- RSS Channel Showcase 6404373
- RSS Channel Showcase 7356199
- RSS Channel Showcase 7625947
- RSS Channel Showcase 3232775
Articles on this Page
- 11/20/17--23:45: _Watchmen HBO Series...
- 11/21/17--02:44: _Does Superman Have ...
- 11/21/17--12:57: _Justice League: The...
- 11/21/17--15:37: _Justice League Rele...
- 11/21/17--16:12: _Peter Rabbit Traile...
- 11/22/17--03:07: _Will Justice League...
- 11/22/17--13:35: _Doomsday Clock Cont...
- 11/22/17--14:36: _Guardians of the Ga...
- 11/22/17--14:42: _Batman: The Animate...
- 11/22/17--18:45: _Star Wars Holiday G...
- 11/22/17--21:03: _Holiday Gift Guide ...
- 11/22/17--23:53: _Star Wars Powerbot ...
- 11/24/17--10:48: _Blue Beetle Canceled
- 11/26/17--12:55: _A Guide to DC Anima...
- 11/27/17--01:01: _DC TV Crossover 201...
- 11/27/17--09:42: _Star Wars Comics: T...
- 11/27/17--16:34: _James Franco Teases...
- 11/27/17--16:57: _Accident Man: Exclu...
- 11/27/17--17:32: _Master and Commande...
- 11/20/17--20:25: _Supergirl: Who is M...
- 11/20/17--23:45: Watchmen HBO Series Updates
- 11/21/17--02:44: Does Superman Have a Future in the DCEU After Justice League?
- 11/21/17--12:57: Justice League: The Greatest Rosters in DC History
- 11/21/17--15:37: Justice League Release Date, Cast, Trailer, Story Details, and More
- 11/21/17--16:12: Peter Rabbit Trailer: James Corden’s Peter is a Party Animal
- 11/22/17--03:07: Will Justice League 2 Happen?
- 11/22/17--14:36: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Script Released for Free
- 11/22/17--18:45: Star Wars Holiday Gift Guide: Black Friday Deals 2017
- 11/22/17--21:03: Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Best Books For Gifts
- 11/22/17--23:53: Star Wars Powerbot Vacuums are Droids That Clean Your House
- 11/24/17--10:48: Blue Beetle Canceled
- 11/26/17--12:55: A Guide to DC Animated Movies
- 11/27/17--01:01: DC TV Crossover 2017: What is Crisis on Earth X?
- 11/27/17--09:42: Star Wars Comics: The Essential Guide
- 11/27/17--16:57: Accident Man: Exclusive Trailer for Action Packed Comic Adaptation
- 11/27/17--17:32: Master and Commander Sequel Teased by Russell Crowe
- 11/20/17--20:25: Supergirl: Who is Mon-El?
There's a pilot order (and more) in the books for the HBO Watchmen TV series.
With The Leftovers having wrapped its final season to wild critical acclaim, Damon Lindelof is sticking around HBO to develop a Watchmen TV series. Yes, you read that right. Watchmen is finally getting the prestige cable drama that fans have wanted for as long as prestige cable drama has been a thing. HBO has not only placed a pilot order for the series, but ordered "back up scripts" as well for more episodes. In other words, it's all but certain this thing is getting picked up.
Lindelof's vision is apparently unrelated to a Watchmen series discussed by Zack Snyder (who directed the film version) and HBO back in 2015. It's not clear how far those particular talks got, or what the actual plan for it was. After all, with Snyder involved, it seems unlikely it would have been a re-adaptation of the Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel. According to Variety, the Lindelof version is "starting over from scratch" and has nothing to do with those previous discussions.
The big question, then, is just what will this new series be? Is it another adaptation of the graphic novel? Zack Snyder's 2009 adaptation has its defenders, and visually it's certainly faithful enough to the comics, but it was admittedly limited by the constraints of a movie runtime. A TV series could spend more time exploring the flashbacks to the Minutemen era, or fleshing out some of the supplementary text material that happens in between the comic chapters.
But recent quotes from Damon Lindelof would seem to indicate that this might be a brand new adaptation of Watchmen, rather than a prequel or some other expansion of the world. "That comic was written in the mid '80s, [but it's] more timely now," he told a crowd at Vulture Fest (via THR). "These are dangerous times...and we need dangerous shows."
In 2013, DC Comics released a series of Watchmen prequels, appropriately titled Before Watchmen, from an assortment of creators not named Moore or Gibbons. They were met with what can charitably be described as a mixed response from fans and critics. Nevertheless, there's plenty of existing material to fuel a Watchmen series for several seasons. Then again, Lindelof and friends might not have to delve into the spinoffs to flesh out an adaptaion of the graphic novel. There's enough going on in any one of the original's twelve chapters to fuel multiple episodes. Meanwhile, DC Comics just launched the first official sequel to Watchmen with Doomsday Clock.
Watchmen writer Alan Moore has been notoriously outspoken about his disapproval for all adaptations and spinoffs, and that's unlikely to change here. Lindelof added that they're "trying to find a way to do it that honors [Alan Moore]" although they're under no illusions about what Moore's feelings on it would be. But for the rest of us, the chance to see this series given another chance at the screen, perhaps one that's a little less stylized than the movie version, is certainly appealing. There have also been rumblings of an R-rated animated movie, but that seems less likely with the HBO series in the works.
We'll update this with new information as we get it.
Warner Bros. may be wary of making more Superman movies in the DCEU, but there are possibilities beyond Man of Steel 2.
This article contains Justice League spoilers.
Despite how cagey Warner Bros. was about keeping Henry Cavill’s Superman out of most of the marketing for Justice League, we always knew that his return would be a key moment, not just for the movie, but for the entire DCEU. And while it took a few years to get there, the final act of Justice League makes it pretty clear that the studio is finally ready to give audiences a classic interpretation of the character. Or, they would be, if Superman hasn’t been such a difficult business proposition on screen over the last decade or more.
The good news is that Henry Cavill is still contracted for one more time in the cape. The bad news is that Justice League fell well short of expectations at the box office for its opening weekend, making it the fourth troubled Superman movie in the last 11 years. This is certain to have ramifications for the entire DCEU slate going forward (Justice League 2 has no release date), and the implications for the Last Son of Krypton aren’t particularly encouraging. There's not much reason for Mr. Cavill to stick around at the moment.
The simplest proposition, Man of Steel 2, seems the least likely to happen. Even the most ardent Superman fan will likely agree that an earthbound Superman story revolving around Metropolis and the Daily Planet is going to be a tough sell. After all, once you’ve done two full blown alien invasions, it’s tough to follow that. Cramming Superman’s death and return into two movies where he was relegated to co-star not only robbed that big story of the spotlight it deserves, but lowers the stakes for the character in the future. Once you’ve beaten death, what’s left?
While it would be great to see a Justice League 2that centers Superman as the leader and inspirational figure that the current film hinted at, it doesn’t seem likely right now. If the Flashpoint movie still ends up getting made (this has no director and no release date, so don’t hold your breath), there’s a chance we could see a version of Superman who was raised in captivity by the government from the moment he landed on Earth. There has been idle chatter about adapting Red Son, which deals with a Superman who grew up in the Soviet Union, and the attendant world-changing ramifications that would bring. Neither of these non-traditional takes sounds terribly appealing to Superman fans waiting for a Richard Donner-esque return to glory.
But it would be a mistake for Warner Bros. to turn their backs entirely on Superman. They just need to adjust their thinking a little. These are some low risk ways they can get one more flight from Henry Cavill, continue to exploit their shared universe of the DCEU, and use Superman to introduce (or reintroduce) characters.
Take Him Off-World
The DCEU hasn’t been shy about playing up Superman’s inherently alien nature and the “stranger in a strange land” elements of the character. Getting him out of Metropolis and out into the cosmos where he can cut loose will help mitigate any fears that audiences won’t accept another “traditional” Superman movie. By doing this, Warner Bros. could help reinvigorate a far more toxic franchise.
Green Lantern Corps currently has a 2020 release date, but little else. The intention is for GLC to play up the interstellar nature of the Corps, and keep the action away from Earth. Writer Elliot S! Maggin often played with the idea that Superman was a source of fascination for the Guardians of the Universe on Oa, and his classic Bronze Age story “Must There Be a Superman?” in which the Guardians worry that Superman is interfering with the proper development of human civilization, would be the perfect jumping off point to get Supes into space. There’s your first act, and then Kal-El and the Corps can go to town on the alien menace of your choice.
Adding Superman to the Green Lantern Corps movie (I’m not suggesting giving him a ring, calm down) hits three important DCEU notes. Moments of it can be a loose adaptation of a classic DC Comics story (they love doing this), it removes Green Lantern Corps even further from the DOA 2011 Green Lantern movie, and the theme of Superman wondering whether he can do more good out in the cosmos rather than potentially stunting humanity’s growth would be in line with the sometimes somber tone of the DCEU.
On a similar note, WB could use Superman to solve one of the problems they caused in Justice League. Steppenwolf was a woefully underdeveloped villain, and Jack Kirby’s epic (in the actual sense of the word) Fourth World and New Gods concepts weren’t well served on screen. If we’re ever going to see Darkseid, we need to care about the war between the planets New Genesis and Apokolips, and in order to do that, they need screen time.
Several of Jack Kirby’s earliest Fourth World stories involved Superman coming into contact with various New Gods and Forever People, and his longing to be among beings who are more like him. Let Orion and Lightray come to earth to enlist Superman’s aid in their cosmic war, similar to how these concepts were introduced in Superman: The Animated Series. Superman becomes the audience’s POV character, we no longer have to worry about him automatically being the most powerful person in the room all the time, and the DCEU can properly introduce Darkseid without having to stage yet another invasion of Earth.
In any case, I would swim through lava to watch a Guillermo Del Toro directed New Godsmovie, with or without Superman. I have been trying to will this into existence for years. Please help me. Anyone. It’s becoming a problem.
Team Him Up With Established Stars
Even without Justice League 2 being a priority, there are plenty of stars in the orbit of the DCEU. Dwayne Johnson has long expressed a desire for his Black Adam to “throw down” with someone like Superman, and Johnson and Cavill have made some teasing posts on social media together. Johnson’s Black Adam will no longer be introduced in 2019’s Shazam movie, and instead has a standalone movie of his own coming.
But despite the star power of Johnson, Black Adam isn’t the most recognizable character in DC’s stable (for that matter, neither is Shazam these days), but Superman certainly is, and an easier match for a team-up (or throwdown) than say, Batman. Check out the Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam animated movie for a natural way to let these characters bolster each other. The Rock is often referred to as “franchise viagra” and, frankly, Superman’s box office takings have been stuck at about half-mast.
Although my personal dream would be to re-team Superman with DC’s two safest cinematic bets: Batman (whoever he may be) and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman. The DCEU loves adapting the broad strokes of classic comic stories, so a big screen version of the Watchmen creative team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “For The Man Who Has Everything” would tick all the appropriate boxes, without the pressure of it being a full blown Justice League sequel (which at the moment seems about as improbable than Man of Steel 2).
“For the Man Who Has Everything” is the superhero story that has everything. A powerful alien puts Superman into a hallucinatory coma, causing him to live in a dream world where he grew to maturity on a Krypton that never exploded, all while Batman and Wonder Woman fight for their lives. This could play almost like Inception (or a Twilight Zone episode) with superheroes, and it would allow another big screen appearance for Krypton, the visual and world-building highlight of Man of Steel. In a way, this story, which forces Superman to confront and make peace with his guilt at being the sole survivor of his world, would feel like a fitting sendoff for Henry Cavill’s Superman.
The full DC superhero movie release schedule can be found here. Maybe we'll get a Superman story added to it one of these days.
You've met the Justice League on screen, but there are so many more characters who have made up the roster.
In comics, many different versions of the Justice League (or the Justice League of America) have thrilled super hero fanatics for generations and there have been many different comic book rosters that have been billed as the Justice League. Some of these rosters have become the stuff of comic book legend while others are fascinating looks at the trends that made up each era of super hero action. And of course, some rosters are just downright silly.
So let's hop into our time bubbles and take a look at some of the more memorable eras of DC’s greatest team..
Before we begin paying tribute to the greatest (and not so greatest) League lineups, we have to acknowledge the super team that started it all – the Justice Society of America. Starting in All-Star Comics #3 (1940), the Justice Society set the standard for the super hero team.
Most JSA stories began with the team gathering to face some crisis, breaking off individually (usually with the artist of the hero’s strip drawing that chapter of the adventure), and coming back together to solve the problem. Think of the JSA as the prototype of what would become the Justice League (and the Avengers for that matter). DC put its biggest stars in the Justice Society including Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, Wildcat, Doctor Fate, Spectre, Johnny Thunder, Starman, Hourman, Doctor Mid-Nite, and many more. Black Canary and Mister Terrific also joined the team, but oddly, the Golden Age DC relegated Superman and Batman to honorary members that barely shared the spotlight with the JSA.
The Original Justice League of America
When DC began its superhero revival of the late '50s and early '60s the company reintroduced such classic characters as Flash, Green Lantern, Atom, and Hawkman. Each successive revival showed the world that superheroes were back in vogue after the near death of the genre in the early '50s, and the next logical step was to put DC’s new champions in a new super team. The Justice League of America introduced in The Brave and the Bold #28 (1960) was a gathering of DC’s greatest and most beloved heroes. Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter joined with the old DC stalwarts Aquaman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman to form the greatest collection of colorful crime fighters the modern era ever witnessed. Flash and DC’s newer heroes took center stage with Superman and Batman rarely even appearing on covers in those early years. The team faced such menaces as Starro the Conqueror, Despero, Kanjar Ro, the Key, and many more adversaries that would all go on to become DC staples.
Soon, Hawkman, Atom, and Green Arrow would join the party as the legend the Justice League of America continued to grow. In Justice League of America #21 and #22 (1963), the new Justice League met the Justice Society for the very first time. This team up of champions from two eras became an annual event as the length and breadth of the DC universe grew in every issue of the JLA. The era wrapped up after Black Canary moved to the Justice League’s Earth 1 from the JSA’s Earth 2. Between the villains introduced, the constant journeys to Earth 2, and the interplay between members of the JLA, the original Justice League contained some of the most timeless and legendary stories of the Silver Age.
The Satellite Era
The era nostalgically known as the Satellite Era began in Justice League of America #78 (1970) and saw the team grow to a tremendous size as the DC Universe continued to evolve and mature. From their satellite in orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, the League protects humanity. Joining the original Leaguers were Elongated Man, the Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, Zatanna, Firestormm and kinda sorta the Phantom Stranger.
