister Lois may still be hunting down stories in Metropolis, it appears that Lucy Lane is heading for National City. It has been revealed that Jenna Dewan-Tatum has been cast in the recurring role of the younger Ms. Lane on CBS’s upcoming Supergirl. Described as brash, funny and as beautiful as her older sister Lois Lane, Lucy is strong, smart and successful in her own right. She’s got a history with Jimmy Olsen and she’s come to town to right a previous wrong. She’ll first appear in the third episode of the show.

While not as well known as her sister, Lucy Lane was first introduced back in the Silver Age, where she worked as both a flight attendant and an air traffic coordinator. She also initially served as a sometimes love interest for Jimmy Olsen, so her “history” on the show with Brooks’ Olsen isn’t all that surprising. However, she’s probably best known to DC Comics fans as the most recent iteration of Superwoman. In pre-New 52 storylines, Lucy obtained powers similar to a Kryptonian by wearing a mysterious suit. Whether we’ll ever see this take place on Supergirl, however, remains to be seen.

The character has previously shown up on Superman: The Animated Series, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Smallville.

NBC Cancels Constantine. Show May Resurrect Elsewhere.

Constantine is one television show based on a comic book that didn’t survive to the second season. Bucking the trend of renewals for the genre, showrunner Daniel Cerone Tweeted that NBC has officially cancelled the show.

Constantine was based on the series of comics from DC Comics/Vertigo. The show premiered to 4.28 million viewers in October, but the show had trouble finding footing after. There was talk of the show moving to NBC’s sister station Syfy.

The show was in consideration by the network, but they felt they had a “strong development” roster of new shows, so it wasn’t needed. The actors are under contract to June, so if anything happens, it’d likely be before that.

It looks like from the Tweet the show will be resurrected elsewhere. Cerone is asking folks to show their support by streaming the show, and being vocal on social media, and even writing letters. You can follow what’s going on with the hashtag #Hellblazers

 

Constantine Not Cancelled, Still Awaiting its Fate

Constantine‘s fate is still up in the air, though websites and blogs would have you think otherwise. Going off the list generated by Buzzfeed, many sites are reporting Constantine has officially got the ax from NBC. Trusting a site which built its empire on lists ripped off from Reddit probably wasn’t the way to go. The author of the article claimed it was “fact checked.”

Well apparently Kate didn’t check her facts well enough because the show has shifted in her list from cancelled to “awaiting news,” though you wouldn’t really know about the switch unless you had seen earlier copies of the post.

Daniel Cerone, the producer of the show, last updated fans on March 28 saying they were pitching their season 2 to NBC in April, and NBC will decide after.

Cerone confirmed the fact the show’s fate is still up in the aire, and in a statement to another site:

I just received confirmation from the corporate offices at NBC. I was assured that Constantine has not been canceled and our pitch meeting to discuss a potential second season remains on the books. By the way, this is a pitch meeting involving the president of Warner Bros and and the entertainment heads of NBC. Nobody at this incredibly busy time of the development season has time to waste taking pointless meetings.

Now, is it fair to say that Constantine is a long shot? Sure, that’s fair to say. While we marginally improved a tough time slot for NBC, we’re a very expensive show to produce. A lot of NBC’s decision making will not doubt hinge on their new pilots and how they feel those new shows would fare as a companion piece to Grimm, versus a second season of Constantine.

For facts, go to the source people, not click-bait websites.

An update on Constantine Season 2

Constantine ended its abbreviated first season on NBC about a month ago. Whether the series would see a second is up in the air. Executive producer Daniel Cerone has given us a brief update as to the show’s fate.

Guess it’ll be a few more months before we find out more details.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

HOWARD001_COVWednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Brett

Top Pick: Howard the Duck #1 (Marvel) – Chip Zdarsky is generally hilarious. Just search for his history with Applebees. His writing Howard the Duck hopefully will be half as funny. I’m expecting it to be just insane, and beyond entertaining.

Bill & Ted’s Most Triumphant Return #1 (BOOM! Studios) – Hopefully this comic series based off of the two films is excellent and not heinous. While I somewhat expect the latter, I love the first Bill and Ted film, so hoping for the best.

