July 11, 2013
Every universe-spanning event has to have a trigger event, and the first major spark of “Trinity War” is found right here in Justice League #22. This is a credible start – not as awe-inspiring as Crisis on Infinite Earths but certainly better than watching Libra kill Martian Manhunter in Final Crisis. Whether this will be a great series or something a little more forgettable has yet to be decided…but there are a few highlights…and low lights…to be found in this initial chapter:
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT!
Read the rest of this entry »
June 12, 2013
With Man of Steel opening this week, it’s no secret that the future of DC Comics’ super-heroes on screen is tied to the success of the new Superman film. The question, of course, is what form might that future take? With the success of The Avengers, there’s been a lot of talk about a possible Justice League movie, but of course Marvel didn’t launch the Avengers on its own: They launched four solo films featuring different heroes, then brought them together. If “Man of Steel” does well, DC could jump straight into the team movie, or they could do a Marvel-style slow build — and Mike Ryan at Huffington Post suggests that Flash might be the ideal viewpoint character to tie them together.
DC has had a Flash movie officially in development for almost a decade now. Back in 2004, Warner Bros. announced David Goyer was writing a script and would direct. It’s since been through multiple directors and writers. Early treatments would feature both Wally West and Barry Allen, while later treatments focused exclusively on Barry Allen. The last real news came in 2010, when DC announced the Green Lantern script team would be writing a Flash film based on Geoff Johns’ work. Of course when the Green Lantern movie performed less than WB had hoped, everything non-Superman or Batman went on the back burner again. We’ve heard a few rumblings since then, but little else. Everything’s riding on “Man of Steel”: If it succeeds, we can count on more DC movies. If not, we can expect more years of development hell.
But if it does succeed… Read the rest of this entry »
March 7, 2013
In Smallville Season Eleven, issue 11 we follow Bart and Clark’s efforts to track down the elusive Black Racer, to see if there is a way to end its threat to speedsters past and present. This issue treats us to a meeting with the Smallville version of Jay Garrick, the original Flash…but is he still ready to run? Can he help…or is he even willing to try? This issue of Smallville Season Eleven collects the digital editions (chapters 33 through 35) as we attempt to answer these questions and more…
SOME MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD – PLEASE READ THE ISSUE BEFORE CONTINUING! Read the rest of this entry »
March 5, 2013
For DC Comics’ same-day print-and-digital releases (i.e. most of their line), the print and digital editions line up exactly. But things get a bit confusing with their digital-first comics, because they run smaller weekly chapters online, then collect them together for the print editions.
In the case of Smallville Season 11, currently running a storyline guest-starring Impulse, every three digital chapters are collected in a print issue the following month. Each digital page is the top or bottom of a print page, run landscape to make it easier to read on a desktop screen or a small tablet.
The numbers get a little confusing because, starting with #28, instead of taking one week off each month to keep the print and digital runs in sync, DC started running a side story during those formerly-skip weeks, which is being collected separately.
Here’s how the digital and print chapters of “Haunted” line up.
Two things stand out about the different covers that suggest different target audiences:
- The digital covers by Cat Staggs go for a realistic look and focus more on the TV show’s cast.
- The print covers by Scott Kolins go for a more stylized, comic book look, and focus more on the guest star and super-heroic elements.
This suggests to me that DC is aiming the digital editions at fans of the TV series and the print editions at more traditional comic book fans. It certainly makes sense — by numbers alone, a lot of people who watched Smallville don’t read comics, and it’s going to be easier to get them to buy online than walk into a comic store. I really wonder what DC’s market research has turned up as far as the digital/print audience breakdown.
March 1, 2013
Hey Speed Readers,
Mancave Daily has an exclusive preview of Smallville Season 11 #11 featuring the first appearance of that universe’s Jay Garrick.
Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2013
Hey Speed Readers,
Some exciting news coming down the pipeline from Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
this yesterday afternoon concerning DC Comics latest video game venture, Injustice: Gods Among Us. Injustice is a fighting game developed in the same vein as Mortal Kombat and in fact is being produced by the studio who brought us Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, NetherRealm Studios (formerly known as Midway). The game is now set to be released on April 16th, 2013 here in the states for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii U game consoles. European gamers will have to wait 3 more days.
Read the rest of this entry »
December 27, 2012
Could Batman patent the Batmobile? Is it murder if you kill Wolverine, knowing he’ll regenerate? Does Superman need a warrant to use his X-ray vision on your house? How much trouble can Stark Industries get in if one of Iron Man’s fights levels your business?
James Daily, J.D. and Ryan Davidson, J.D.’s The Law of Superheroes answers these and more questions about the legal implications of super-heroic tropes. You may recognize the names or the concept: The pair of lawyers and self-described comic-book nerds also write the blog Law and the Multiverse.
You’d think a book about law would be a dry read, but it’s actually a lot of fun. That’s sort of the point: some land dispute might not grab the average reader’s attention, but Superman’s troubles with the IRS? That’s something anyone can relate to. More than a “what if?” collection, the book works as an overview of U.S. and international law, told through the lens of comic books.
Some of the implications are kind of surprising. For instance: Music from a parallel universe where the Beatles never broke up (New Excalibur 4) might not be protected by copyright, because Earth-2182′s U.S. and U.K. never signed our universe’s Berne Convention. On the other hand, the surviving Beatles might still be able to control distribution through trademark law.