This era is legendary for crossovers with not only the classic JSA, but encounters with then forgotten heroes like the original Seven Soldiers of Victory, the Quality Comics heroes of Earth X (an Earth where Nazi rule the modern age, soon to be the setting of the next CW DC crossover), and the heroes of Earth S (Shazam). As huge as all these crossovers were, this era is best known for the personal interactions between Leaguers. From the romance between Black Canary and Green Arrow to the League helping Red Tornado find his humanity to young Firestorm trying to prove his worthiness to his seasoned team ups and to the constant friendships between Green Arrow and Green Lantern, Green Lantern and Flash, Flash and Elongated Man, and Hawkman and Atom. Not to mention the begrudging friendship between lefty leaning Green Arrow and the right leaning Hawkman, the satellite era of the Justice League defined the interpersonal dynamics of DC’s main pantheon for generations to come.
I can still hear Ted Knight’s narration: “Meanwhile…at the Hall of Justice!”
The Super Friends debuted in 1973 on ABC and lasted 9 seasons. Super Friends was a kid friendly cartoon that featured the adventures of Superman, Batman, Robin, Aquaman, and Wonder Woman. Joining the League was, at first, kid sidekicks Wendy and Marvin and later, super powered sidekicks the Wonder Twins. Over the years, Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern, and Atom were brought in and out of the show while the show’s producers Hanna Barbara created a core team of diverse heroes like Apache Chief, Samurai, Black Vulcan, and El Dorado.
The most beloved era of the show came when they took on the Legion of Doom as Challenge of the Super Friends. Ask any fan of a certain age, and they'll tell you that Super Friends was vitally important to super hero history and made them fall in love with the DC pantheon.
The Detroit League
Trying to catch onto the trend of young, hip, diverse super teams begun by the X-Men and the Teen Titans, DC decided to drastically alter the Justice League roster. Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Firestorm were replaced by long time Leaguers Aquaman, Zatanna, Martian Manhunter along with new members Vibe, Gypsy, Steel, and Vixen. This team made its debut in Justice League of America Annual #2 (1984) and was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton. This new League didn't operate 22,300 miles above Earth but in the heart of the great city of Detroit. Everything about this League was scaled back and the
DC fans at the time did not really take kindly to this transition away from the Justice League of old. Vibe's dialogue is still cringeworthy and the fact that the most popular League members were MIA did not exactly win the hearts of the 1984 DC faithful. In a few short years, DC would abandon the Detroit League as a failed experiment, but, the fact that Vixen, Gypsy, Steel, and Vibe live on as beloved parts of CW’s Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Arrow speaks to the durability of these magnificent characters that were once deemed disposable.
The Bwah-Ha-Ha Era
When the Detroit League was put out to pasture, that team of heroes that somewhat failed to win over the hearts of fans was replaced by one of the most beloved Justice League teams of all time. Superman and Wonder Woman were still absent, but Batman was back along with a hilarious grouping of unexpected heroes that formed the most dysfunctional super hero team of all time.
Created by JM DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Kevin Maguire in Justice League #1 (1987), the roster of this new Justice League that would soon be known as Justice League International consisted of Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, a new female Asian Doctor Light, Doctor Fate, Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle, and Guy Gardner, and soon after the team formed, Booster Gold, the armored Russian Rocket Red, Captain Atom, Fire, and Ice would join. The team would spin off into Justice League Europe as Giffen and DeMatteis built a world of super hero parody that also had a huge heroic heart. Despite the humorous tone, underutilized heroes like Captain Marvel and Mister Miracle were given the Justice League spotlight as the legend of the Justice League continued to grow, albeit in a very wacky direction. Bwah-ha-ha, indeed.
The Core 7 Returns
After a failed "Extreme Task Force" era, DC took the Justice League back to its roots with JLA #1 (1997). Gone were morts like Mystek and Triumph as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter gathered again as the JLA, which seemed more like a pantheon of gods than a team of superheroes.
During his time as writer, Grant Morrison introduced huge ideas for the League to face. Morrison may have had Wally West as Flash and Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern (along with the electric blue Superman), but none of that mattered because the Justice League was once again the center of the DCU. In addition to the Big 7, this era added Zauriel, Big Barda, Orion, Huntress, Oracle (Barbara Gordon), Steel (John Henry Irons), Plastic Man, Aztek, Tomorrow Woman, and Green Arrow (Connor Hawke). The core Leaguers and their teammates faced Darkseid and the Legions of Apokolips, a version of Starro that only Morrison could imagine, a new version of the Key, and a new Injustice Gang led by Lex Luthor. This era pushed the boundaries of the comic art form and created a Justice League that told the world that the League is at its best when the big guns are let loose upon the DC Universe.
Justice League Unlimited
Batman: The Animated Series is probably the most important superhero cartoon ever created. Superman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond followed and added to the rich tapestry that Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, and so many more talented creators worked on over the years. How do you top this type of animated perfection? You call the Justice League. The Justice League animated series took the concept of the Core 7 (replacing Aquaman with Hawkgirl) and made a generation of fans fall in love with this very different group of super friends. The League faced the biggest menaces in the DC Universe as the cartoon borrowed from every era of DC awesomeness.
Things only got bigger when a literal legion of super heroes joined the Core 7 to form the Justice League Unlimited. Now, fans got to experience just how cool each and every DC hero could be as the new huge Justice League took on any and all menaces. In JLU, characters like Vigilante and Elongated Man shared screen time with Superman and Batman in a heartfelt tribute to the DC Universe and the results were legendary.
Justice League of America
The Core 7 fought the good fight for a long time after Grant Morrison departed JLA, and the next truly notable era of Justice League began after the Infinite Crisis crossover event. The post-Infinite Crisis era was, how shall we say this diplomatically, problematic. It started out solid enough with writer Brad Meltzer putting together a League consisting of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Black Canary, Red Arrow, Red Tornado, Vixen, Black Lightning, and Hawkgirl. Well, eventually putting together, because the first, four issues consisted of Supes, Bats, and Diana sitting around a table with photos of the eventual League and discussing the best candidates for the League as if joining the world’s greatest team was like casting a margarine commercial. But hey, it was Meltzer so the dialogue was snappy and eventually the whole thing led to a crossover with the JSA and the Legion of Super Heroes plus a superb story featuring Vixen and Red Arrow that should taught in universities, so everything ended up okay.
Brad Meltzer didn’t stick around for long and what followed was one of the most uneven and inconsistent eras in League history. A bunch of writers and heroes would arrive and leave just as quickly. Writer James Robinson took over bringing Supergirl, Captain Marvel Jr., Plastic Man, Congorilla, and a few others with him, but things kind of degenerated into a big depressing mess as Red Arrow’s daughter gets murdered and somehow Red Arrow is left high as a kite and clutching a dead cat that he thought was his dead daughter. Um, yeah. Can we go back to being 22,300 miles above Earth please? Robinson eventually cleaned things up a bit and crafted a fascinating but brief League team with Green Arrow, the Atom, Batman, Mon-El, Donna Troy, Cyborg, Doctor Light, Starfire, Congorilla, and the Guardian. This lineup is notable because of the use of former members of the Teen Titans, especially Cyborg, who, as we know, would be inseparable from the Justice League for years to come. If you’re curious about when exactly Cyborg become part of Justice League lore, here you go.
The New 52
In 2011, post-Flashpoint, the DC Universe was rebooted and leading the way, as always, was the Justice League. Taking the concept of the Core 7 into DC’s new reality, writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee put together a newly designed Justice League consisting of old stalwarts Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Flash, Aquaman, along with Cyborg. The New 52 Justice League started out with a bang, taking on Darkseid and ushering in a new heroic reality for a very new and very different DC Universe. With the current Rebirth publishing initiative, the DC Universe has become a sort of amalgamation of classic DC and New 52 DC, but the League established in Johns and Lee’s Justice League continues to be the Justice League, but with new Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have replaced Hal Jordan as the GL in residence. Truthfully, isn’t that what the Justice League all about? A place for new characters to rub shoulders with the greatest icons in comics!
Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming Justice League movie!
This article contains some Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers.
This is the one that the DC Extended Universe is building towards. Five years after The Avengers showed us that it was possible to pull off a non-mutant superhero team on the big screen, we'll finally see a JusticeLeaguemovie. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder has wrapped filming on Justice League (with an assist from Joss Whedon), from a script by Batman v Superman's Chris Terrio.
According to recent reports, Justice League clocks in at a lean 121 minutes, making it the shortest DCEU movie so far!
Justice League Poster
While Justice League has already arrived, the promotional endeavor for the film continues with an interesting redux on a familiar poster.
While the film's addition of the previously-deceased Superman probably stands as one of the worst-kept spoilers in cinematic history, Warner/DC tended to dance around the notion leading up to the release. However, the now-famous quasi-painted Alex Ross-style Justice League member portrait posters, which previously omitted Superman, now has a post-release counterpart that includes the Man of Steel himself, finally showing the completed hero lineup.
You can view the larger version in our gallery.
Justice League Trailer
Check out all the footage from Justice League released so far...
We get our best look yet at Steppenwolf in this international trailer.
Justice League Movie Release Date
Justice League is scheduled for a November 17th, 2017 release. The complete DC superhero movie release calendar can be found here.
Justice League Movie Villain
In order for the Justice League to form, they need a threat with power levels that only a team of heroes could take down, right?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made it pretty explicit that Darkseid is on his way to this world, and there were several visual cues for those who are interested. We broke those down (along with lots more comic references in the movie) right here. But he isn't the villain of the Justice League movie. A deleted scene from Batman v Superman released online offered a look at a monstrous creature on a Kryptonian ship, who turned out to be another Fourth World related despot (and Jack Kirby creation), Steppenwolf.
Steppenwolf is basically Darkseid's cousin, a powerful warrior from Apokolips who wields a pretty crazy energy axe.
Ciaran Hinds (you may know him as Mance Rayder on Game of Thrones which makes him a particularly cool choice for this part) is playing Steppenwolf in the film, and the actor spoke about how they got him into character. "Basically they’re going to construct something, digitally, and then they will use my eyes and mouth,"the actor told The Independent. Hinds describes Steppenwolf as "old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to Darkseid, [but] he has to keep on this line to try and take over worlds.”
Here's what Steppenwolf looked like in that Batman v Superman deleted scene:
And here's Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder. You may start your Photoshop engines accordingly...
It's still inevitable that we'll see Darkseid in these movies, and he'll probably still be a presence in the first one. DC Comics used him as the catalyst for the formation of the Justice League in the current comic book series. He's a pretty big gun to burn this early, though, so holding him back for Justice League Part Two sound about as logical as anything else we've heard.
Hit the next page for more info on the cast and story!
The live-action/animated Peter Rabbit reboot film stars James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson and Rose Byrne.
Peter Rabbit, the 2018-scheduled live-action/animated hybrid reboot movie of the long-esteemed children’s book series by author Beatrix Potter, has corralled an impressive mixed-media cast with James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Rose Byrne, Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki.
Here's everything you need to know about this Peter Rabbit mixed-media movie revival!
Peter Rabbit Trailer
The second Peter Rabbit trailer has arrived. This one is a little more focused on the traditional dynamic of Beatrix Potter’s mythology, centered on the comically escalating feud between James Corden’s Peter and Domhnall Gleeson’s farmer McGregor.
While the McGregor is amorously enamored with his new neighbor, Bea (Rose Byrne), he doesn’t quite share her view that Peter and his gang of wild animals should have crop-pilfering free reign over their collective properties. Thus, a secret war of sorts is ignited, with McGregor making constant attempts to skewer and/or squash his pointy-eared enemy and Peter tapping into his inner Kevin McCallister to set clever house traps for the farmer, even filling his room with rakes to give him the old Sideshow Bob treatment.
The first Peter Rabbit trailer introduces us to the reboot film’s new version of Peter, voiced by late-night talk show host James Corden, seemingly portraying a loquacious, immensely extroverted manifestation of the classic children’s book character with extremely magnified personality attributes.
While the old stories typically depicted Peter’s stealthy exploits to steal the crops of Mr. McGregor, this Peter takes purloining produce to a level far beyond that simple concept, invading the farmer's home to host a party filled with fellow animals while he's away. However, upon the inevitable return of McGregor (played in live-action form by Domhnall Gleeson), things get insanely awkward, seemingly setting the tone for the picture.
Peter Rabbit Release Date
Peter Rabbit will emerge from its proverbial hole of post-production for a release on February 9, 2018.
Peter Rabbit Story
Per the official synopsis.
Peter Rabbit, the mischievous and adventurous hero who has captivated generations of readers, now takes on the starring role of his own irreverent, contemporary comedy with attitude. In the film, Peter’s feud with Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson) escalates to greater heights than ever before as they rival for the affections of the warm-hearted animal lover who lives next door (Rose Byrne). James Corden voices the character of Peter with playful spirit and wild charm, with Margot Robbie, Elizabeth Debicki, and Daisy Ridley performing the voice roles of the triplets, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail.
Peter Rabbit Poster
Here’s a promo poster for Peter Rabbit, which touts its previous (subsequently expedited,) animal-apropos Easter release window.
Peter Rabbit Cast
James Corden, late-night talk show host and karaoke carpooler, will voice the title role of Peter.
Domhnall Gleeson (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Revenant, Ex Machina) will play perpetual crop-theft victim Mr. McGregor. Much of the Peter Rabbit mythos centers on the rabbit's adventures in Mr. McGregor’s garden, typically resulting in a fast-paced pursuit through the patch. However, since McGregor is conventionally depicted as an old man, the 34-year-old Gleeson will put a more youthful spin on the classic farmer foil.
Rose Byrne (X-Men: Apocalypse, Neighbors, Damages) will play Bea.
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad, Focus), Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Murder on the Orient Express) and Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) also provide their voices for roles.
Peter Rabbit Crew
Peter Rabbit will be directed by Will Gluck, helmer of the 2014 Annie remake (which also co-starred Rose Byrne), along with 2011 rom-com Friends with Benefits, 2010 Emma Stone-starring comedy twist on Nathaniel Hawthorne Easy A and 2009 male cheerleader comedy Fired Up!. Gluck works off a screenplay by Rob Leiber (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), which the director himself revised.
Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!
Justice League 2 might take some time to get off the ground, but we outline some possible scenarios that could help.
The box office numbers on Justice League are in, and the prognosis isn't good. Not only did what should have been the crown jewel in the DCEU fail to crack $100 million in its opening weekend, its final numbers may see it losing between $50 and $100 million for Warner Bros, according to some reports. But as David Crow detailed here, just because Justice League is off to a rocky start, it is far from the end of the DCEU.
