marvel defenders

“The Defenders,” the fifth of the series originally announced by Marvel when they inked the Netflix deal, will include all four of the solo acts: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. There were concerns for a while that Jones would not be included, but now it looks like she’s all in. The only one question is Punisher, who is supposedly being considered for a solo series.

The other question is who the “big bad” will be. For reasons obvious to those of us who watched Jessica Jones, it won’t be Purple Man. Will it be someone with powers? A mobster? It probably can’t be Marvel’s most famous powered gangsters like–Silvermane, Tombstone, Hammerhead, Ox, Cobra, Black Cat—are tied to Spider-Man, which is still held by Sony.

We could see The Owl, though, or a war between Kingpin and Owl. Or we could see an incursion of K’un Lun into Hell’s Kitchen. There are plenty of possibilities, lots to look forward to.

And speaking of other stuff to look forward to…

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS. DC’s 2016 additions to their excellent collection of direct-to-video animated movies will include an adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke and Justice League vs Teen Titans, which will include Trigon (voiced by Jon (Punisher/Walking Dead) Bernthal! And speaking of DCV. But all is not well in the world of DC ‘toons…

JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION. Man Of Steel may have been a terrible move, and Suicide Squad is looking riskier by the day, but one thing DC does well is TV. And one thing they do extraordinarily well is cartoons. Justice League Action will be the first weekly DC cartoon featuring their flagship characters since the great Justice League Unlimited ended ten years ago. Returning voice actors will include Kevin “Batman” Conroy, James “Luthor” Woods, Mark “Joker” Hamill, and Diedrich “Booster Gold” Baker. I’m sad that episodes will only be 15 minutes—so this will likely be a show for fairly stupid six year olds, like the Teen Titans Go! reboot (which has been a huge disappointment). And that’s not the only thing from your childhood that’s getting a new coat of paint from DC…

DC DABBA DOO. DC is partnering with Hanna-Barbera to create a line of comics that will include a new Johnny Quest book by the all-star team of Jeff Parker and Doc Shaner (and it will be set in the future), and Scooby Apocalypse, which basically does to the Doo crew what Afterlife with Archie did to Riverdale. But back to the world of DC TV…

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. Have you been watching? It’s the hammiest, hackiest, most complete garbage TV fun I’ve seen since “Banshee” debuted. There’s absolutely nothing redeemable about it, but I can’t miss a second. And they’ve announced that Joe “Gremlins” Dante will be directing an episode, and Jonah Hex will appear. Deliciously stupid. My only fear is that the overacting seems to be affecting Flash, a show with a very different tone and story, because the last few issues have had the same kind of over-emoting and clunky dialog. It doesn’t work there—keep it in LoT, and keep our Flash wholesome. Please. And speaking of live adaptations of comics…

THE DEATH OF WOLVERINE. He “died” in the comics just in time for Secret Wars to bring him back as Old Man Logan, and now it looks like he’ll be dying in the movies, too. Wolverine 2 will be Hugh Jackman’s last time playing Logan, and according to the main X-writer/director, Bryan Singer, he won’t be replaced. Of course, what would be awesome would be for X-23 to stand in Wolverine’s place in the future. Or for Jackman to become Old Man Logan in the next one, but it’s hard to imagine an actor wanting to be tagged with the cinema purgatorio by alan moore“old man” moniker. Anyway, Wolverine 2 won’t arrive until 2017, so there’s plenty of time for speculation and machination.

CINEMA PURGATORIO. Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill will headline an anthology comic book tribute to 1970s violent movies, which will also feature contributions from industry greats like Garth Ennis, Kieron Gillen take on R-Rated Pokemon, Christos Gage and Max Brooks writing about an invasion of giant insects during the U.S. Civil War. It’s going to publish under Avatar’s banner but is being funded via Kickstarter.

THE VISION. If you’re not reading Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s solo book about Marvel’s most famous synthezoid, you’re missing out. It has horror-book pacing, sci fi elements straight out of Ex Machina, and a building storyline that is truly not like any other Marvel book out there right now. Check it out.

DESCENDER. Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Image Comic about robots and children—the first arc was great—has been optioned by Sony Pictures, and now Jesse Wigutow is signed on to write. He’s also the writer of the reboot of the Crow (not made yet) and the sequel to the reboot of Tron (not made yet). In other words, he’s an up-and-comer, but he did have an uncredited screenwriter role on Eminem’s 8 Mile.

ARE BOOKS COMING BACK? When I was a kid, when we wanted to read we had these physical things made of paper and cardboard where we’d turn the pages and sometimes crumbs or hair would fall out if the person who read before you was that kind of guy. Books and comics have been disappearing, to reappear as digital data, but Amazon is betting you still want to walk into a store and actually buy something. They’ve announced plans to open 400 bookstores this year. At the same time, Walmart is going to start establishing sections of their store devoted exclusively to selling graphic novels.

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