Between The Flash, Arrow, Gotham, Constantine, iZombie and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., comic books of all types are pretty well represented on TV right now. Compounding that are new series coming down the pipe, like the four Marvel Netflix series, Supergirl on CBS, and Powers on the Playstation Network. But something is amiss, maybe something representative of comic books that are not action/adventure, horror or super-powered oriented. If the word “Archie” just popped in your mind – Congratulations! – your mind is exactly where Fox executives is. News broke earlier today that Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and the rest will be coming to small screens sometime in the future in a “bold, subversive” new take of the 50-year-old franchise. (more…)
Adam A. Donaldson
One of the linchpins of the Disney Afternoon was the superhero series Darkwing Duck. A kind of mallard-ization of Batman and The Shadow, it followed the adventures of the masked-hero as he fought to protect St. Canard from a tremendous rogues gallery including Bushroot, Megavolt, Quackerjack and Steel Beak. Only 91 episodes were produced, but as these things go, there’s a wider world of Darkwing in comic books, and in the over 20 years since the show first premiered on TV, the Terror that Quacks in the Night hasn’t lost any fans, and has actually gathered new ones. The recent BOOM! Studios series proved that again, but the series came to a close when the deal between Marvel Comics and Disney was closed. With a surplus of heroes at Marvel Comics though, it seems an upstart publisher is game to bring Darkwing back, re-publishing old stories and printing brand new ones. (more…)
Corto Maltese, the titular island for this week’s adventurer, is entirely made up. Like a lot of locations in the DC Universe. It was introduced in The Dark Knight Returns as a Cuba surrogate, your basic South American hellhole. In Tim Burton‘s Batman, Corto Maltese was Vicki Vale’s last stop before Gotham City where she was taking pictures of a massacre stemming from the uprising of some local rebels. On Arrow, one gets the sense that Corto Maltese isn’t so bad, at least no worse than the average banana republic/tax shelter for rich guys that want to disappear in luxury. Sound like anyone we know? (more…)
It’s only one of the most anticipated movies of 2015. It’s also one of the most anticipated movies of the decade. Fans at San Diego and New York Comic Con have been lucky enough to see some of this already, but the wait was soon to be over, as last night it once announced that the next installment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would feature the premiere of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer. Of course, as these things go in the modern age with the internet and all – Surprise! – this puppy leaked early. So if you have no impulse control and an itchy clicking figure, dig in now for your first look at the all new adventure of Marvel’s premiere super-team.
UPDATE: Marvel has thrown up their hands and gone ahead and released the official trailer, along with first official poster.
Thinking about giving some awesome Breaking Bad action figures to someone you love for Christmas? Well, don’t go to Toys ‘R’ Us to get them because some Florida killjoy/mom has decided that because she thinks its inappropriate for figures marketed to adult fans and in the adult section of the store to be sold in Toys ‘R’ Us stores. Hey, it’s only the country’s largest retailer, am I right? Whose going to go to Toys ‘R’ Us first to buy action figures? So anyway, Spartacus won, and had the whole kit and kaboodle of figures from Mezco Toys have been pulled from the shelves. But don’t think that this whole thing is going to end quietly, or without the input of a key figure from the Breaking Bad saga. (more…)
One of the first comic books I owned as a Spider-Man adventure that doubled as a powerful lesson about drug abuse and just saying no. Even in the regular comic books, there were public service messages amongst the action and the ads, like a particular Colgate ad I remember that featured Captain America teaming up with an anthropomorphized toothbrush and toothpaste to fight tooth decay. Lesson learned. Comics have the power to do more than be movie franchise fodder, and every now and then we remember that. To wit, Marvel is teaming up with the Children’s Hearing Institute of New York to create two brand new superheroes who can save the world while being hearing impaired: Sapheara and The Blue Ear. (more…)
When George Lucas made the original Star Wars in 1976, he had the support of a couple of producers at Twentieth Century Fox, but everyone else thought it was stupid and doomed to failure. One might call Lucas a visionary for knowing where the audience was, and what would appeal, and that was proven again when Lucas went on to create Raiders of the Lost Ark with Steven Spielberg four years later. (Of course, Howard the Duck and The Radioland Murders might be a sign that Lucas’ insight is far from universal. And the less said about Episodes 1, 2, and 3… Well, you know.) But now with the oodles of free time he has from selling his company to a massive multimedia conglomerate, Lucas is striking out anew against the studio systems and its lack of risk-taking. (more…)
When James Cameron made The Terminator in 1984, he was under the gun to complete a complex and ambitious film shoot on a limited budget. Heck, even working on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he was facing doubters as the budget for that film ballooned and its complicated digital effects had yet to be tested before an audience. Still, a brand name is a brand name, and Hollywood loves a brand name, so even without Cameron, people have been trying to make mo’ money off Terminator, as evidenced by the upcoming and oddly spelled Terminator: Genisys. But what does Cameron himself think of the new film? Is he okay with it, is he concerned about it tarnishing his legacy, and will he do more Terminator in the future with an important deadline concerning rights pending? (more…)
Bigger. When you’re making a sequel to one of the biggest movies ever made, there’s really only one way you can go for the sequel, and that’s bigger. To wit, the superhero sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron. With two motion-capture characters, several people with super-powers and an army of robot fighters, it was a foregone conclusion that the new Avengers movie was going to tip the scale with the number of visual effects it would require, but now there’s a number attached: 3,000. For those keeping score, that’s about the same number of effects shots in Avatar, about 800 more than what was in the first Avengers, and 250 more than what was in Guardians of the Galaxy. (more…)
The flashback is a well-worn device in modern TV storytelling. Some series do it well, like most of the first season of Lost, and some series do it poorly, like practically every flashback on Arrow. That may be my opinion, but I think a lot of the appeal of Game of Thrones is that it keeps the storytelling in the here and now. (Of course, here and now is relative when it comes to the fictional world of Westeros.) But according to the two guys that guide the show, that’s all about to change in the next season of the show. Put on your tie-dye and sweatbands because we’re about to go back in time. Although that’s probably not the dress code of the Westeros of the past. (more…)