It's going to be a difficult road, though. We're likely to lose Ben Affleck as Batman sooner than later, and with nothing else on the DCEU calendar for him at the moment, we may have seen the last of Henry Cavill's Superman, too (although we're holding out hope he does at least one more). Then there's the studio itself to consider, which isn't in the business of losing money, no matter how beloved the IP may be. The DCEU's continued existence is assured thanks to Aquaman, Wonder Woman 2, and probably Shazam. But at the moment, a traditional Justice League 2 seems unlikely, but that doesn't mean that we won't get more Justice League adventures on the big screen.
Keep in mind, this isn't a wishlist of stories I want to see the most or directions I want the DCEU to go. Instead, it's what I consider to be a realistic path to keeping the Justice League franchise on screen based on what's already been done, what's currently in development, and what might ease the studio's fears.
Justice League 2
Just to be thorough, I am obligated to at least discuss the most likely scenario for a traditional sequel first, but then there are other possibilities to team up the DCEU heroes that might be a little less risky.
So with that in mind, expect an expansion of what we saw in that Justice League post-credits scene: the League needs to take on the DCEU version of the Secret Society of Super Villains. A team of supervillains offers a key point of difference between the DCEU and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Frankly, DC has a better stable of villains all around, and Marvel has been almost completely unable to produce memorable movie baddies so far. Rather than setting the League against another cosmic menace full of earth shaking destruction and mediocre CGI, a team vs team dynamic, full of globe trotting side missions for each of the heroes, would not only feel remarkably like vintage Justice League comics, but would eliminate any grumbling about trying to keep up with the competition.
What, you were expecting Darkseid? Maybe this was the plan when Justice League was still being conceived as a two-part movie, but that long ago fell by the wayside, and at the moment, Justice League 2 doesn't even have a spot on the DC superhero movie release date calendar. Sorry, folks, there is little chance that even if Justice League 2 gets made that they go with yet another alien invasion angle after using that in both Man of Steel and Justice League, not to mention with Marvel about to corner the big purple bad guy market with Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4.
From a more practical standpoint, we’ve seen how flat a Fourth World villain can fall without any kind of actual context for him, and they can’t waste that Darkseid bullet. This is the most powerful villain in the entire DC Universe (and along with the Joker, the best they have), so they can’t blow it. It’s gonna take time to get there. Meanwhile, I have a shortcut to introducing Darkseid involving Superman, which you can read about here.
Of course, at the moment, with such a poor box office showing, it’s unlikely we’re going to see the words “Justice League” again atop a marquee any time in the near future. But that doesn’t mean the end of the DCEU, or even that a reboot of the shared universe is at hand. Warner Bros. will just need to think outside the traditional team/event movie. Think more Spider-Man: Homecoming or Thor: Ragnarok than Avengers: Infinity War in terms of utilizing its major players for team-ups.
Speaking of unlikely, the Flashpoint movie still doesn’t have a director or release date, although it did recently bring someone on as writer, so that’s good. But with DC Films co-chair Geoff Johns still expressing enthusiasm over the project (which makes sense, as he wrote the source material) it may be tough to pronounce this one completely dead. In any event, I wouldn't put too much stock in the idea of using this to reboot elements of the DCEU, although it could help explain a recasting or two down the road.
For those who don’t know, Flashpoint is the story of how Barry Allen, frustrated by the fact that his father is in prison for the murder of his mother (which he didn’t commit), goes back in time to prevent it from happening. When he returns to the present, he finds reality has changed in unexpected ways. Chief among these is that the world is on the brink because of a war between Themyscira and Atlantis (there’s your Wonder Woman and Aquaman connection), Superman has been raised in captivity by the government and is kind of a mess (these movies finally stopped abusing Superman, so why start again now), and Bruce Wayne was killed by a mugger as a child, so Thomas Wayne is Batman (there’s your Batman without having to use the surely departing Ben Affleck).
Basically, Flashpoint is a Justice League movie in all but name. Hell, the best adaptation of Flashpoint to date was the Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox animated movie, just in case you had any doubt on which end of the spectrum this falls on. It’s absolutely a Flash story, but one with plenty of room for the Justice League to play a significant role.
There are some problems with this scenario, starting with the lack of a release date. The earliest we could see it is 2020, after Wonder Woman 2 and Aquaman. The Flashpoint reality is kinda dystopian and our heroes don’t act the way we expect them to, so we’d be right back to the kind of DCEU tonal issues that Justice League worked so hard to correct. This might work as a way to burn off some contractual obligations, but it might be a hard sell to audiences, and that might make the studio especially cautious.
On the other hand...
Throne of Atlantis
Aquaman has already finished filming, so his future in the DCEU is, for the moment, as secure as Wonder Woman’s. If Aquaman is a Wonder Woman style success story (and let’s face it, Wonder Woman is by far the biggest success story the DCEU has produced so far), sequels will follow. There's word that Warner Bros. is really confident in the work James Wan has done on Aquaman’s solo movie, so that's a good sign.
In Aquaman, we’re going to meet Arthur’s half brother, Orm, played by Patrick Wilson. Nothing says underwater palace intrigue like an evil half brother. But with the assumption that Aquaman is going to spend its running time fleshing out Atlantean mythos, and focusing on Arthur coming to terms with the heritage he appeared to struggle with in Justice League, there's still a bigger story to tell in the sequel.
Throne of Atlantis is an excellent story, and one of the definitive modern Aquaman tales. In it, forces conspire to force a war between Atlantis and the surface world. Orm is leading the forces of Atlantis against us, so Arthur enlists the help of the Justice League to fight them off.
Just as Flashpoint is a Flash story that happens to feature other DC superheroes, Throne of Atlantis is absolutely an Aquaman story, but one that can also function as a stealth Justice League sequel. It would make sense for heavy hitters like Wonder Woman, Superman, Flash, or Cyborg, to help with the war effort, and if Batman can’t be there (because for real, Ben Affleck is almost certainly not coming back) his absence could be explained by, I dunno, an urgent need to repair the bilge pumps in the Batcave or something. In this scenario Throne of Atlantis is basically Aquaman 2, but one that can remind fans that the DCEU is still healthy by utilizing other heroes, but without the pressure (and at the moment, let's face it, negativity) that comes with the Justice League name.
In any case, the core Justice League characters are iconic enough that watching any previous DCEU films shouldn't be a barrier to entry if JL members start showing up elsewhere. Having a shared universe doesn't mean these movies have to as heavily serialized as the MCU, and the superhero genre is infinitely more well established than it was a decade ago. The Justice League and the DCEU can endure...at least for now.
Follow Mike Cecchini on Twitter for even more baseless DCEU speculation.
Doomsday Clock updates some more Charlton Comics characters for the Watchmen world.
Watchmen is an unassailable classic, hailed for both its ability to deconstruct the entire superhero genre and for giving its characters such original traits and tics. And while it's certainly not required knowledge in order to appreciate Watchmen in all its glory, it's worth noting that all of the book's key characters were adapted from relatively obscure heroes who, at the time, hadn't been published in years. By 1983, DC Comics had acquired the defunct Charlton Comics library of characters, and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' initial intention was to use these heroes to tell the story of Watchmen. Rorschach was Steve Ditko's The Question, Nite Owl was Blue Beetle, Dr. Manhattan was Captain Atom, the Comedian was The Peacemaker, etc. In fact, the original pitch for Watchmen was called "Who Killed the Peacemaker?"
So with Doomsday Clock, the first sequel to Watchmen, the creative team of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continued the tradition of mining the Charlton library to introduce new characters. "One thing that I thought Alan and Dave did so beautifully was they took these echoes of Charlton characters and one of the things that frees Gary and I up to do the story is to introduce new characters," Geoff Johns told reporters at New York Comic Con.
Two of the new characters in question are a pair of escaped supervillains called the Mime and the Marionette. And just like all the other key players in the Watchmen universe, they come from the pages of old Charlton Comics.
"There are these old Charlton characters called Punch and Jewelee that kind of became the inspiration, just a touch of inspiration, just like Question was for Rorschach," Johns said. "They only appeared in one comic, Captain Atom #85, which I have a copy of now. They're very different characters but there's an echo there and I thought it kept consistency with the rules they established. The rules they established, storytelling wise and just universe wise are something that we really are trying to maintain."
These aren't throwaway characters, though. "Some of my favorite characters, like Mime and Marionette, are a blast to write just because they're so out of their minds," Johns said. "But I think also you'll learn why they're there, what the story is with their son, who Marionette when they were arrested, she was pregnant and delivered their child in prison."
Captain Atom #85 introduced Punch and Jewlee, two crooks who use high tech (possibly alien) devices to get their way. Like so many Charlton Comics of the era, "The Strings of Punch and Jewelee" has awesome Steve Ditko artwork. Punch has boots that allow him to walk on air and "sting strings" that are like electrified lassos, while Jewelee has a hypnotic gem that gives her mind control powers. These are certainly different from what the Mime and Marionette are capable of, but as Johns says, you can see the "echoes" of the original characters.
The actual Punch and Jewelee duo was also revived recently in the pages of Tom King and Mikel Janin's Batman. During the "I am Suicide" arc, which saw Batman leading his very own Suicide Squad-style team to Santa Prisca to recover the Psycho-Pirate from Bane (it's a long story), Punch and Jewelee were recruited by the Dark Knight for an infiltration mission deep into the supervillain's base of operations. The mission is a resounding success, and the duo make it out alive. We've not seen them since that story, but perhaps their analogs in Doomsday Clockmean DC has bigger plans for the original duo of maniacs as well.
It's not clear yet if there will be room for more Charlton homages with new characters in upcoming issues, but so far Doomsday Clock is off to the right start.
Director James Gunn has made a digital copy of the Guardians of the Galaxy 2 script available for free download.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 can be yours for free… in script form, anyway.
Director James Gunn, a perennial project-updating presence on social media, followed through on a promise to make the Vol. 2 screenplay available online for fan consumption by tweeting a PDF of his 140-page movie script. The film, a sequel to Gunn’s 2014 game-changing surprise smash Marvel movie, arrived on May 5 and became a box office success that kicked off this past summer’s movie season, ultimately reaping $389.8 million domestic with $473.7 million foreign.
As promised, the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 script is now online. Read it here for free: https://t.co/xXGha4EhMH
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) November 21, 2017
However, with the script release, Gunn didn’t just tweet and retreat. In subsequent posts, the director provides some fascinating insight to his written pages that not only explains his personal process, but sheds some light on the interconnected intellectual property minefield of a task that is writing a Marvel movie script for Disney.
Gunn explains that this script – the final draft – represents the culmination of a process that started on the day the first Guardians of the Galaxy was released (August 1, 2014), leading to “dozens” of personal drafts and 9 formal drafts, before it was finally finished on October 2015 turned in to the studio. While, as with any script-to-shooting process, some lines were cut and others were added via improvisation, Gunn reveals that Marvel Studios big brass did not bombard him with notes to shoehorn any elements from the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War crossover megamovie. However, he did give copies of the script to producers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, along with Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo, just for the sake of maintaining continuity.
Amongst other tidbits, Gunn discusses the film’s post-credit allusion to the Marvel’s popular cosmic character, Adam Warlock. Gunn reveals that he was well aware during the writing process that the character would not be used in the Marvel megamovies, despite playing a crucial role in the Infinity Gauntlet Marvel Comics storyline that Infinity War and its follow-up adapts. However, despite knowing it would be fruitless, he still decided to move forward with the post-credit scene – showing a familiar cocoon with Ayesha name-dropping “Adam” – simply out of love for the character, who could still show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just much later.
Of course, while Gunn’s writing process for the 2020-scheduled Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is underway, that film will arrive at a crucial junction for the MCU with 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and the temporarily-titled Avengers 4, with the Guardians joining the rest of the Marvel lineup in a long-teased battle with Josh Brolin’s Mad Titan Thanos, likely leaving cosmic implications and transformative effects throughout the mythology.
Paul Dini once pitched a Black Canary and Catwoman episode for Batman: The Animated Series. He also had an idea for a Swamp Thing story!
Paul Dini, the writer best known for his work on several DC animated series from the 1990s and early '00s, has opened up about two episodes that didn't make it into the seminal Batman: The Animated Series. As we previously chronicled here, there were quite a few ideas for episodes that ultimately didn't make it into production at Fox for a myriad of reasons.
Dini told CBR that one such pitch was a Black Canary and Catwoman episode. According to Dini, the episode was rejected because it didn't have enough Robin in it.
“Yeah, the Black Canary/Catwoman episode was a casualty,” he said. “They wanted more Robin in the series, and each time we wanted to drop him from a story, we had to fight for it. Not that we had anything against Robin, we just wanted to stretch now and then and do solo Batman stories or episodes that focused mainly on Gordon or the villains. After the experimentation of the first season, the network felt we might be leaving the boys behind, so we got the edict, add more Robin.”
It's not hard to believe that Fox would want more Boy Wonder in a Saturday morning cartoon. After all, Robin has always served as a way into Batman's world from a younger perspective. While Batman is dark and broody, Robin is traditionally a lighter character (Damian Wayne, the current Robin in the comics, notwithstanding). Fox was evidently keen on this lighter and younger perspective.
Dini didn't go into too much more detail about what the Black Canary/Catwoman episode would have been about. He did reveal another idea he had that ultimately didn't happen due to a rights issue.
“Other than that, there was a Poison Ivy seducing Swamp Thing story I toyed around with,” Dini told CBR, “but the rights to Swampy weren’t available then. I did a sort of version of it years later as an episode of Justice League Action.”
It's hard to say who owned the rights to Swamp Thing at the time, but the character did briefly have his own animated series on Fox in 1991. That series was produced by the now-defunct DIC Entertainment. It only had five episodes.
Swamp Thing finally made his DC animated universe debut in a short cameo in the Justice League episode "Comfort and Joy." He currenly appears on Cartoon Network's Justice League Action.
It's a shame we didn't get to see Black Canary or Swamp Thing in Batman: The Animated Series, considering they've both collaborated with the Caped Crusader in the comics. In fact, Batman and Swampy had a fantastic team-up in Tom King and Mitch Gerads' recent "The Brave and the Mold" one-shot in which the duo investigate who killed Swamp Thing's dad. It's good stuff! Just look at this series of panels:
"Dead is not dead" is now my mantra.
Looking for the coolest and most essential Star Wars merch to buy on Black Friday? Our Star Wars fan gift guide is here to help!
Star Wars doesn't just own movie theaters every year. It also owns the holidays! With boxsets, tons of action figures, books, games, and much more, there's no doubt that it's the perfect time to get yourself or a loved one a gift from the galaxy far, far away.
