January 31, 2009

Speed Reading: Super-Friends, Secret Identities, and More

Category: Creators, Fun, Round-Ups — By

Logan Mo Mott continues his Reviews of Flash vol.2, with issues #3 and #4, introducing the Kilg%re.

Comics Worth Reading reviews the All-New Super-Friends Hour.

CBR talks with Marc Guggenheim about “Character Assassination” in Spider-Man

The Comics Journal reprints an angry letter from Carmine Infantino regarding payments for some use of Black Canary. (via The Beat)

Comics in Crisis discusses the Worst-Kept Secret Identities, including Flash Wally West.

Comic Book Kingdom quotes a scene from Middleman in which the two leads discuss comic books, in particular the Flash.

And a bit off-topic, this list of Geek Gods tries to re-imagine the Greek/Roman pantheon with geek icons of today, with Stan Lee as Zeus, Majel Barret Roddenberry as Hera, Wil Wheaton as Hemes, and so forth.

January 30, 2009

Flash Movie Back From the Dead? Dan Mazeau Rumored on Script

Category: Flash News, Media — By

Hot on the heels of Warner Bros. producer Charles Roven telling Sci Fi Wire that the Flash movie is “shrouded in mystery” but not actually dead, IESB reports that Dan Mazeau, writer of the upcoming Jonny Quest film, is writing a script.

IESB spoke with Roven, who would not confirm the news, but did talk about the character:

I was always a big fan of the comics. I was around for… Gosh, this is embarrassing, you know, the last two Flashes. The Flash that was the policeman and Kid Flash, Wally, and his uncle. Those are the two Flashes that I grew with, so I was excited to have the opportunity to try and see if I could actually translate those characters to the screen.

When the Flash movie was originally announced in 2004, David Goyer (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) was going to write and direct. He finished the script, but Warner Bros. thought it was too dark, and took him off the project. Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) was brought as the new director early in 2007, then replaced later that year by David Dobkin (Fred Claus), and the movie was re-positioned to spin out of the planned Justice League film.

Of course, all that fell apart, the Justice League film is basically on hold, and now Warner Bros. actually wants dark films. But rather than resurrect Goyer’s script, they’re apparently going back to the drawing board.

My cynical take: The original script probably featured Wally West as he took over from Barry Allen. With DC repositioning Barry Allen as the primary Flash, they probably didn’t want to muddy the waters with his successor.

Read up on the sordid history of the Flash Feature Film.

January 28, 2009

Review: Final Crisis #7

Category: Reviews — By

Final Crisis #7

This is it. The conclusion to Grant Morrison’s tour-de-force exploration — and dismantling — of the DC Universe. Plagued by delays, DC finally brought in a committee of artists to finish the whole thing just one month after it was originally intended to wrap up.

So how was it?

The word I’d actually go for is bittersweet.

Final Crisis is more ambitious and, in a way, more epic than Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, or Infinite Crisis. They destroyed alternate universes, revised the current universe, or went back in time to adjust the beginning of the universe, but despite the fade-out pages in the middle of Zero Hour, none of those ever gave the impression that it was all over for the good guys, and they were left picking up the pieces.

In this issue we learn just how hard it is to kill a god. We learn what super-heroes do when they can’t save the world by fighting. Multiple plots by multiple characters come together, and we learn just why some characters are in the book in the first place.

The narrative structure has fragmented even further, with some events only getting a panel or two and maybe a caption, much of it told in flashback from the end of all things. I’ve been saying for several months that it’s a 12-issue story chopped down to 7 books, but now I’m beginning to think to really do justice to all the ideas presented, and all the plot threads, you’d have to expand it to at least 24 issues, possibly more.

There’s also a heavy meta-textual emphasis on story, which I suppose I should have expected after reading Superman: Beyond. Thinking about it, this goes back at least as far as Morrison’s run on Animal Man, in which the title character learned that he literally was a comic book character, with writers artists and editors dictating his life. But it also made some parts of the issue feel like I was reading Sandman (more about that later).

