convergence_supermanDC’s Convergence event is almost upon us, so news about the soft reboot is coming fast and furious. And this week, that news included pictures of new costumes destined to be worn by Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. And there’s just something about a costume redesign that drives comics fans into screeching frenzies of either hate or excitement, isn’t there?

So we discuss not only the new costumes (and speculate on the circumstances that make them necessary), but superhero costume changes in general, including when they have and haven’t worked, and which ones have spun us up the most in our 40 years of reading comics (hi, Fall From Grace armored Daredevil!)

We also discuss:

  • Howard The Duck #1, written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Joe Quinones, and:
  • Southern Cross #1, written by Becky Cloonan and drawn by Andy Belanger!

And now the disclaimers:

  • We record this show live to tape. While this might mean a looser comics podcast than you are used to, it also means that anything can happen. Like learning the definition of “Batman’s Old Fashioned Texas Love Tubes.”
  • This show has a lot of spoilers. While we make an effort to shout out warnings ahead of time, be aware that we could ruin certain plot points. Like whether or not Howard is, in fact, a duck.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. You want your employer to hear speculation about where Wi-Fi Barbie keeps her antenna? of course not. Get some headphones.
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django_unchained_1_coverIn this week’s episode, Amanda and I discuss:

  • DC Entertainment’s / Warner Bros.’s rumored slate of movie released, from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice in 2016 to a rumored new Batman movie in 2019, whether DC is overextending, which ones we’re most looking forward to, how Sandman could work as a movie, and who should play Shazam,
  • The recently announced Quentin Tarantino / Matt Wagner crossover of Django Unchained and Zorro, why we’re not as excited as we might have been 15 years ago, and what Django crossovers we’d rather see,
  • Sex Criminals #6, written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdarsky,
  • Thunderbolts #27, written by Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, with art by Carlo Barberi, and:
  • How World Cup soccer is enough to put an American – even a baseball-loving American – right to sleep.

But some disclaimers:

  • This show is recorded live to tape, like a live radio show. While this might mean some dead air and dead ends, it also means that anything can happen.
  • This show contains spoilers. We try to drop a warning ahead of time, but tread lightly.
  • This show contains profanity and adult language, and is not safe for work. If it was translated into sign language, it would be only a middle finger. Wear headphones.
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For those of you bummed about the decision to delay the upcoming Superman/Batman sequel until 2016, Warner Brothers has released a new clip today from the upcoming Justice League: War animated film. Bonus – this film has a fully fleshed out Wonder Woman with no weird, forced Kryptonian origins, so that’s nice. Take a moment a be grateful that Zach Snyder and company may be taking this opportunity to actually get their shit together, and enjoy this animated clip.

Via io9.

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gal_gadotWith Gal Gadot on board to play Wonder Woman in the new Man Of Steel sequel, it hasn’t taken long for the rumor mill to crank up about what that role may entail. Someone named Jett from a site called Batman On Film is speculating that Wonder Woman may get a new origin story:

With all that said, I’d bet a year’s pay – in MONOPOLY money, of course – that the “Amazons” of this cinematic DCU will be descendants of those “ancient Kryptonians” who attempted to set up Kryptonian outposts throughout spacedom thousands and thousands of years ago. Furthermore, I say that Wonder Woman will be powered-down, if you will, relative to Superman because these Amazons have evolved and adapted to living on Earth for hundreds of centuries. And since Kryptonians are produced without any “He’n and She’n” – Jor El and Lara excluded – couldn’t this original Kryptonian on Earth have used this reproductive science to create an all-female race? I say yes!

That statement was in response to answering mailbag questions on the site:

Responses to reader’s questions are based on inside information, industry scuttlebutt, and my opinion. Nothing should be taken as confirmed news unless explicitly stated as such.

Well, I’m hoping that Jett’s speculation turns out to be a nonstarter. Given that so far WB has managed to stick, more or less, to canon with the Batman franchises and much (though certainly not all) of the Arrow TV show, there is no reason for a script to toss out Wonder Woman’s origin story beyond complete and total ass-hatted laziness. I’m not interested in a “powered down” Wonder Woman, evolved from Kryptonians. Frankly, I didn’t like the Asguardians as more evolved alien race when Marvel did that for the Thor movies. It’s a cop out.

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So the big mainstream comic news today is that someone named Gal Godot has been cast as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Zack Snyder-directed sequel to Man of Steel, Batman Vs. Superman (or whatever it will wind up being called). Godot was an Israeli Miss Universe contestant who turned model while turning Israeli soldier before going full Fast And Furious for a few movies and finally landing the role of Princess Diana.

Which is fine and which is good, because God knows that its about time that the final remaining leg of DC Comics’s Big Trinity gets an actual movie role… except it is potential terrible news for actual comic fans. Not because of the casting – I have no idea if Godot can or cannot act – but because of Wonder Woman’s role in a movie that Snyder announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with a quote from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.

Because if Snyder intends for his next movie to even remotely follow Miller’s Dark Knight plot, well, Diana’s first appearance is in The Dark Knight Strikes Again, and it is only pretty much to fuck Superman stupid somewhere up in the sky (“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s… a bird. Or at least something the color and general viscosity of bird poop just hit me in the eye. Bird poop that smells like bleach.”) somewhere between superhero wanna-bes and Dick Grayson being, well, a dick. It’s not a good move for the Wonder Woman brand, is what I’m saying.

But that is movie news. Which is well and good, but it is, after all, Wednesday. Which means that there are new comics, and no matter whether the movie version of Wonder Woman is a sky-fucking skank or a Mossad secret agent, it means that this…

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…means the end of our broadcast day.