Den of Geek has gone through the catalogs and found the essential merch you need to nab this holiday, including some excellent Black Friday deals! Check out our picks below and make sure to click on the ORANGE links to go directly to the stores!
Here we go:
Black Friday 2017
Samsung Powerbot Star Wars Limited Edition Robotic Vacuum - $499.99 ($200 off)
What's better than cleaning your floors? Cleaning your floors with the dark side. Samsung's robotic Powerbot vacuum now comes in both Darth Vader and Stormtrooper designs that respond to your voice commands and even deliver your favorite lines from the movies. With the latest vacuum technology, this vacuum is a no-brainer for the Star Wars fan.
The Complete Saga Episodes I-VI Blu-ray Boxset - $100 ($39 off)
You can own both the Prequel and Original Trilogies on Blu-ray for $100. All you need now is The Force Awakens!
Black Series 40th Anniversary Legacy Pack w/ Darth Vader Action Figure - $18.99 ($21 off)
If you weren't a kid in 1977, experiencing Star Warsduring its original theatrical run, you probably missed the Kenner Early Bird Certificate Package, which was just a box in lieu of the toys you actually wanted. Neither George Lucas or Kenner could have predicted that Star Warswould be such a huge hit around the world, which meant that the toy company couldn't possibly meet the demand for the movie's action figures. The box came with a certificate that kids could redeem for four action figures once supplies were in.
While you don't have to mail in a voucher, the Black Series Legacy Pack serves as the closest thing to the original Kenner box. And it even comes with a Darth Vader 6-inch action figure. The rest of the figures are sold separately. Still, this deal is great for the vintage Star Wars enthusiast.
The Last Jedi Resistance Ski Speeder Vehicle - $23.99 ($16 off)
Get your hands on one of the newest vehicles in Star Wars. You can see the Resistance ski speeder facing off against First Order's gorilla walkers on the surface of Crait in The Last Jedi. We've not quite seen a vehicle like the ski speeder and now you can own your own, and it comes with a Poe Dameron action figure!
Black Series Rey - $14.99 ($5 off)
You probably have Force Awakens Rey already. It's probably a good idea to get the new Black Series Rey action figure featuring her outfit from The Last Jedi.
Sphero BB-9E - $121.99 ($28 off)
There’s a new disturbance in the Force. BB-9E is a menacing astromech droid of the First Order. Control your BB-9E App-Enabled Droid with your smart device or watch it patrol on its own. BB-9E houses sophisticated tech, allowing it to roll and move his dome just like on-screen, and its strong exterior allows the First Order droid to weather any battle. This vigilant and intimidating droid is always on high alert.
BB-9E specializes in keeping starships and machinery fully operational with its many features. Keep BB-9E sharp with the augmented reality Droid Trainer and explore holographic simulations from the Star Wars galaxy. Watch BB-9E interact with other Star Wars App-Enabled Droids by Sphero, and view films from the Star Wars saga with BB-9E reacting by your side. This is NOT the droid you’re looking for… it’s the droid that’s looking for you.
Leia, Princess of Alderaan by Claudia Gray - $10 ($8 off)
The never-before-told story of how young Leia Organa comes to join the rebellion against the evil Empire, from best-selling author Claudia Gray, who wrote the fantastic Lost Stars and Bloodline novels.
The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu - $10.39 ($4.60 off)
As a cargo ship rockets across thegalaxy to Canto Bight, the deckhands on board trade stories about legendary JediKnight Luke Skywalker. But are the stories of iconic and mysterious Luke Skywalker true, or merely tall tales passed from one corner of the galaxy toanother? Is Skywalker really a famous Jedi hero, an elaborate charlatan,or even part droid? The deckhands will have to decide for themselves when they hear The Legends of Luke Skywalker.
Phasma by Delilah S. Dawson - $20.19 ($8.80 off)
One of the most cunning and merciless officers of the First Order, Captain Phasma commands the favor of her superiors, the respect of her peers, and the terror of her enemies. But for all her renown, Phasma remains as virtually unknown as the impassive expression on her gleaming chrome helmet. Now, an adversary is bent on unearthing her mysterious origins—and exposing a secret she guards as zealously and ruthlessly as she serves her masters.
Deep inside the Battlecruiser Absolution, a captured Resistance spy endures brutal interrogation at the hands of a crimson-armored stormtrooper—Cardinal. But the information he desires has nothing to do with the Resistance or its covert operations against the First Order.
What the mysterious stormtrooper wants is Phasma’s past—and with it whatever long-buried scandal, treachery, or private demons he can wield against the hated rival who threatens his own power and privilege in the ranks of the First Order. His prisoner has what Cardinal so desperately seeks, but she won’t surrender it easily. As she wages a painstaking war of wills with her captor, bargaining for her life in exchange for every precious revelation, the spellbinding chronicle of the inscrutable Phasma unfolds. But this knowledge may prove more than just dangerous once Cardinal possesses it—and once his adversary unleashes the full measure of her fury.
Millennium Falcon Lego Set - $113.99 ($36 off)
The Falcon! 'Nuff said.
Plox Levitating Death Star Bluetooth Speaker - $154.99 ($25 off)
Not bound by the laws of gravity, the Levitating Death Star Speaker is the ideal size for anyone hoping to bring a touch of the dark side to their lives. The gravity-defying orb hovers and rotates over a magnetic base, all while providing 360 degrees of uncompromising sound!
Key features of the Levitating Death Star Bluetooth Speaker include:
· Gravity-defying orb rotates above a magnetic base to truly levitate
· 360-degree uncompromising sound quality
· Up to 5 hours of continuous playback on Bluetooth
· Can be used as a portable speaker without the base
This BB-8 playset sort of reminds us of Kenner's good old Darth Vader Action Figure Collector's Case from the 80s.
We put this on the list because why wouldn't you want the creepiest plush toy ever brought to the market? The Snoke Itty Bitty Plush Toy is the stuff of nightmares.
Grand Admiral Thrawn has made a big comeback into the official continuity of Star Wars since his introduction in the Rebels animated series. Now you can have this awesome Black Series figure of the ruthless Chiss Imperial officer.
Again, Supreme Leader Snoke is super creepy, and we're going to finally see him in the flesh in The Last Jedi. Black Series has given us a bit of a preview with this combo set that comes with Snoke's throne.
The Sequel Trilogy's version of the menacing red armor-clad warriors from Return of the Jedi. The design is very cool. Time to buy this action figure.
Star Wars C-3PO and R2-D2 with Bb-8 Artfx+
Your favorite droids are here in this awesome trio! Have them on your desk so they can watch you work for eternity.
Star Wars Forces of Destiny Rey of Jakku Extendable Staff
Twirl this staff like the brave and true Rey herself!
Star Wars Funko Pop! Figures
Is it really a collection of fan merch if these vinyls aren't involved?
Prep for the holidays early with this scene from The Empire Strikes Back !
In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren is going to fly a TIE fighter like his uncle and grandfather before him. This TIE fighter takes a cue from his personal transport ship.
The beloved B-Wing was missing from The Force Awakens. But don't worry! The Resistance Bomber looks like the closest thing to the classic fighter. Rumor has it that the A-Wing will also return in The Last Jedi.
A new type of AT-AT. Do we have to say more?
Everyone loves a Star Destroyer. Well, except if you're a Rebel or a Resistance fighter, of course. Regardless, how about you take a stab at building this First Order ship?
Jedi Challenges AR Experience
Duel with Kylo Ren from the comfort of your living room! Lenovo has created a new AR headset that allows you to live out some of the greatest moments from the saga. You can even play Holochess!
Star Wars x Loungefly Darth Vader Cosplay Mini Faux Leather Backpack
Go to class, work, or intergalactic missions in style with this awesome lil' backpack!
Star Wars 8-bit Character Black Hat
Reveal that you're someone's father figure, but in a retro, '90s kind of way.
Her Universe has a cold shoulder raglan style tee with The Last Jedi artwork on the front and a “tour” style list of each Star Wars film in chronological order on the back. Pretty rad.
Spencer's Darth Vader and Boba Fett Hats
If you can't get your hands on a Boba Fett helmet this weekend, you may at least get a hat with Boba on it!
This one's packed with 9 celestial bodies from Star Wars, plus the death star, a TIE fighter, and an asteroid belt!
Stick these cute lil' ones on your lapel, backpack, hat -- your choice!
Note: if you click the links in this article, our site gets a bit of support. It's totally up to you, though!
Here's a rundown of the best books to give and to get this holiday season!
Once again this year, physical book sales are outpacing those of e-books. This is no surprise as there is still nothing like the tactile feel of having a book actually in your hands. There's something about having an immensely readable tome in your hands that these newfangled Kindles and Nooks and whatever can't replicate. (Also, GET OFF OUR LAWN). And can an e-book reader freak you the hell out by sometimes having a book scorpion -- look it up -- crawl across the screen? Nope! So here's a rundown of the latest and greatest books spanning spectrum of pop culture that you'll want to be giving/getting this year.
As Commander William Adama once said: "It's a gift. Never lend books."
A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Taking the guise of a school assignment-turned-zine-turned-book, A Field Guide to the Aliens of Star Trek: The Next Generation is both a hilarious skewering of the series' lesser new civilizations and a somewhat disturbing look at the perils of growing up. Allegedly written by a troubled youth named Joshua Chapman who grew up in Dormont, Pennsylvania (though pay close attention to that Edited by Zachary Auburn credit on the cover), this title espouses wisdom on aliens ranging from Acamarians to Zibalians -- taking plenty of time to praise Data and complain about Counselor Troi along the way. However, the nerdery often veers into bizarre tangents about Chapman's negative upbringing and overbearing mother that will make you question everything you are reading and wonder if you should put down the book and pick up a phone to call a social worker. Mindfucks it seems are the true final frontier.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Art of Juan Ortiz
Despite this being the 30th anniversary year of Star Trek: The Next Generation, merchandise marking this milestone has been unexpectedly light. With that in mind, Juan Ortiz's coffee table book tribute to the series is nothing short of a valentine to the crew of the Enterprise-D. Just as he previous did in a book dedicated to the original series, Ortiz has created art commemorating each of Next Gen's 178 episodes. Some of these, like the Twilight Zone-y illustration of "Who Watches the Watchers?" play up the series' sci-fi conceit, while goofball installments like "Qpid" get the irreverent treatment you'd expect. We suppose you could say that this book is, forgive us, quite engaging.
The Princess Bride Deluxe Edition
As you may have heard, 2017 marked the 30th anniversary of the beloved film adapted from this source material. This means that now's the perfect time to buy this deluxe edition of The Princess Bride by William Goldman. Come for the story of Wesley and Princess Buttercup's undying love. Stay for Michael Manomivibul's gorgeous illustrations.
Black, Volume 1
What if only black people had superpowers? That question is at the heart of the graphic novel Black. Collecting the first six issues of the ongoing title from Black Mask Comics, this effort is a visceral and timely exploration of race relations in America from writer Kwanza Osajyefo. After a young African-American is shot by police and seemingly killed, he rapidly recovers and begins to discover secrets that could further divide a country already divided between white and black. Despite the weighty subject matter, Black remains an entertaining and thought-provoking read throughout this terrifically paced first installment. That's too rare a thing in contemporary comics, and we're lucky to have this one.
The Legends of Luke Skywalker
Disney has compiled an amazing group of authors to pen the books in their Journey to Star Wars series. In the lead up to The Last Jedi, this includes Ken Liu, the author of The Grace of Kings and the translator of Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem. Liu wrote the junior novel The Legends of Luke Skywalker, which follows a group of children on their way to casino world Canto Bight. The narrative acts as a frame for six tales about the legendary Luke Skywalker. Throughout the book, the children debate about whether or not Luke Skywalker is real or a myth. Read The Legends of Luke Skywalker with the kids in your life and decide for yourself.
Planet of the Apes: The Original Topps Cards Series
Abrams Comicarts' latest entry in their insanely beautiful line of books based on old Topps trading cards line pays tribute to the Planet of the Apes saga. Packaged in a very satisfying wrap-around cover that is a nostalgia-inducing facimile of the old wax packs, this release presents an overview of the Topps Company's relationship with the franchise before launching in to pictures of all of the card sets they've released over the years from the original film, the 1970s TV series and the 2001 Tim Burton remake. It also comes packaged with some exclusive to this release cards, which is another reason you'll want to get your damn dirty hands on this one.
Autonomous: A Novel
io9 founder Annalee Newitz’s debut science fiction novel Autonomous is a story about the future of intellectual property law, told from the dual perspectives of Jack, an anti-patent scientist turned drug pirate, and Paladin, an indentured military bot hot on Jack’s trail. While Jack works to create an antidote, the latest corporate-made smart drug, Paladin grows physically and emotionally closer to their human International Property Coalition partner Eliasz. Set on Earth in 2144, Autonomous asks the question: What does freedom look like in a culture where everything, even people, can be owned?
Star Wars: Topps Classic Sticker Book
Or if you are more into the old Topps stickers than the trading cards, Abrams Comicarts also has this companion volume to their Star Wars-themed book sets that covers the original trilogy plus The Force Awakens. If you don't want to cover your laptop or walls with these repros of the vintage stickers, you can make your own collages using the included posters that are an extension of this book's retro vibe. Rad.
Alien: Augmented Reality Survival Manual
Wanna survive the inevitable Xenomorph invasion? Then you'll need this book. Alien: The Augmented Reality Survival Manual is an in-world guide to all of the creatures and scenes from the Alien movies, beamed back to us from the future reality we see in the movies. (Maybe we should just start calling them documentaries?) This book includes both paper pages and 3D animations, sound, and vision. You know, like they read in the future...
Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies
Creating maps that illustrate the paths on which characters -- and their viewers -- take in films is such an inspired idea that its shocking something like this hasn't been done before. Indeed, this creative collaboration between illustrator Andrew DeGraff and film historian A.D. Jameson (who shares written insights on the film being reinvented in map form) is unlike any movie book we've ever seen before. Illustrations of locations and swirling colorful lines attributed to filmic favorites explode out of the page, shedding new light on 35 movies like Alien, The Breakfast Club, Clueless, and, most impressively, the Lord of the Rings saga, in the process. Cinematic cartography. What will they think of next?
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Ultimate Visual History
It's hard to believe it's been 40 years since Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind first hit cinemas, but there you have it. Celebrate this iconic science fiction film by diving into the creation, production, and legacy of the movie in this behind-the-scenes book, created in conjunction with Sony Pictures and Amblin Entertainment. It includes rare and never-before-see imagery from the filming, concept art, storyboards, and more. Special inserts include script pages, call lists, concept sketches, and more, that really bring this book to life.
