I know I just did one, but with the release of new Justice League pictures, and information about the Batman reboot and upcoming sequels to GI Joe and R.E.D., I couldn’t wait for a regular bi-weekly update . . . Also, I want to say that the critics who said Transformers 3 was good and better than the first . . . Were wrong.
Hit the break.
LET’S START WITH STUFF ABOUT THE NEW D.C.
• THE NEW JUSTICE LEAGUE. DC has released a Jim-Lee-drawn teaser. And I pronounceth it . . . Pretty cool. The main line-up are the big six plus a revamped Cyborg, who looks really keen, but in the background are folks like Hawkman, Green Arrow, Atom and Deadman. I still prefer Wonder Woman’s old outfit, though.
• THE NEW DC 52 IS NOT THE ULTIMATES. WELL, IT KINDA ISN’T. In Flashpoint, Green Arrow has been turned into a gun-wielding merc. Much like Ultimate Hawkeye. But it’s still unclear whether this Green Arrow will morph into the post-Flashpoint, new DCU Green Arrow.
• BATMAN. Scott Snyder is poised to take on a new Batman #1, but in every interview I’ve seen/read, he’s bending over backwards to emphasize that almost all of Batman’s history—and certainly all of his relevant, recent history at the hands of Grant Morrison—will remain intact. I don’t envy the position he’s in: Grant has been developing and building to something monumental, and the DC reboot-of-almost-everything takes most of the wind out from under Morrison’s wings. Fans (like me) are concerned, and feel betrayed. So even if Snyder knocks it out of the park—and I have a very, very strong suspicion that he will indeed hit a home run—we’re still annoyed because Batman Incorporated now has to go on hiatus for the better part of a year so that the rest of the DCU can catch up to whatever Grant’s big, ultimate plan is (was). I’m hoping Snyder will be the new architect of the Bat U, because his work on Detective Comics has
been the freshest, most unique take on the Batverse since, well, Grant Morrison.
• NOT EVERYONE GETS A TROPHY. DC didn’t give a solo book to Canterbury Cricket, who appeared in his own Flashpoint one-shot this week. I’m not kidding. He’s a dude who turns into a cricket. Very odd. And, frankly, stupid.
NOW, LET’S TALK MOVIES AND T.V.
• G.I. JOE 2. Will feature ninjas and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. And it might even feature The RZA as a sensei. Hey, I dug the first one in all its pulpy Larry Hama corniness. The only returning castmember will be Channing Tatum, but who cares? Frankly, slavish devotion to re-casting the same actors seems unnecessary. Did anyone even care when Alec Baldwin was replaced by Harrison Ford and then by Ben Affleck? (In fact, I think the entire supporting cast of the Jack Ryan movies was replaced—except for James Earl Jones.) I would much rather, for example, see a new Spider-Man movie without Tobey but also without an origin than have to sit through another spider-bite. Or another Batman or Superman—or even Green Lantern–with new actors, rather than yet another origin story. But it’s even less important for GI Joe, because it’s truly an ensemble production reliant more on guns N action than actors N acting.
• THOR AND CAPTAIN AMERICA DVDs. To reward DVD buyers, two new short films about Agent Coulson will appear on the DVD releases. How short? Dunno. Why Agent Coulson? Again, dunno.
• R.E.D.2. That’s all I needed to hear. Can’t wait. The first R.E.D. was one of the most underrated comic book movies of recent years. I loved it to death.
• GREEN LANTERN KINDA SUCKED. And no sooner did it fail to live up to expectations—both on content and $$$–than Warner Bros began to distance itself from a sequel. Does this mean that at least Ryan will be free for Deadpool? Or does it mean Hollywood will be afraid of all superhero movies? If the latter, that’s just stupid. Bad movies come out all the time, it doesn’t mean that you kill an entire genre.
• R.I.P.D. It’s set for release in 2013, even though they haven’t confirmed the casting of Jodie Foster yet. Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges are already on board. Mignola’s Hellboy movies were terrific, so I have high hopes for Dark Hose handling this one well.
• INCREDIBLE HULK ON T.V. Guillermo Del Toro is still working with ABC and David “Battlestar Galactica” Eick on the show.
• SPY KIDS IN 4D. The main reason to report on this movie is because it’s what Robert Rodriguez is doing instead of a Deadpool movie. A secondary reason? Apparently the 4th dimension in movie-land is smell. That’s right, smell. The film is being shot in Aromascope.
• MARVEL ANIME. The anime “Iron Man” and “Wolverine” series–based on Warren Ellis comics—are slotted for late-July on G4. Check out the Wolverine trailer:
AND IN OTHER COMIC BOOK NEWS….
• SPIDER-NAM. No, that’s not a reprint. In an extremely odd—but visually stunning—experiment, Marvel is producing a James Stokoe project about Spider-Man going to Vietnam. In uniform. I mean, in Spider-Man uniform. Yes, it’s very odd. No, there’s no release date yet. But check it out—it’s amazing looking.
• BATMAN INC. #7. This issue sees the return of Man-of-Bats, the Native American Batman from Morrison’s much earlier Batman arc “The Black Glove,” which was basically about Batman trying to form his own Justice League with a bunch of Bat-types. Batman failed back then, but Batman, Inc., is his second, much-better-organized attempt. I love the way Morrison is tying it all together. And I can’t believe we have to wait a year for the conclusion in Batman: Leviathan.
• MARVEL UNIVERSE VS. WOLVERINE. Jonathan Mayberry and Goran Pavlov hit the ball out of the park—way, way out of the park—with last year’s Marvel Universe vs the Punisher. On June 29, Marvel and Mayberry launched a second series that will take place in the same horrible post-apocalyptic zombified universe. With art by another PunisherMax veteran, Laurence Campbell, this is pretty much a guarantee must-have-in-hardcover.
• FRANK MILLER’S HOLY TERROR. Legendary Comics (a new publishing arm of Legendary Films) will publish Frank Miller’s graphic novel on September 14, 2011. This kind of comic-books-designed-to-be-movies thing could be seen as pandering if the quality isn’t there. The project was originally designed to be a Batman book, in which the Dark Knight took on terrorists post-September 11, but it didn’t work for DC so Miller made it an original concept. It will be a black-and-white book.
And finally, last but not least, even the HuffPo recognizes that comics ain’t just for kids anymore.