Ninjak #1 (Valiant Entertainment) – Valiant is the best superhero universe out there right now. They consistently put out fantastic comics with great art. This series puts the focus on Ninjak, the sometime MI-6 and Unity team member. It’s an awesome first issue, with amazing art, another solid debut from Valiant.

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 3 #1 (Archaia/BOOM! Studios) – Mouse Guard is consistently a fantastic series with a beautiful story and art to match. A new volume is always something to celebrate, especially since the series is perfect for kids and adults alike.

Southern Cross #1 (Image Comics) – NOW BOARDING: Southern Cross, tanker flight 73 to TITAN! Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though—how did her sister die? It’s science fiction meets a murder mystery.

 

Edward

Top Pick: Thor #6 (Marvel) –  Neither gods nor readers yet know the identity of the new Thor.  Answers are unlikely here, but the path to finding out has been pretty fun so far.

Ant-Man #3 (Marvel) – The first issue was a gem, and the second was a bit of a dud. Which will the third issue be?

Postal #2 (Top Cow Productions/Minotaur Press) – The first issue of this mystery series from Image was compelling, combining unexpectedly engaging characters with a one-of-a-kind setting.

Spider-Gwen #2 (Marvel) – After a near frenzy of excitement over the alternate universe Spider-Woman/Spider-Gwen, the first issue somewhat failed to capitalize on it with a good story.  It will be interesting to see if they are going to.

Wonderland #33 (Zenescope) – Calie and the Cheshire go on another quest to rid Wonderland of madness. The first was pretty great, so the second arc looks promising.

 

Elana

Top Pick: The Humans TP (Image Comics) –  My top pick of the year. 1970 outlaw bikers: they are animals! The animals are us! Literally. Tom Neely and color artist Kristina Collantes’ art puts others to shame. Mind blowing scenes of insanity with period-accurate costumes (I’d know) and bikes (they tell me) composed by an artist with the best chops around. It feels like a real underground comic from 70 but more accessible, action-heavy yet character driven. It is living proof of the value of hand lettering. It has an online soundtrack of garage punk/metal/ “is this a john carpenter movie?” soundtrack. https://m.soundcloud.com/the-humans-soundtrack

Oh and it’s by the Henry and Glenn crew. This has a cult-like following. One of us!

Adventure Time: Marceline Gone Adrift #3 (KaBOOM!/BOOM! Studios) – I haven’t read this yet but I need to. She’s a remarkable creation and I’m glad they keep making series with her in the lead. Do you know a kid that digs this series? Let me know in the comments.

Ms. Marvel #13 (Marvel) – Some day your kids will ask you “Parent, did you read Ms Marvel when it was coming out? I learned it revolutionized the industry and was utterly charming.” And you will say yes, or you will be ashamed. SHAMED!

Silver Surfer #10 (Marvel) – I’m no expert Whovian but this book is less Doctor Who then I expected. It’s more something of its own and I think that’s because Surfer’s voice is unique. At times Dawn feels too childlike. But with art this fun I’ve got to keep buying it.

Southern Cross #1 (Image Comics) – The panels from this that have been trickling out on social media are stunning. Colleen Doran’s art is dark and beautiful. I don’t even know the concept. I’m getting it anyway

 

Nevada

Top Pick: Roller Girl (Dial Books) – Junior high school was a really difficult time for me so I can relate to Roller Girl’s challenges as she navigates that minefield. Wish I would’ve had roller derby—can’t wait to see Roller Girl in action!

Artist & Models: The Glamour Art of Kent Steine (Binary Publications) – Love the cover of this volume and look forward to perusing the pages filled with glamour art & photographs as well as commentary by Mr. Steine.

Constantine #23 (DC Comics) – I’m a big fan of the show and new to the comic so I look forward to giving this a look to see Constantine on the page. Love his attitude and supernatural noir sensibility.

Juxtapose #171 (High Speed Productions) – I always feel so in the know and cutting edge when I read Juxtapose, with its up to the minute art and graphic news and lavish layouts; this Underground Art issue looks like one not-to-be-missed.

Lisa Simpson Figurine (Monogram Products) – I love Lisa and share many of her interests and concerns, so I’ll have to get this figurine for my desk to inspire me when I’m feeling somewhat misunderstood—just keep playing that sax, Lisa! Also it makes me want to listen to jazz music.

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