The Afterlife of Holly Chase
If you’re looking for a young adult option during the 2017 holiday season, then look no further than The Afterlife of Holly Chase, the contemporary teen retelling of A Christmas Carol that you probably never asked for, but will nonetheless enjoy! The novel tells the story of Holly, a 17-year-old ghost girl who didn’t use the insight provided to her five years ago when she was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Now Holly is a Ghost of Christmas Past, helping other misers see the error of their ways and watching her friends and family move on without her. But this year, everything will change…
Star Trek: The Book of Lists
Um, not to go too Star Trek-y on this list (just kidding — there's no such thing!), here's another fun gift for the Trekkie/Trekker in your list. Star Trek: The Book of Lists by Chip Carter is full of hilarious, insightful compilations of (mostly useless) Star Trek data, like all the times the number 47 is mentioned in the Star Trek universe or the best pets in the Star Trek universe. You're welcome.
The Best of Josie and the Pussycats
Chronicling from the 1960s to today, this value-packed paperback ($10 for over 400 pages) is the ideal gift for the Riverdale obsessive in your life who is still bummed that Hot Topic doesn't seem like they are ever going to restock their Jughead beanies. This collection is not only a fascinating time capsule that celebrates times and fads gone by, but it also contains some truly oddball stories -- such a meta outing in which the Pussycats visit the Hanna-Barbera studio to see how the cartoon about them is made. Best of all, includes is what could very well the best comic tale of all-time, 1973's riff on The Exorcist "Venegance from the Crypt" in which Josie gets possessed by the devil. Seriously.
Kirby: King of Comics
Originally released in 2008, Mark Evanier's definitive comics biography gets a revised and expanded paperback edition in honor of the King's 100th birthday. This hugely enjoyable volume is highlighted by beautiful splash pages, a touching intro by Neil Gaiman, and, best of all, fantastic full-page reproductions of art that illustrate once more how Jack Kirby was the best that ever was and ever will be.
The Name of the Wind (10th Anniversary Edition)
With The Kingkiller Chronicle becoming a movie, TV series, and even a video game, there’s never been a better time to dive into Patrick Rothfuss’ beloved fantasy world. DAW is releasing a 10th anniversary hardcover edition of the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind, which tells the story of Kvothe, a magically-gifted young man who grows up to be one of the most notoriously powerful wizards that the world has ever seen. Complete with illustrations from Dan Dos Santos, a brand new author’s note, and an appendix detailing the world’s calendar system and currencies, the deluxe edition includes 50 pages of extra content. The perfect gift for the fantasy nerd in your life!
Octavia Butler, the author of The Parable of the Sower and Kindred, is one of the most important science fiction authors of all time; this book aims to celebrate her contribution to the genre. Luminescent Threads is an anthology of letters and original essays written to, for, and about Butler by writers and readers for whom her work has meant something. A follow-up of sorts to the Locus Award-winning Letters to Tiptree, Luminescent Threads is a book for anyone who has ever loved Butler, or for those who want to learn more about her legacy.
Paperbacks from Hell
When it comes to offbeat horror stuff, Grady Hendrix can both talk the talk and walk the walk. Having already written sly takedowns of the genre that are also filled with genuine affection like the Ikea-spoof Horrorstör and the YA skewering My Best Friend's Exorcism, Hendrix now serves as a tour guide to the bizarre world of horror fiction in Paperbacks from Hell. Whether focusing on books that were written to cash in on trends (Rona Jaffe's immortal Mazes and Monsters) or faithfully looking at popular subgenres like murderous animals, evil children or haunted houses, he presents an informative and at times deeply funny look at how weird/awesome scary books were during the rise of Gen X. If you get this for someone on your gift list or yourself, we highly recommend you pair it with some of the titles included within. Personally, we are dying to read the Nazi dwarf tale The Little People.
Artemis: A Novel
A heist… on the moon. Do we have your attention? The latest novel from The Martian author Andy Weir, follows criminal Jazz Bashara, one of the many struggling inhabitants of the moon’s only city, Artemis. Jazz is a contraband smuggler who gets in over her head when she tries to commit the perfect heist but falls into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself. We probably had you at “author of The Martian,” right?
Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book
We'll spare you yet another "goes to 11" joke and instead say that this tribute to Britain's loudest band is a must for fans of This Is Spinal Tap. Author Wallace Fairfax's authorized all-access pass to the band won't help you figure out how to get on stage in Cleveland, but its assortment of removable Tap memorabilia, rare pictures and interviews is enough to make you want to listen to "Stonehenge" yet again.
Imperial Radch series author Ann Leckie is back with another science fiction story set in the same universe as her Ancillary books. Provenance is a novel about a young woman named Ingray who lives on a planet called Hwae. In an attempt to earn the approval of her foster mother, she unwittingly stumbles into an interplanetary conspiracy. As you do. Exploring themes of power, privilege, and birthright, Leckie’s much-anticipated return to this science fiction world is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the holiday season.
These ARE the droids you're looking for...if you want clean floors.
Out of all the Star Warsmerchandise available this holiday season, there's one item whose midi-chlorian count is just a bit higher than all the rest. We introduce you to Samsung Powerbot Star Wars Limited Edition vacuums, which brings the Force to your house cleaning!
These robotic vacuums pay a unique homage to the galaxy far, far away and its beloved cast of characters, including Darth Vader and an Imperial Stormtrooper. In fact, these Star Wars Powerbot vaccums pack so much power that you might think they're the work of the dark side.
Check out the video below to see how they work:
The Powerbot is a smart device capable of steering itself past any obstacles in your home, thanks to its FullViewSensor 2.0. In this case, there's no need for a targeting computer!
Or if you prefer, you can remotely control your vacuum with your smartphone. You can even use voice control through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and will the vacuum will respond back to you with some of the most iconic sounds and lines from the film saga.
These vacuums are fully operational, too. With 20x the suction power, the POWERbot eliminates dirt and debris from even the most hard-to-reach places. Plus, it gives every surface a deep clean — from hardwood to Hoth.
Best of all, you can get your very own Samsung Powerbot Star Wars Edition vacuum at a reduced price, thanks to these incredible Black Friday deals:
Next time you're faced with a dirty floor, use the power of the Force to clean it with Samsung's Powerbot Star Wars Limited Edition robotic vacuums!
The Jaime Reyes/Ted Kord Blue Beetle comic is Rebirth's second cancellation.
The February comic solicitations are out, and there's some bad news for Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord fans. Blue Beetle, a comic that was vastly better than its position on the sales charts, is wrapping up its run with issue #18.
Here's what the solicit text has to say about the comic:
Written by CHRIS SEBELAArt and cover by SCOTT KOLINSVariant cover by TYLER KIRKHAMRetailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Includes a code for a free digital download of this issue.It’s chaos at Kord Industries as Jaime helps Ted install a new A.I. system, only to have it come online and seize control of the facility. Trapped inside the building, Blue Beetle is put to the ultimate test, battling a hostile entity that turns every tool in Ted Kord’s inventory into a deadly weapon. With his last school year approaching, Jaime could be taking his final exam.
Kolins should be a superstar. He's an impeccable art mimic who's been great in everything from Annihilation to some great Flash stories to this. And just a quick reminder, in addition to being a very competent comic writer, Chris Sebela is the guy who kickstarted a trip to a clown motel and write a book about it. Jaime has been a great Beetle, in the comics and the movies.
For more on Blue Beetle's next landing spot, stick with Den of Geek!
It's going to be awhile before we get another Justice League movie, but the DC animated movie universe is worth checking out.
In 2007, DC’s animation department announced that they were creating a line of direct-to-video, feature-length movies free from many of the constraints of regular television. It was a controversial move, mostly because the most recent forays into animation from DC had been really well received by fans - Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans had just ended, and fans were eager for more series set in the DC Animated Universe, not stand alone adaptations of comic stories.
Despite the initial trepidation, most of them have been a success. They do follow some general rules, though: usually, the Star Trek movie rule applies, where every other one is good. There are a couple of stretches of two bad or three good in a row, but over the course of the line, that’s generally the pattern.
Also, the quality of the movie is almost always in proportion to the quality of the comic it was based off of. And the more original the story, the better the movie. Let’s take a look at what are now officially known as DC Universe Original Movies...
Superman: Doomsday (2007)
The first feature in this new initiative was based on 1992’s hottest college fund investment, The Death of Superman. The story is perhaps looked back on too harshly as emblematic of ‘90s comic excess, and maybe because of that, this movie wasn’t well received.
Superman: Doomsday made significant changes to the storyline, compressing two years of stories into one 75-minute feature. It also combined all four replacement Supermen into one clone, and tweaks the relationship between Lois and Superman to add a bit of drama.
Superman: Doomsday set the tone for a lot of what was to come, structurally. The action sequences were well done, something that will remain a constant throughout these movies. It suffered because of some iffy voice acting (Adam Baldwin wasn’t great as Superman, and Anne Heche was similarly middling as Lois) and also because it was like, 50 issues of comics boiled down into an hour’s worth of movie. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it was very middle of the road.
Justice League: The New Frontier (2008)
Darwyn Cooke’s retro-Justice League origin story is one of the most highly regarded DC books of the last 20 years, and that strong foundation served the movie adaptation well. That the story works in either medium is a minor miracle. Justice League: The New Frontier mixes a noir story (Slam Bradley, J’onn J’onzz, Batman, King Faraday, and the GCPD investigating a cult) with the bright, shiny superheroics of the Flash, Green Lantern, Superman and Wonder Woman, and all comes together well at the end.
It’s all wrapped up in an art style designed to mimic Cooke’s Bruce Timm-meets-50s-art-deco-print-ads style, and the animators do a great job of matching it (something they won’t do nearly as well with later movies). The voice cast is superb, too, with Kyle MacLachlan as Superman, Lucy Lawless as Wonder Woman, Jeremy Sisto as Batman, and Neil Patrick Harris as Flash all being inspired choices, and David Boreanaz’ Hal Jordan is the best Hal ever, for at least another couple of these movies.
DC has started packaging the comics with their movie counterparts recently, and if there is ever the opportunity to grab both versions of The New Frontier, you should jump on that.
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
Remember The Animatrix? And remember how people used to try and talk themselves into digging it? And then remember how it was actually just not very good, but we were so starved for Matrixstories that we’d take anything? I do, and I guess this is a little bit confessional.
Gotham Knight was just like that: an anime-style anthology of stories written by some big names, and it was closely tied not to the comics, but to the Batman movies of the time. These six stories were supposedly set between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. They were a disaster.
Kevin Conroy is the greatest Batman of my lifetime, and I don’t think you’ll find anyone who will argue that point too strenuously. But the decision to keep him voicing Batman in these stories contributed to the tonal disaster that they were: his voice in anime characters fighting Deadshot and Killer Croc in a universe that was supposed to be “more realistic” just made me confused and a little nosebleedy and possibly a touch stupider from trying to reconcile it all. Skip it.
Wonder Woman (2009)
Written by Gail Simone (who had a solid run writing Diana just prior to this) and based loosely on George Perez’s “Gods and Monsters” story from just after the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths, this movie is widely considered one of the best Wonder Woman stories in any medium of the last 15 years. This movie is great.
It takes Perez’s story - Ares has a grudge against Hippolyta and her people, and uses his son Deimos and a convoluted international nuclear strike to try and destroy them, only to have Diana and Steve Trevor stop him - and streamlines it. Keri Russell is a great Diana, and even though subsequent casting decisions add a little dissonance with Rosario Dawson as Artemis and Nathan Fillion as Steve Trevor, the movie works just as well if you pretend that Artemis later takes over as Wonder Woman for a little while and Fillion is still playing Hal Jordan, only in disguise.
And if you’ve never read Perez’s original story before, it really is one of the best Wonder Woman comics ever, and it is regularly packaged with this DVD. This is a good excuse to pick it up.
Green Lantern: First Flight (2009)
First Flight, despite the name, is less Hal Jordan’s origin story and more yellow lantern Sinestro’s. Green Lantern is maybe the one character who has fared the best in these films, because his powers look the best in animated form. First Flight is a fun, longer exposure to that world.
There is a...lot...of killing in it, but that bothers me less when it’s Green Lantern than it does when it’s Batman doing the murdering. I think part of what smoothed it over for me is some more great voice casting: Victor Garber (half of television’s Firestorm) is great as Sinestro; Michael Madsen’s Kilowog is only second to Dennis Haysbert’s; and Chris Meloni was great as Hal.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
I’ve come around on this since I first saw it. It’s still ridiculous: this is a story about Superman and Batman teaming up to fight off a President Lex Luthor-led team of heroes and bounty-thirsty villains while they get into a composite Superman/Batman robot to punch a kryptonite meteor back into space, and that hasn’t changed or become any less silly since 2009.
But I didn’t realize at the time how great the animators did of capturing Ed McGuinness’ art style, or how much McGuinness’ art looked like old cartoons to begin with. Everybody looks like if Rob Liefeld was trained to draw in a Hanna Barbera studio in the ‘40s: absurdly overmuscled, but kinetic and bubbly and fun instead of scratchy and angular.
Narratively, this movie is still unnecessarily complex and pretty stupid, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun to watch, one of the few clear improvements on the comic source material in this series.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
I’m a bit of a Grant Morrison fanboy, so I was excited for this movie, which purports to be an adaptation of JLA: Earth 2. It is not. I mean, it has some of the trappings of Morrison and Frank Quitely’s original story, but the plot is pretty dramatically different, at least in how it works out.
Earth 2 is the world of the Crime Syndicate of America, where Ultraman and Johnny Quick and Power Ring and Superwoman are the evil rulers of the world, and Lex Luthor and the Jester are fighting to save the world. Earth 2 Luthor escapes to Earth Prime to get the Justice League’s help.
In the comics, he’s being manipulated into accidentally causing the destruction of both Earths by Earth 2’s Brainiac, who wants to capture the energy given off by the explosion for comic book science of some sort. In the movie, Owlman has allowed the discovery of alternate worlds to turn him into some sort of Nihilist John Calvin, and plans to destroy the multiverse because why not.
So there’s a big superhero fight, and here’s where my problem comes in: the League uses Johnny Quick’s speed and vibrational frequency to open a portal to an uninhabited Earth, so they can deposit Owlman and his ennui bomb there and let Owlman defuse it and live alone and unable to hurt anyone again. Batman specifically uses Quick and not Flash to open this portal because doing so kills Quick. So Batman pulls the “I won’t kill you but I don’t have to save you” stuff that lets him skate on a technicality in Batman Begins only here he does it to Owlman, and in doing so, he straight up causes the death of Earth 2 Flash. That’s a dealbreaker for me.