Another interesting thing to think about: if Commissioner Gordon calls Batman in on a case, he’s legally required to follow the same rules as the police regarding search warrants and the like, or else evidence may not be admissible. But if Batman goes after the Riddler on his own, he can probably sneak into the villain’s hideout looking for clues and not jeopardize the case (although he’d technically be guilty of breaking and entering). Read the rest of this entry »
October 24, 2011
Thought you’d all get a kick out of this story from the Food Allergy Walk this weekend: My son and I both wore Flash T-shirts. (He “walked” the event in a stroller, since he’s mostly crawling.) As we started off, I noticed that the family walking next to us was all wearing Superman T-shirts.
Technically it wasn’t a race, but for the record: We finished first!
More at my other blog.
August 31, 2011
So, the DC reboot* is upon us, and it’s time to make some decisions:
- What new series should I buy?
- Should I stick with print, or go digital?
I’ll tackle the second question later. For now, here are the books I was looking at when the New 52 was first announced, and what I’m looking at now.
As with Action, it was the creative team that got me excited about the fifth relaunch in as many years. (Seriously, DC, pick a direction and stick with it.) And as with Action, every interview, every announcement since then has chipped away a little more at my interest. But then Francis Manpul posts a new piece of artwork, and I feel like can’t possibly pass it up. TENTATIVE YES.
And yes, that’s a sad verdict for someone who’s spent the last 15 years running a Flash fan site, but it is what it is.
Justice League Dark
Love the concept, hate the title. I had high hopes for this when it was announced, but the execution of Flashpoint: Secret Seven, by the same writer and featuring many of the same characters, has me worried. TENTATIVE YES.
The complete opposite of Action Comics. When I first read about it, I thought, “Hmm, that sounds sort of interesting, but I just don’t know.” But everything I’ve heard about it makes me more interested. DEFINITE YES.
Regarding Demon Knights and Justice League Dark, it seems that the Matt Wagner/Amy Reeder Vertigo series has made me a fan of Madame Xanadu. Who would have expected that?
Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
I really liked the Seven Soldiers version of the Frankenstein monster, and the idea of him as a sci-fi secret agent sounds like a lot of fun. Plus the Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown miniseries was enjoyable (despite a dip in the middle issue), so I’m on board for this one. DEFINITE YES.
I keep meaning to read the articles about this, but somehow keep forgetting to come back to them when I have time. So I still don’t know a whole lot about it, but the concept is interesting enough to make it a TENTATIVE YES.
Announced as part of the second wave of new titles, the 12-issue miniseries launches in October. I like the character, especially the modern interpretation, and I really enjoyed the 4-issue miniseries James Robinson did back in the 1990s, so I’m on board for this one as well. DEFINITE YES.
Considered, but Skipping
Grant Morrison brings Superman back to his roots. Sounded great at the time, but the more I’ve heard about the actual direction, the less interested I’ve gotten. PASS.
I’ve been burned too many times, and I think what I really liked about the series was the Wolfman/Perez dynamic, which I’ve come to realize is never going to exist again. I actually think it’s a good thing that they’re taking the book in a new direction, even though it’s clearly not for me. PASS.
Hawk & Dove
As fond as my memories are of the series 20 years ago…I just can’t. PASS.
I liked his solo series back in the day, but between my changing taste and the emphasis on ultra-violence, I don’t have any interest in the new version. PASS.
(OK, except for the issue where he destroys the 405 freeway. I live in LA and commute on that damn thing. It’s a revenge fantasy.)
So that’s my DC Comics pull list for September. 5 comics out of 52 (plus The Shade) may not sound like much, but considering I was only reading one DC proper title before Flashpoint, it’s actually a pretty big increase.
Edited to add: For context, this brings the DC Universe back up to 50% of my active pull list. The rest is 1 Vertigo (The Unwritten), 3 BOOM! (Elric, Farscape & Darkwing Duck, at least until Farscape & Darkwing Duck end in a couple of months), 1 Dynamite (Wheel of Time) and 1 Aspen (Lady Mechanika). Mostly sci-fi/fantasy, with the closest to a traditional superhero being Darkwing Duck.
How about you? What are you planning to pick up?
*Of course it’s a reboot. They’re resetting the system, with some things altered and others preserved. They installed a service pack, and now they’re rebooting. People use the term reboot to mean starting over completely from the beginning, but if we’re going to use the computer metaphor properly, that would be a wipe-and-reinstall.
July 19, 2011
One of the things that frustrated me about DC Comics’ post-Zero Hour “soft” reboot was the 10-year sliding timeline. Not that it existed, but that it crammed everything from DC’s Silver Age (1956) onward into a timeline tied to the first appearance of Superman, 10 years ago.
It always seemed to me that it would free things up if they’d just allow the characters to be different ages. Let (for instance) Barry Allen and Oliver Queen be a decade older than Superman, and let their super-hero careers have started earlier. They can still have worked together in the Justice League. Superman launched the age of super-heroes in the real world, but he doesn’t have to have done so in the fictional world. Especially when you have a whole Golden Age worth of characters who started their careers decades earlier.
Of course, the Golden Agers introduce another problem: If DC keeps them tied to World War II, but keeps the rest of the timeline sliding at 10 years ago or even 20 years ago, the gap keeps widening. It makes it increasingly hard to explain…
- Why is the original Justice Society still alive and (relatively) fit? (Magic and the speed force have both been cited.)
- Why are their children in their 20s and 30s? Did they all wait until they were over 60 to have kids?
- Why weren’t there any major super-heroes between 1950 and 10 years ago? And more importantly, why weren’t there any major super-villains or cosmic threats during that time?
You can mitigate this a bit by rearranging some of the Silver Age characters to be older than Superman, as I suggested — or by letting Superman himself be older — but eventually DC would have to bite the (speeding) bullet and disconnect the JSA from one end of the timeline or the other.
Now that details of the Superman relaunch are out, DC has clarified a bit of their latest timeline juggling. Read the rest of this entry »