It’s only in these last two issues that I really felt like pieces of the story from tie-ins were missing. I didn’t have a problem with the bits of Batman’s story that were told only in “Last Rites,” or the story with Black Lightning and the Tattooed Man from “Submit.” But then I didn’t read either of those, and just took things in stride. I did read “Superman: Beyond,” and while I felt that the yellow submarine and the multiversal Superman mission would have worked fine without that story, the introduction and nature of Mandrakk the Dark Monitor still felt out of place, even after having read the side story. (Interesting: I just realized I’ve actually provided supporting evidence for my Final Crisis Theory of Impenetrability.)

Anyway, at this point I don’t think I can say anymore without revealing too much, so spoilers after the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Waid: Incredible or Irredeemable?

Category: Creators, Timely — By

IrredeemableMark Waid has been in the comics news a lot this week, with two upcoming series.

Newsarama Interviews Mark Waid about his Incredibles comic, launching in March. (Coincidentally, I re-watched the film this weekend, and it definitely holds up.)

Then there’s the website and T-shirts proclaiming that Mark Waid is Evil (a sentiment with which certain *ahem* posters on the DC Message Boards would seem to agree). Robot 6 breaks the news that it’s a promo for a new ongoing series called Irredeemable, about what happens when the world’s greatest super-hero turns into the world’s greatest super-villain.

This has a “Look out, Jimmy! Superman’s turned EVIL!” rating of 10/10.

January 27, 2009

This Week (Jan 28): Final Crisis, JSA

Category: Out This Week — By

This week, Final Crisis finally concludes!

Final Crisis #7 of 7

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Covers by J.G. Jones and Doug Mahnke

The dramatic finale to the epic, seven-part saga of the DC multiverse concludes with an apocalyptic battle for the soul of humanity that must be seen to be believed! Can the heroes of 52 Earths save the multiverse? And is the only way to save it, to change it forever?

On sale January 28 · 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US

Newsarama has a preview of FC #7

Justice Society of America #23

Written by Geoff Johns & Alex Ross
Art by Dale Eaglesham & Nathan Massengill
Cover by Alex Ross

“Black Adam and Isis” part 1 and a “Faces of Evil” issue! The new Justice Society regroups just in time to face one of their greatest and most personal enemies … Black Adam! The sorcerer Felix Faust has imprisoned the soul of Isis, Black Adam’s deceased wife. But the Black Marvel just figured that out, and nothing will save Faust from his wrath — nothing except maybe the Justice Society of America. And everybody will be in for a surprise when they discover how Isis has changed since her death at the hands of the Four Horsemen. Will she be a friend to the world … or will she be its destruction?

On sale January 28 · 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

Other possible Flash appearances: Trinity and Faces of Evil: Kobra (seeing as Kobra was the main villain in Terminal Velocity).

Upcoming Coolness

Category: Off-Topic — By

Some entertainment stuff I’m looking forward to this year outside of the Flash mythos:

Movies: Coraline

YouTube also has the trailer in HD.

I discovered Sandman late, borrowing the trades from one of my (younger) brother’s friends around 1998 or so, then immediately tracking down my own copies. I lucked out and got a complete set on eBay for something like $70. Since then I’ve devoured most of Neil Gaiman’s work, be it in comics, prose, or movie form. The original novel of Coraline was very good, and it’s been adapted by the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is among my favorite movies…and what I’ve seen of the film suggests that they get it. It’s hard to believe it’s only two weeks away!

Other movies: Oddly enough, I’m only mildly interested in Terminator: Salvation, Transformers 2: Can’t Remember the Subtitle, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (the films have been steadily deteriorating after peaking with #3, IMHO), Star Trek, and Watchmen. I’ll probably see all of them, but none of them have me nearly as excited.

Comics, books, music, etc. after the cut: Read the rest of this entry »