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Bruce Greenwood was a great Batman. Under The Red Hood is another story that was better as a movie than it was as a comic, in part because of the voice casting (Greenwood, Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing), and in part because the action sequences were fantastic. The comic was the story of Jason Todd, post resurrection, rejoining Gotham’s crimefighting community as DC’s Punisher, rounding up a bunch of mob types and eventually the Joker to get his revenge.
Thirteen Days is an amazing movie, so Greenwood could have spent his next 10 movies drooling and laughing at the audience and I still would love him, but here (and in the gone far too soon Young Justice), he’s a great, understated Batman. The fights are really top notch, though, and they're the absolute biggest draw to this movie: acrobatic, with great flow and excellent choreography.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (2010)
I first watched this right after I saw Crisis on Two Earths, so I was a little harder on it initially than I needed to be. Then again, even without my initial reservation, this is terrible.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypseis an adaptation of Jeph Loeb and Michael Turner’s second arc of the Superman/Batman comic, this one gave us Supergirl’s emergence on Earth, Darkseid’s attempt at making her into a Female Fury, and cheekbones so high every guy looked like a starving, effeminate Punisher symbol.
My problem with it stems from Batman commiting murder again - he frees Kara from Darkseid’s clutches by (ugh I hate that I’m going to type this) turning on Apokalips’ self destruct sequence with some spores or something. He tells Darkseid he’ll shut the destruct sequence off if Darkseid lets Kara go. This is the rough equivalent of Batman holding a gun on someone’s spouse and saying “I won’t shoot if you stop doing crime.” It’s patently ridiculous, and grossly out of character for Batman, and you know what? I’m still mad about it. Did not like.
Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam (2010)
This wasn’t so much a movie as it was a lost JLU episode that works Black Adam into the world, and then a collection of a few other shorts that had been released on DVDs. The Superman/Shazam/Black Adam story is fun and entertaining, and the other stories on here are pretty good.
One is a fluffy, insubstantial Jonah Hex story; one has Neal McDonough playing Green Arrow, which is probably going to be difficult to reconcile for people currently watching Arrow; another has Gary Cole as ‘70s detective Jimmy Corrigan, who becomes The Spectre. These are all fun enough to watch if you find them in a bargain bin somewhere, but I don’t think I’d spend full price on one.
All-Star Superman (2011)
All-Star Superman is tough. The original comic, by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, is probably my favorite comic of all time, so on the one hand I was excited to see it adapted, but on the other I was furious to see it adapted.
My rule for moving stories between mediums is that there has to be a compelling point to make the switch - that it would look amazing in action, or that it would bring the story to more people, or something. There wasn’t really any point to doing All-Star Superman, though. It was so peculiarly comics that I think it lost something when it became animation. It was competently done, and had I not had any knowledge of the comic, I probably would have been happy with it, even if it was a little forgettable. But I really think the comic is a vastly better use of your time and money.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011)
Like Gotham Knight, this is an anthology. But unlike Gotham Knight, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is actually good. The movie has a unified framing sequence involving Krona destroying Oa, but most of its time is spent on a collection of stories that are either fundamental to the Lantern mythology or all-time classics.
Alan Moore might not do great in the movies, but in animated form (well, here, at least...there's another attempt down below that we'll get to), his work is treated very well. Emerald Knights has two of his stories – “Mogo Doesn’t Socialize,” about the planet that’s also a Lantern, and “Abin Sur,” the story of Hal Jordan’s predecessor’s last mission (which led to the formation of the Red Lanterns). Both of them retain the spirit of his work, and fill out a casual viewer’s understanding of the GL mythos.
Kilowog gets a spotlight, and it’s as fun as you’d expect (note: Kilowog is awesome). Laira gets into a fistfight with her Dad and sets up her eventual trip to Ysmault, and there is a story of how the Lanterns eventually came to use creative constructs in their regular duties.
This is good for long time GL fans, and it’s good for people who are just getting to know the character and want more about his world.
Batman: Year One (2011)
Only once has a casting decision completely overwhelmed everything else about one of these projects, and it was here. This is a very compressed adaptation of Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s classic story. As a result, they miss some parts and pay too little attention to others because the run time is barely over an hour.
But that’s not important.
Casting Bryan Cranston as Jim Gordon is so unbelievably perfect that I can’t believe there isn’t some kind of internet petition demanding that this happen in perpetuity. It’s like JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson: it doesn’t matter how many times the story gets rebooted or how many different studios are in charge of the movies or how many different eras the story covers, there is now and will always be only one correct casting for Gordon, and that’s Cranston.
A brief note about the combo packs: I believe they used the latest printing of Batman: Year One in the combo release with the DVD, and because of that, you should buy the two separately here. There were real problems with the coloring in the new edition, so make sure you get an older version of the comic.
Justice League: Doom (2012)
I’m sure it wouldn't be so well regarded were it not for this, but Justice League: Doom reunites most of the old DCAU voice cast (Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, Susan Eisenberg, Michael Rosenbaum, and Carl Lumbly as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Martian Manhunter), so I will always love it.
It helps that it’s based (very loosely) on “Tower of Babel,” Mark Waid and Howard Porter’s story from JLA. In it, Vandal Savage uses the Xavier Protoco…I mean countermeasures designed to take out the Justice League – Batman’s parents’ bodies are stolen; Wonder Woman gets all hopped up on nanites that make her think everyone is Cheetah (and thus needs a good punching), Superman gets…uh…shot with a kryptonite bullet… You know, killing some of these dudes isn’t rocket science.
Anyway, it turns out all these countermeasures were designed by Batman, but stolen by Vandal Savage and the Secret Society of Super Villains, and everybody gets saved by Cyborg. The fights were good, while the writing was clever and changed enough from the comics that it showed Dwayne McDuffie’s wonderful grasp of the characters.
Superman vs. The Elite (2012)
Action Comics #775 (“What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?”) is a really good comic. It was a direct response to The Authority’s “if superheroes were real, they’d all be murderous assholes” attitude, and it had some really sweet Doug Mahnke art. As a restatement of Superman’s core principles, it was incredibly effective, but also fairly complex philosophically...at least for a Superman comic.
So that’s why Superman vs. The Elite is utterly puzzling.
It’s fundamentally the same story. Superman battles “The Elite,” a group of morally grey anti-heroes who reflect the dark, shitty world of today. They start killing all the villains, and Superman tries to stop them, so they fight, and Superman wins by showing them he can kill them whenever he wants, but he refuses to because he wants them to be better than that. But the whole thing is done in this ridiculous cartoony art style, like if someone wanted to hand draw a more violent Super Hero Squad Show, and it undercuts any complexity or nuance that the script might have been trying to get across.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2013)
Warner Brothers released this adaptation of Frank Miller’s genre-changing, character-breaking work in two parts, but they’re one movie and you’re fooling yourself if you treat them differently. The first part takes the mutant story, and the second has the showdowns with the Joker and Superman.
In my head, when I envision Batman, it’s always Miller’s. I like a Batman that’s massive and hulking, who carries himself in the most intimidating way possible and terrifies people just by being in the same room as them. This movie was one of the more successful ones at adapting the art style as well as the story, and the fight in the mudpit between Batman and the mutant leader is one of my favorite moments from any film in this series.
Superman Unbound (2013)
Superman Unbound was based loosely on Geoff Johns’ and Gary Frank’s story of Superman meeting Brainiac from just before the New 52 reboot, and it's certainly better than this movie. In it, Superman is helping Supergirl adjust to life on Earth and dealing with a secret relationship with Lois when a robot drone hits just outside of Arizona. It’s a scout for Brainiac, and it means the villain is coming to destroy the planet and capture a city.
The biggest crime of the movie is that it wastes John Noble as Brainiac. Also, there's a faint whiff of anti-intellectualism. And the anti-museum-ness of it. And how Superman beats Brainiac by exposing a latent mental illness.
It feels hurried, like they had a little more exposition that would have made all this feel less mean-spirited and on-the-nose, but it got cut for time. Noble doesn’t really get much to do besides gently sneer at Superman, a gross waste of the man who should have won every Emmy imaginable for his work as the various Walter Bishops on Fringe. Yes, even Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013)
It might be controversial, but I think I liked the movie version better than I did the comic mega-crossover that started the New 52. The Flashpoint Paradox is a what-if story where Barry Allen successfully goes back in time to stop his mother’s murder, and wakes up in a horrible world where his mother is alive, but Themyscira and Atlantis are about to destroy the world; Batman is Thomas Wayne instead of Bruce (and he murders), while Cyborg is the leader of the Justice League, trying to stop the Amazon/Atlantis war.
It really works. In the comics, it was large to the point of unwieldy, and tough for someone not already neck deep in DC lore to get passionately invested in, because we’d seen it before, and that robbed it of anything resembling real stakes.
On screen, though, it’s much more interesting and effective, and a lot of excess is cut away by the short run time. Michael B. Jordan is a good Cyborg, and Kevin McKidd as Thomas Wayne did a good job of fitting into the continuum of Batmans.
Justice League: War (2014)
I have a confession to make: remember how I said that the quality of the movies is usually directly related to the quality of the comic they’re based on? Well, I HATED the first arc of New 52 Justice League. Anakin burbling rage crawling out of a lava pit doesn’t even begin to describe how angry the comic made me.
So...it was tough to watch Justice League: War. Everyone in it is a monosyllabic douche canoe except Wonder Woman, who just talks like a naive 5 year old who’s just leaving the house for the first time. Yes I know that’s the point of this Wonder Woman, but she sounds like an idiot and that’s not what she’s supposed to be.
I’m baffled, after we’ve had so many good individual Darkseids that they would choose to do that awful composite voice for him, and by the time I turned the movie off in disgust, the movie was also well on its way to turning Billy Batson into a smarmy little dipshit.
Son of Batman (2014)
I don’t get why Deathstroke had to be shoved into this. He shows up exactly once in Grant Morrison’s entire run, and that’s as much out of obligation (Deathstroke is a good Robin villain, but not a good anyone else villain, so having him show up for five minutes to fight Dick Grayson as Batman and Damian was nice), so it’s not like the source material screamed for his inclusion.
But Warner Bros. just keep pushing him into other media trying to make him seem cool. Look, he worked okay in Arrowand he was one of the best parts of TeenTitans, but there is no reason to shoehorn him into the League of Shadows.
Son of Batmanmovie is okay, but Deathstroke was a symptom of its bigger problem. It tries too hard.
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
The clubhouse leader for best Suicide Squad movie right now is Assault on Arkham. It’s an original story set in the world of the Batman: Arkham games.
Nothing about Assault on Arkham is Earth-moving. It isn't even a terribly clever look at any of the characters (Deadshot, the Riddler, King Shark, Harley, Joker, Captain Boomerang, or Batman). It’s just a brief-ish action flick that’s a lot of fun and worth your time.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015)
Thankfully, the direct sequel to Justice League: War turned off almost all of the qualities that I hated, and kept up a solid action base. It even managed to make some of the douchery fun (very likely attributable to the switch from Justin Kirk back to Nathan Fillion for Hal Jordan's voice).
This story combined a couple of arcs of Geoff Johns’ New 52 Aquaman- the first arc that introduces Arthur as a serious player in the DCU, and the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover with Justice League. Sam Witwer as Ocean Master was a lot more fun than I figured he’d be, even if I do usually enjoy him because I loved him as Starkiller in The Force Unleashed.
Arthur Curry discovers his origin as a half-Atlantean heir to the throne and with the help of the Justice League and his Civil War general-esque mutton chop sideburns, he manages to stop a war between Atlantis and the surface world. I wouldn’t put this in the top five, but it was enjoyable enough.
Batman vs. Robin (2015)
The Court of Owls has been a good addition to the Bat universe in the comics, but in their first animated appearance, they fall a little flat. Damian is being willful and sneaking out to do crimefighting, and Batman wants him to slow it down a little. They run into Talon, and the Court tries to bring Bruce into the fold, but he declines (with punches) and everybody fights. It’s a little more complex than that, but not by much.
As with the rest of the latest batch of new movies, the fights in Batman vs. Robinare great. Hell, I think Talon even moved like Mugen from Samurai Champloo in his fight with Nightwing.
But the big problem here was the writing - it was a weird combination of on the nose and clumsy that took me out of the movie. Like at the end, when Talon is leading his army into Wayne Manor to fight Batman, and he’s already found out that Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same, but he walks into a room saying “End of the line, Bruce. Or should I say...Batman!” and it’s supposed to be this big dramatic moment, but he’s dressed as Batman, so it’s not really surprising that he’s deduced that Batman stands in front of him.
Or when the Court is first mentioned, it’s in a flashback conversation between Bruce and his father, after his father recites the Gotham-specific Court of Owls nursery rhyme. Bruce asks his father “Is it real?” and the conversation goes (rough paraphrasing)
“Is there a secret cabal of billionaires controlling Gotham and sending their Talon out to kill anyone who disagrees with them?”
“Well principles of mediocre storytelling dictate that that’s exactly what’s going to happen, Bruce. We didn’t even bother shading it a little.”
Justice League: Gods and Monsters (2015)
As time has gone on, DC Universe Original Movies have drifted from comic adaptations to encompass projects like this one, an entirely original story that fulfills all the promise of the feature-length animated movies. Gods and Monstersfeels like a classic Elseworlds story, a world where small changes mean wholesale differences in the “modern day” world.
In it, Superman is the child of Not Jor-El and Lara, but Lara and General Zod, found and raised by undocumented immigrants on their way into the USA. Wonder Woman is Highfather’s granddaughter. Batman is Kirk Langstrom gone full vampire.
Like the best Elseworlds stories, there is plenty of fanservice (every DCU super-scientist except Professor Milo gets some face time), but it also wisely avoids the What If trap - there’s no mention of Diana or Bruce Wayne. Just a story about a violent, cynical Justice League coming to terms with a darker world. It’s really great.
Batman: Bad Blood (2016)
Bad Blood is technically an original story, but it might as well be Batman, Inc.: The Movie. Batman seemingly dies saving Batwoman from The Heretic (!) and his gang of z-lister backup. Oh, and we find out that Talia has a plot to hypnotize the most powerful people in the world into obeying her. Dick as Batman, Damian, Batwoman, and Luke Fox in the Batwing costume all have to save the day.