But there are some good looking books there, huh? There’s the first J. Michael Straczynski issue of Terminator: Salvation, the latest issue of The Superior Spider-Man, the latest issue of Think Tank (which really is the best comic book you’re probably not reading), another issue of Marvel’s Ultimate Universe Cataclysm event, and a bunch of other stuff.

But you know how these things go: before we can talk about any of them, we need time to read them. So while we do that…

…see you tomorrow, suckers!

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wonder_woman_chiang_promoThis is actually kinda cool, if it is just, for all intents and purposes, a fan film by some folks with a particular amount of skill with the Adobe film suite.

Rainfall Films, a production company that’s done a bunch of advertising and music video work, has put together a two-minute fan trailer for Wonder Woman, directed by Sam Balcomb and starring Rileah Vanderbilt (who’s been in the Hatchet films). And when I say “fan trailer,” I mean more that it is a special effects showcase; there’s no story here, just Wonder Woman fighting some goons with guns on the streets of some city, alternating with Wonder Woman fighting with some giant monster on the island of Themyscira with some other Amazons.

But still: it’s pretty cool to look at, with a version of the Wonder Woman costume that is close enough to classic as to keep the underwear perverts who get their shorts in a twist every time someone comes up with a design that’s a little off-kilter from the original, and some pretty cool action and special effects for what amounts to a demo reel for a production company.

If nothing else, it goes to show that there are ways to shoot a Wonder Woman movie that doesn’t make it some cheesy, campy disaster, or worse: a David E. Kelley workplace dramady. And you can check it out after the jump.

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superman_wonder_woman_1_promo_cover_2013106444322Jesus Yammering Christ, is this what were reduced to now? Not just chasing that screeching tween Twilight dollar, but doing it hamfistedly and just fucking wrong?

All right, hold on; let me explain.

The Toronto Fan Expo was held this weekend. We did not attend this convention because we are still paying off our visits to the San Diego and Boston comic conventions (and are getting ready to pay our deposit for our emergency backup room for next year’s SDCC which, yes, we have already made reservations for), and because the nation of Canada has, based on a 1991 visit I made to Montreal, decided that my presence is so detrimental to their culture that even my American dollars don’t make up for it.

However, DC Comics was there, and as they do in most bigger conventions, they held a DC All Access panel to discuss upcoming books, such as Superman / Wonder Woman, written by Charles Soule with art by Tony Daniel and scheduled for a first issue release on October 9th. And Daniel was on that panel, and he addressed the impetus behind building a title around these two characters, who are two-thirds of a trinity of legendary characters created by DC.

And yeah: it turns out that that impetus wasn’t to tell legendary action stories. It apparently was to attract 11-year-old screechy girls and their sweet, sweet fistfuls of daddy’s cash.

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Rob is at a screening of Pacific Rim right now. Without me.

Now, I could be all pissed off about that, but I’m not. After all, he may have surrounded himself with giant robots and monsters, but, he left the whiskey here. With me.

So, as the whiskey and I spend the day together, we are finding our own entertainment on the Web. For example, behold the new opening sequence and promo clips from Beware The Batman:

Looks interesting. I’m not entirely convinced it will fill the hole in my heart that was left when DC/Warner Brothers abruptly cancelled Young Justice, but I think the important thing to remember here is that it’s not Teen Titans Go!, thank Christ.

So, what else is out on the Internetz?

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justice_league_15_cover_2012Since last year’s New 52 relaunch, Geoff Johns has made it his personal mission to rehabilitate Aquaman’s reputation. Which is a somewhat Quixotic task, since Aquaman never had much of a reputation to begin with. I remember years ago, when superhero Underoos were finally released for sale, my mom brought me to the store late enough that all that were left were Aquaman Underoos… and I told her that I would rather parade around the schoolyard in tightie-whities than suffer the indignity of having to pretend to be Aquaman. I was 28. But that’s not the point.

But hey, everyone has an unlikely dream that they harbor deep in their hearts, and I don’t begrudge Johns his, even though I don’t think he’s quite delivered on it thus far. Hey, I have the secret fantasy that someday I, a bloated and drunken 41-year-old, can smack the home run that wins the Boston Red Sox their third World Series victory since 1918 despite never having played even Little League baseball, so I’m not gonna rank Johns out too much for his dream to make Aquaman cool, despite it arguably having a lower chance at success than mine.

After fifteen months of chasing the dragon, Johns has begin phase two of his unlikely Aquaman resuscitation (actually, given Aquaman’s inability to carry his own book for longer than seven years despite more than 70 years of history, perhaps “presuscitation” is a better word) by making Aquaman the focus of a big Justice League event, Throne of Atlantis. So finally, Johns has his main chance to give Aquaman some relevance, not only in his own title but in the DC Universe proper, by making the poor, fishfucking sonofabitch the focus of a story… but for it to work, the story better be a good one.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: I’ve had the blues, the reds and the pinks; one thing’s for sure: love spoils.

Well, that’s the end of the first year of the first post-reboot Justice League since Crisis On Infinite Earths back in 1986. That Justice League, at the end of its first year, had established itself as a solid action book with an interesting character-based humor element… and was already on its way to becoming far more focused on the comedy than it was on the action. It short, its best days were already gone by that first anniversary, having given or on its way to giving Guy Gardner a 70s sitcom level personality change, The Martian Manhunter an Oreo fetish, and Booster and Beetle a harebrained get-rich-quick scheme of the month.

So how does Justice League #12 compete? Well, by going in the opposite direction, coming out of an only okay character-based story while promising, in a Geoff Johns patented epilogue, action-packed tales including an attack by Atlantis, battles between Superman and Batman and Shazam, and a possible conflict between The Justice League and the recently-announced Johns and David Finch produced Justice League of America.

Oh, and it seems that we will spend some time witnessing Superman boning Wonder Woman. But you already knew that, and we’ll get back to that in a minute.

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