Dick Grayson is my third favorite Robin, but Dick and Damian are my favorite Batman & Robin pair, and as soon as I realized that that’s what this movie would be, I got excited. It’s a direct sequel to the last two Batman movies (Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin), but it’s vastly superior in every way. The opening fight sequence might be the best out of all these movies, and even a full day after watching it for the first time, I’m still ASTOUNDED that they put The Heretic in there and didn’t make it silly or pointless.
Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)
This movie came at what seemed to be a weird transition time for DC Universe Original Movies. DC was pushing hard for everything to be Justice League related, hence the shoehorned in title and adult team. The story ended up being a very loose adaptation of the classic Teen Titans storyline, "The Terror of Trigon," where Raven's father, the lord of Hell, Trigon, attempts to take over Earth by controlling members of the League.
The end product is fairly middling. It suffers a bit from the weird continuity of the animated movies - it's also a loose sequel to the previous handful of DC movies. It's also hurt by something endemic to the Teen Titans features on this list: the story was already done better by the mid-aughts Teen Titans animated series. However, the fight scenes continue to improve over the prior movies, and that's enough to make this entertaining and watchable, even if the movie isn't really anything to write home about.
Batman: The Killing Joke (2016)
Piping hot garbage.
Oh, you want more? Ok. Don't adapt Alan Moore stories.
[Editor's note: Jim...]
Okay fine. The original comic this movie was based on was roughly 60 pages long, enough content to fill probably 45 minutes without long, uncomfortable silences to pad the length. The story follows the Joker as he shoots Barbara Gordon in the spine, then kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, strips him naked, and makes him ride through a funhouse full of pictures of her naked and bleeding out. So rather than pad it, they put a half hour of prologue on the story where they turn Batgirl into a whining narcissist with a weird hot/cold sexual relationship with Batman and a Gay Best Friend (tm). This Batman/Batgirl relationship is probably the worst thing that Timm et al have foisted on Batman continuity - it came up in Batman Beyond, and it was super weird there, too.
Ultimately, the Joker is unsuccessful in his attempts to torture Commissioner Gordon into insanity. Maybe he should have just shown him this movie. The subpar animation alone probably would have worked.
Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016)
Your reaction to this movie is going to depend entirely on how much you worship the 1960's Batman TV series. If you've never experienced it, whether you care to at some point in the future or not, you should skip this. If you liked it, if you enjoyed watching it in reruns when you got home from school, but you've felt almost no need to revisit it in more than a decade, you'll probably get a kick out of parts of this. If you adore it and put Adam West's version of the character higher than Kevin Conroy's, this movie is aimed squarely at you and the only question is how sensitive you are to pandering.
I'm being a little negative, because I fall squarely in the second group. This animated movie brings Adam West back as Batman; Burt Ward as Robin; and Julie Newmar as Catwoman; and its animating premise is "what would an episode of the old TV show look like if it was an hour long and unrestrained by being a live action tv show?" They crank the nostalgia up to 10, with the Pows and the Thwacks and the other violence-averting title cards, but they also sneak in a cloud-light but still entertaining story about Batman turning bad and duplicating himself over and over until he takes over all of Gotham. There are some genuinely inspired bits - the fact that evil Batman lifts whole lines from Dark Knight Returns is pretty funny - and great voice work from Ward and West (replacement Police Chief Batman deadpanning "Begorrah" was also hilarious), but this movie is mostly really uneven.
The animation tries really hard to replicate the TV show, and it gets a little jinky in parts, and Julie Newmar's Catwoman voice...it's not there anymore. If you loved the old show, there's probably enough here to be worth your while. If not, you should skip it.
Justice League Dark (2017)
Matt Ryan is a gem. TV's John Constantine has managed to successfully inhabit the role, from his own show on NBC, through Arrow and then here, in an animated story about DC's magical heroes banding together to save the world. Dr. Destiny the sneakily good and criminally underused villain, is causing regular people to hallucinate that they are surrounded by demons, making them commit horrible crimes against their fellow man. Constantine, Zatanna, Batman, and Deadman gather a team of mystical heroes, band together, and eventually defeat the bad guy.
This movie is a lot of fun. Ryan's voice and screenwriter Ernie Altbeck's script do a great job of capturing scumbag Constantine. The story ends up featuring Etrigan heavily, and that's always a good thing. Justice League Dark ended up being one of the best recent entries into the DC animated movie universe.
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (2017)
Despite facing the same structural weaknesses as Justice League vs. Teen Titans, The Judas Contract overcomes almost all of them thanks to much stronger writing.
The Judas Contract was one of the first movies announced for this slate, but for a variety of reasons took the better part of a decade to come out. That's usually the kiss of death for a movie, but the strength of the source material is such that the various shifts that went into it - Damian as Robin, Jaime Reyes' Blue Beetle - ended up making the movie stronger. Terra, a geomorph, joins the Teen Titans as they adjust to life as a superhero team. Turns out she's a plant, put in place by Deathstroke the Terminator to rip the team apart from the inside.
The voice work is stellar. Christina Ricci makes Terra vulnerable, badass, and creepy all at the same time, and Miguel Ferrer does great work as Deathstroke in one of his final roles. And much like Justice League vs. Teen Titans, the fight scenes are exemplary, especially the ones involving Nightwing. The Judas Contract easily ranks in the top 5 of these animated movies.
Batman and Harley Quinn (2017)
Believe it or not, this was not the first time I've ever said "Oh cool, the Floronic Man" out loud. I was kidding both times I said it, and it seems Bruce Timm and I are on the same page here.
Timm wrote this movie, and considers it a part of the DC Animated Universe proper - Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester are back in their New Batman Adventures roles of Batman and Nightwing, while Melissa Rauch from Big Bang Theory takes over as Harley. And what we ultimately get is a straight up comedy movie.
It was a little jarring at first - Harley doing the nasty with Nightwing, the casual vulgarity, the superheroine-themed Hooters style restaurant. But I'll be damnd if these folks aren't talented as hell. The writing is spot on, the action is as good as it always is, and the delivery, especially from Rauch, is outstanding. There's one fart sequence in the Batmobile that is maybe the funniest thing that's been in the Timmverse. It's offbeat, but Batman and Harley Quinn is worth watching if you're a DCAU fan.
Batman vs. Two-Face (2017)
The latest and presumably final Batman '66 animated movie is much like the first. It's clever and fun, like a really good episode of the television show. But the fact that this is Adam West's final appearance as Batman also makes it a little melancholy.
The movie shows us the '66 version of Two-Face's origin, then jumps ahead to what seems to be his last caper. It borrows heavily from the Two-Face story in Dark Knight Returns, only if you added in King Tut and Bookworm. William Shatner does outstanding work bouncing between Harvey Dent and Two-Face, playing Dent as timid and adding a growly gurgle to Two-Face's voice. The writers add in a few inspired jokes to keep the story moving briskly. And the memorial to West is touching. This is worth watching for that connection to history, and because it's well made and entertaining.
Who are the Freedom Fighters and what is the significance of the Nazi fighting Crisis on Earth X? We dig into some DC history for you.
It’s time for another crossover! This year, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow will face a “Crisis on Earth X,” a title that should have meaning to old time DC fans. Back in the day, DC would present annual meetings between the Justice League of America of Earth 1 and the Justice Society of America of Earth 2. Fans of CW’s Flash will be very familiar with the two Earth concepts and it’s just so cool to see the multiversal crossover tradition on the small screen. The comic book mashups between JLA and JSA would usually entail both teams journeying to a third (or sometimes many) Earths to avert a crisis alongside that Earth’s heroes.
One of the most memorable comic book JLA and JSA crossovers was the original “Crisis on Earth X” that appeared in Justice League America#107-108 (1973-1974) by the recently passed and already missed Len Wein and the late great artist Dick Dillin. Before we get into why this storyline was so memorable, let us discuss Quality Comics.
Who are the Freedom Fighters?
Okay, get ready for a history lesson. Quality Comics was one of the very first comic book publishers. Like most comic companies, Quality began by packaging reprints but soon graduated into featuring all new material. Quality presented its first original material in 1939 and become a power player in the neophyte comic book industry. Quality was the home of comic book pioneer Will Eisner (of The Spirit fame) who created a number of new characters such as the ultra-popular aviator team known as the Blackhawks (and how on Earth X have the Blackhawks not appeared in Legends of Tomorrow?). Quality also achieved great success publishing Plastic Man along with somewhat lesser known heroes like Uncle Sam, Black Condor, the Ray, the Human Bomb, Doll Man, Phantom Lady, a Spirit derivative known as Midnight, Red Bee, Firebrand, and many more. Like most publishers, Quality fell on hard times in the early '50s and eventually sold a good part of its library to DC Comics. Blackhawk and Plastic Man became DC staples in the 1960s, but fans would have to wait awhile for the rest of the Quality pantheon to make an impact on the DCU.
And that impact would be felt in the original "Crisis on Earth X" (see, I promised I’d come back around to our crossover event in question...so stop scrolling and pay attention!). In JLA #107-108, the Justice League team of Batman, Black Canary, Elongated Man, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Red Tornado travel with the JSA team of Doctor Fate, Jay Garrick Flash, Hourman, Sandman, Starman and Earth 2 Superman to a parallel Earth where (Holy Man in the High Castle, Batman) the Nazis have won World War II and rule the world. The only surviving heroes of this world are, you guessed, some of the old Quality Comics library of characters. Known as the Freedom Fighters, this Nazi fighting band consists of Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, Ray, and Uncle Sam. Together, the JLA, JSA, and the newly reintroduced Quality Freedom Fighters discover that Earth X’s Hitler is actually an android controlled by a Nazi computer because comics are awesome. Red Tornado saves the day and frees Earth X and another Crisis is averted in the DCU.
Yet, this Crisis had resonance. The Freedom Fighters proved popular enough to be given their own title. Freedom Fighters ran for 1976-1978 and in this feature, Uncle Sam and his crew crossed over to Earth 1 and became fugitives from the law. The storyline was never completed because of the book’s cancelation. It was supposed to be wrapped up in The Secret Society of Super Villains but that comic was also canceled because the 1970s were cruel. Anyway, the Quality Comics pantheon became part of the DC Universe proper with the original "Crisis on Earth X" and later, DC explored solo books for new versions Ray, Black Condor, and a number of the other Quality stalwarts.
There would be more Earth X goodness in the pages of DC Comics after the demise of the Freedom Fighters’ title. In All-Star Squadron #31-35 (1984), writer Roy Thomas returned readers to Earth X and revealed how the Quality characters arrived there in the first place. The story retconned the idea that the champions of Earth X were once Earth 2 heroes recruited by Uncle Sam to stop the Nazi menace of Earth X. Instead, there was an original team of Freedom Fighters made up of super obscure Quality characters that perished fighting the Axis rulers of Earth X (poor, poor Red Bee).
In recent years, in his Multiversity series, writer Grant Morrison created a modern Earth X. Morrison called this new Nazi world Earth Swastika. In this world, after Hitler dies, a Krytonian known as Kal-L the Overman takes over the Third Reich. Overman grieves for the lives lost during Hitler’s conquest but must still take on a very V for Vendetta team of Freedom Fighters made up of The Ray (who, like the version we'll meet on TV, is homosexual), an African American Black Condor, a Romani Phantom Lady, and a Jehovah's Witness Doll Man (in other words, representatives of groups the Nazis persecuted). There are echoes of Morrison's use of a Nazi Kryptonian in the Earth X version of Supergirl, too.
So there you have it. Earth X has given comic readers the Freedom Fighters, a number of unforgettable tales of a world ruled by Nazis, and a loving tribute to the legacy of Quality Comics, a legacy which will now continue on the CW as DC TV continues to play the classics and get bigger and bigger.
We have a guide to Star Wars comics that should make the wait for The Last Jedi easier!
With Star Wars: The Last Jedi coming to theaters this winter, Star Wars fandom is as alive and well as it has ever been. For comic book readers looking for more of the galaxy far, far away, Marvel provides plenty of chances to get to know characters new and old.
Marvel has published several excellent canon stories that add to both the Original Trilogy and flesh out what went on between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Here are five series that serve as great starting points for fans who can’t get enough Star Wars.
Darth Vader Vol. 1
Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist: Salvador Larroca
One of Marvel’s flagship Star Wars series is, at its best, an in-depth exploration of Vader’s self-hatred and viciousness. The series introduces some wild new villains–including fan-favorite rogue Doctor Aphra–and explores how Vader feels about transforming from Anakin Skywalker into the Dark Lord of the Sith. The first volume of the series is now complete, so this is a good time to check out the dark side. And if you want more, there’s a second Darth Vader series by Charles Soule and Giuseppe Camuncoli that takes place in the early days of Vader’s reign of terror.
Writer: Kieron Gillen Artist: Kev Walker
Sketchy archaeologist Doctor Aphra has been described by writer Kieron Gillen as the inverse of Indiana Jones: she steals artifacts instead of making sure they end up in museums. She has a personality big enough to make an impact, even when her dark snark is aimed at Darth Vader. Her standalone adventures also reveal her conflicted relationship with her father, as well as the history of her Wookiee companion, Black Krrsantan. This is a fantastic series about Marvel’s standout Star Wars character.
Writer: Charles Soule Artist: Alex Maleev
If you’re looking for a miniseries that has a little bit of everything, Landois a great place to start. With shady business deals, ancient Sith artifacts, sleek spaceships, and strange aliens, it enriches both the smooth businessman’s backstory and the Star Wars galaxy as a whole. And you’ll never look at Lobot the same way again!
Writer: Charles Soule Artists: Phil Noto & Angel Unzueta
Fans looking for a connection to The Force Awakens might want to start with Poe Dameron, which fleshes out the charming pilot’s backstory. While Rey’s story is shrouded in mystery (is she or isn’t she a Skywalker?) and Finn’s history remains obscured, along with the origins of the First Order from which he defected, Poe’s story is relatively out in the open. The series shows his time as leader of Black Squadron in the fight against the First Order before Episode VII.
Writer: Greg Rucka Artist: Marco Checchetto, Angel Unzueta, Emilio Laiso, and Phil Noto
While it doesn’t progress the overall Star Wars story much, Shattered Empirecarries some weight as it links The Force Awakens to the Original Trilogy. Starting at the Rebels’ celebration after the Battle of Endor, Shara Bey and Kes Dameron join Luke, Han, and Leia in the effort to mop up the remaining Imperials and recover a Force-strong tree. While learning about Poe Dameron’s parents is neat, this comic is also one of the several Star Wars pieces that show off Phil Noto’s warm art style.
We'll continue to update this with more essential Star Wars comics, too! What are your favorites?
James Franco discusses in broad terms returning to the superhero genre with a Multiple Man movie and praises Simon Kinberg's approach.
James Franco is no stranger to superhero movies. After all, he’s starred in three of them as Harry Osborn, the erstwhile frenemy of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man in that character’s original trilogy. However, the genre has changed a lot since Franco hung up his Goblin Glider in 2007. Apparently that has played a role in his desire to return to it.
With his new film about the enigmatic agony and ecstasy of Tommy Wiseau due out in theaters this Friday, The Disaster Artist director/star opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the early development stages of his X-Men universe-adjacent project at 20th Century Fox. Earlier this month, it was revealed in a curveball announcement that Franco is spearheading a project in which he will play James Madrox, the mutant also known as Multiple Man who makes constant copies of himself (which might also explain Franco’s Renaissance Man reputation).
While initially discussing only in broad terms his interest in developing a new superhero movie, Franco then elaborated on why he is so intrigued by what 20th Century Fox and producer Simon Kinberg are building in their X-Men universe after the success of Deadpool and Logan, and how he hopes to add to its role in the changing identity of superhero movies.
“I do have a superhero that I am developing,” Franco told THR. “I don't know how much I can say. But I will say I am producing and performing in it. It's early stages.” But he then further added while discussing his and Dave Franco’s production company, Ramona Films, “Our bottom line MO is how can we push this into new ground? A little bit, but still make it entertaining? [But] what hat I love about what Simon Kinberg and Fox and the X-Men people have done with Deadpool and Logan—it took a while to get there, maybe 10 years—but they are going to go hard R. And we’re going to take this superhero thing and really just push it into a new genre. So we’re working with Simon Kinberg on an X-Men property.”
It’s an intriguing proposition if Franco can turn the superhero movie formula into something as bitingly clever and amusing as The Disaster Artist, which, earlier this month, we attended a special screening of with both Franco Brothers. That level of insight into the man, the myth, and the legend that is Tommy Wiseau might do someone like Multiple Man a world good.
The Accident Man trailer showcases a violent romp that adapts a comic book series from the creator of Judge Dredd.
Accident Man is a comic book movie that's looking to capitalize on the ultraviolent R-rated cinematic floodgate that was lucratively busted open in 2016 by Deadpool.
The movie culls its concept from a surprisingly esoteric source in a story series written by Judge Dredd creator Pat Mills with Tony Skinner that was originally presented in Toxic!, a defunct UK-based anthology comic book series that published on a weekly basis back in 1991. The project is headlined by perennial action star Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange, The Expendables 2), who plays titular Accident Man Mike Fallon, a brash hitman specializing in making his victims’ fates look like accidents. However, Fallon becomes humbled by tragedy after his girlfriend Beth is killed. Consequently, he embarks on a violent quest for revenge.
Accident Man Trailer
Here's the Den of Geek-exclusive Accident Man trailer from Sony Pictures. True to the hype, it's a mirthful, meta-minded montage of madness that fans of the original UK comic and, of course, Deadpool, will love.
Accident Man Release Date
Accident Man will make a deceivingly accidental release to DVD and digital on February 6, 2018.
Check out the box art!
Accident Man Story Details
Per the official synopsis:
A deadly hitman becomes an accidental hero in the pulse-pounding action-thriller ACCIDENT MAN, available on DVD and Digital February 6 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on the underground British comic Toxic! by Pat Mills (creator of the “Judge Dredd” comic) and Tony Skinner, this darkly humorous and stylishly violent adaptation stars Scott Adkins (Doctor Strange, The Expendables 2) as Accident Man, a stone-cold killer who must face off against a rogue’s gallery of ruthless assassins in order to uncover the truth about his ex-girlfriend’s murder. Co-starring Ashley Greene (Twilight series), Oscar® nominee David Paymer (Best Supporting Actor, Mr. Saturday Night, 1992), and action fan favorites Ray Park (Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace), Ray Stevenson (Thor series) and Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight), ACCIDENT MAN hits its target with a lethally entertaining combination of explosive fight scenes and hilarious moments.
An R-rated affair, Accident Man utilizes the same tongue-in-cheek tone of the recent Marvel Comics X-Men series spinoff film Deadpool, showcasing similar wanton violence and sexuality.
Accident Man was directed by stunt-coordinator-turned-helmer Jesse Johnson (The Package, Pit Fighter), who worked off a script by star Scott Adkins and Stu Small (the upcoming The Pay Up). Adkins is also onboard as a producer, joined by Craig Baumgarten (Universal Soldier series), Ben Jacques (iBoy), and Erik Kritzer (All Nighter).
Accident Man Cast
Scott Adkins stars as hitman Mike Fallon. A regular presence in the world of straight-to-video action extravaganzas, the profile of Adkins’s projects has elevated in recent years. Besides his regular array of actioners, he notably appeared in the 2017 wide release thriller American Assassin, 2016 Marvel movie Doctor Strange, 2016 action-comedy The Brothers Grimsby and, before that, cemented himself as a contemporary action icon, having appeared alongside the Sylvester Stallone and company in 2012’s The Expendables 2.
Ashley Greene co-stars. While her existing comic book movie experience resides in providing the voice of Barbara Gordon/Batgirl in the last spate of Batman video games, this movie represents a potent opportunity to finally break out from the shadow of the Twilight film series. She’s coming off a role in the DirecTV exclusive series Rogue and will next appear in the comedy Antiquities.
Also amongst the main cast are Ray Stevenson (the Thor films, Black Sails, Dexter), Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite, The Dark Knight, Spawn), Ray Park (the G.I. Joe films, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, X-Men), David Paymer (The Good Wife, Perception, Drag Me to Hell) and Amy Johnston (Lady Bloodfight, Raze, Dracula: Reborn), an action-inclined stuntwoman who worked on the aforementioned Deadpool.
Russell Crowe gives hope to film fans who want a sequel for 2003’s Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
Russell Crowe’s blockbuster resume won't likely include the 2003 maritime movie, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, for the greatest hits list, due to its paltry performance at the box office. However, the film – based on author Patrick O’Brian’s “Aubrey-Maturin” novel series – was a memorable, Napoleonic Wars-set, historical epic that, to this day, has its share of advocates, some of whom have long-desired to see a sequel.
Now, with a tweet, it would seem that the star himself has breathed life into the heretofore unlikely notion.
For the Aubrey Maturin lovers , I do hear whispers indeed that a second voyage is perhaps potentially pre-proposed a possibility . So O%u2019Brian affectionate%u2019s and aficionados , let @20thcenturyfox know of your pleasure . pic.twitter.com/HqyE8y15Uu
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) November 27, 2017
Crowe has come out of the gate with an intriguing post that teases signs of life for a potential belated Master and Commander sequel. While his abundant usage of ambiguous qualifications such as “perhaps” and “potentially” in describing what is, at best, a “pre-proposed possibility,” makes this a grain-of-salt kind of idea, the pure randomness of the comment, which comes from the star himself, gives it a bit more potency.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was released on November 14, 2003, arriving as Russell Crowe’s momentum-riding big-budgeted blockbuster follow-up to his Oscar-nominated performance in the Best-Picture-winning 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind. Directed by Peter Weir (The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society), the film saw Crowe star as Captain Jack Aubrey of the HMS Surprise, joined by Paul Bettany as ship surgeon Dr. Stephen Maturin, engaging in a punishing voyage to pursue a gigantic French war vessel in South American seas during the height of the Napoleonic Wars. The film was well-received and even earned 10 Oscar nods, which yielded two wins (Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing). However, with a bloated budget of $150 million, its $93.9 million domestic gross – boosted by $118 million foreign – rendered it a financial dud by industry standards, essentially eliminating sequel prospects.
Considering those variables, the manner in which a Master and Commander sequel might get off the ground remains to be seen. Moreover, director Peter Weir, whose last film was 2010’s The Way Back, is 73 and has been out of the picture for some time. However, it’s still possible that a passion project that gets the Master and Commander band back together might be enough coax the veteran Aussie helmer back, even at his age. We’ve seen more unlikely sequels and even more unlikely comebacks. Indeed, if the buzz is loud enough, Fox will heed the (admittedly-expensive) call to return Crowe, Bettany and company to the cinematic ocean blue.
Who is Mon-El on Supergirl? We have a relatively simple history of one of the most confusing characters in the DC Universe.
Warning: This article contains potential Supergirl season 3 spoilers.
You know what my first thought was when that mysterious rocket crashed in the Supergirlseason 1 finale? I’m not joking. “Wouldn’t it be cool if Mon-El was in this rocket?” Well, guess, what? Mon-El was in that pod, and played by Chris Wood, he has been dividing the Supergirl fandom for over a year now!
You know what this isn’t? A comprehensive history of Mon-El. Why? Because that would be really long, confusing, and potentially tedious. I’m just going to hit a few high points, specifically ones that I think might be relevant for Supergirl fans.
For one thing, keep in mind that Mon-El was originally introduced via the Superboy comics (there was a kind of “test” Mon-El story that ran in Supermana little earlier, but I’d rather not confuse things further), in 1961's Superboy#89 by Robert Bernstein and George Papp. Essentially, Superboy finds a rocket with a boy who looks a bit like him, speaks Kryptonese, and who apparently came here from Krypton.
Since he has no memory, they go with the name Mon-El, as he landed on a Monday. Simple, right? Of course not.
See, it turns out Mon-El wasn’t Kryptonian at all, but from a planet called Daxam, and his actual name was Lar Gand (you know, the name his father used on the TV show). In the comics, the common Earth element of lead is as deadly to Daxamites as Kryptonite is to Kryptonians, and it doesn’t take long for Lar Gand to get sick. But unlike Kryptonite, which only has adverse effects when in close proximity, once a Daxamite has been exposed to lead, that’s it, they’re done for. The solution was for Superboy to stick poor Mon-El in the Phantom Zone, where he’d have no physical form, and therefore couldn’t die of lead poisoning. Or age. Or anything else.
Look, I’m not sure I get it, either, but that’s the explanation they gave us, and it was good enough for readers in 1961, so don’t yell at me, OK?
The cure for fatal Daxamite lead poisoning was eventually discovered one thousand years later, and Mon-El was freed from the Phantom Zone by the Legion of Super-Heroes, the team of teenaged heroes from the future that Superboy used to have adventures with. Mon-El became the resident Kryptonian-level powerhouse on the team when environmental complications (Earth ended up with faint traces of Kryptonite in the atmosphere) meant that Superboy couldn’t travel to the future to hang out with his pals anymore. The Legion still had a dark-haired, caped badass of their own, though, and Mon-El was a prominent member of nearly every incarnation of the team through the years.
Those in-story/environmental complications eventually gave way to editorial ones, which made Mon-El’s story trickier. In 1986, DC Comics rebooted the Superman mythology completely, and with that, they eliminated his entire history as Superboy. Among other implications, this meant that Superboy never spent any time in the future as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, which screwed royally with that team’s continuity. But it also meant that young Clark never encountered his “big brother” and named him Mon-El, sent him to the Phantom Zone, where he would be freed by the aforementioned Legion.
So what’s a guy from Daxam to do?
This was an enormous headache, and one that took years to resolve...and really never was to anybody’s satisfaction. It would take entirely too long to get into here, but the poor writers, artists, and editors in charge of the Legion and Mon-El had to do all kinds of gymnastics to explain things, which resulted in something like three different versions of Mon-El appearing over the course of a the next 15 years or so.
I’ll get back to one of these down below, but stick with me.
Eventually, because DC Comics continuity is a fluid thing, they allowed young Superman to have something of a history with the Legion again, and offered an updated version of Mon-El’s first appearance, one that involved a non-costumed teenage Clark Kent. It’s actually a wonderful little short story, written by Geoff Johns with art by Eric Wright. This played nicely with the elements already implied in the original Mon-El story, such as the loneliness of a young Clark Kent (who would desperately want to meet someone like him) and the inherent tragedy of Mon-El (who immediately loses the only friend he has). It's like a deleted sequence from Superman: The Movie or a lost episode of Smallville. In fact, come to think of it, how the heck did Smallvillenever play around with Mon-El considering how much of the rest of Superman's mythology it got to?
The reintroduction of Mon-El as part of Superman’s history set the stage for him to (temporarily) take over in Metropolis while Supes was busy dealing with some other stuff during the ongoing New Krypton storyline. There are several characters and concepts from New Kryptonthat have made their way onto the SupergirlTV series in various forms, but this Mon-El storyline prominently featured such season 2 characters and concepts as Guardian (who isn't Jimmy Olsen in the comics), Cadmus, and the Science Police. I wish I could recommend these stories more highly, but I found them a little talky and bland. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Now, remember what I said about that period where DC Comics editorial mandated that Mon-El and the Legion weren’t allowed to have connections to Superman’s history?
One solution was to change the very inspiration for the Legion in the first place. They had previously been inspired by the legend of how a young Superman took up the mantle of earth’s protector long before he was old enough to drink or vote. Once that was off the table, it was revealed that they were inspired by the legend of someone called Valor.
Who is Valor? That would be Mon-El...ermm...Lar Gand!
The villains of last year's CW DC TV crossover were the creepy looking aliens known as The Dominators. The Dominators were the villains of a DC Comics story called Invasion, and continued to bedevil the Legion for a number of years, as well. One of the points of Invasionwas that the Dominators were experimenting on humans in order to determine why Earth has so many metahumans running around stopping their plans all the time...and they wanted to find out if they could create their own.
So, Lar Gand’s Mon-El identity had been retconned out of existence, and he was going by the nom-de-superhero “Valor” while fighting alien menaces in our time. Valor played a major part in stopping the Dominators during Invasion, and liberated one of their superhuman farms. He then helped them colonize other worlds, and those worlds eventually became the home planets that gave birth to many of the members of the Legion, and thus “the Legend of Valor” was born as the inspiration for the Legion a thousand years in the future. It’s kinda neat, right?
Now, with the introduction of the Dominators, imagine if the CW decided to play with a varition on this story as the basis to seed a Legion of Super-Heroes TV series of their own, down the line. After all, we know that the Legion exists in SupergirlTV continuity, and the Legion are about to make their debut this year. I mean, it's pretty far-fetched, but then again, so was the idea we'd ever get to see a character like Mon-El on TV in the first place!
Supergirl has its own distinctive take on the Mon-El story, one that has very little in common with his comic book roots, which is fine. But considering that season two ended with him sent to a mysterious place, well...who knows who he could bring back with him, right?
Mike Cecchini would trade every single superhero movie coming for the next five years for one awesome Legion of Super-Heroes TV series. Hire him to executive produce one on Twitter.