Posts Tagged ‘ DC Comics ’

Green Lantern- Sequel or Reboot?

Mark Strong as Sinestro in Warner Bros. Pictur...

Mark Strong as Sinestro in Warner Bros. Pictures action adventure Green Lantern. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now that Marvel have proven a superhero ensembles can be billion dollar franchises, rivals Warner Bros and DC look like they’re finally moving forward with a Justice League movie. While making a Justice League movie work is something I’ll write about a bit later on, for now I will focus on what may be Warner Bros biggest hurdle; fixing the Green Lantern franchise.

Before the original film was released, rumour has it that Warner Bros were planning on fast-tracking a sequel in order to keep actor Ryan Reynolds attached, preventing him from moving over to Marvel to film a Deadpool spin-off from the X-Men franchise. A year later, and it seems Reynolds may be out based on the critical and financial success of the last movie, meaning Warner Bros may either be planning a total reboot, or a drastically different sequel.

Rumour online is that Warner Bros may be planning on bringing in another human Green Lantern, John Stewart, adding some much needed diversity to their cinematic line-up. While I’m in full support of Warner Bros adding some diversity to their superhero films, I just don’t believe John Stewart on his own would be strong enough to carry a film critics will be waiting to scorn way before it’s even released.

If Reynolds is out, Hal Jordan should not be re-cast. It wouldn’t do Warner Bros or DC any favours. Instead, Hal Jordan should be killed off away from screen, leaving the new human recruits with big shoes to fill. We saw the total disregard from other Lanterns towards the human race in the first film, so that should not be recycled. Instead, why not have it that Hal Jordan’s sacrifice has earned the human race a huge amount of respect, leading to the Lantern’s recruiting not one, but three new humans.

John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner should be the new Green Lanterns for the next movie. All three have drastically different personalities, and a movie line-up lead by three main characters will help add gravitas to the film where the previous version lacked. Now there is a reason for humans to be among the other Lanterns. Plus with Hal Jordan’s death, it even gives room for Reynolds to film some flashback scenes if he really wanted.

Should the main villain be Sinestro? Definitely not. Mark Strong‘s portrayal as the leader of the Green Lanterns was just about the only redeeming quality to the previous movie, despite the fact that his character received a butchered attempt at giving Sinestro a side-story where he becomes a Yellow Lantern. The next movie needs to properly flesh out Sinestro’s character, enabling him to act as a villain for a third film, or perhaps even for the Justice League movie similar to what Marvel did with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. Since Parallax has already been used (terribly) that rules that out. Many fans feel the Manhunters should be the new villains, but they wouldn’t really be interesting enough on their own. While my Green Lantern knowledge is not as strong as it should be, I feel introducing Amon Sur, the son of the late Abin Sur, would be a great way to introduce a villain with a personal connection to the heroes. For those that don’t know, Amon was jealous that his father had given a power ring to a human, and became a powerful interstellar criminal as a result. He even joined the Sinestro Corps later on so that could even be used for a third film.

So there are my ideas on how to fix the Green Lantern franchise. I for one really hope DC doesn’t let the Green Lantern franchise fall into limbo. There are many great Green Lantern stories out there just waiting to become movies. If it was done correctly, Secret Origin, Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night should have been the trilogy.  Despite my prediction, I hope there’s still hope for that.

Do any of you Green Lantern fans agree? How would you want Warner Bros to bring back the Lanterns? As always leave your comments below!

Advertisements

Will Batman Die in The Dark Knight Rises?

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since the release of the latest trailer, fans have been speculating that Bruce Wayne will meet his end in The Dark Knight Rises. We all know this is both Christopher Nolan’s and Christian Bale‘s last time spent on the Batman franchise. While Nolan is known for constantly trying to mislead audiences, Batman’s death is certainly something that seems likely in third and final Dark Knight film.

When we last saw the Caped Crusader he was on the run from the law after taking the fall for crimes committed by District Attorney Harvey Dent. Set forward to this film eight years later, we find Bruce in retirement after temporarily hanging up the mantle. From what the trailers and TV spots have shown us is that Bruce is old and weakened in this film. Is this perhaps a sign of things to come for the Dark Knight?

Since this is the last film in Nolan’s trilogy, it’s fitting that he would want to wrap up Bruce’s story full circle. Blockbuster trilogies rarely get fitting conclusions anymore. Comic book movies such as Spider-Man 3 and X-Men 3 ended either too softly or with unresolved cliffhangers while other franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean 3 simply conclude by trying to set up sequels. It’s a money-focused market where filmmakers don’t have to power to do anything drastic to their films or characters that belong to high-grossing franchises. However, Nolan is not your usual director and it’s likely that DC might let him conclude his story by having Bruce Wayne die while preventing future filmmakers from butchering his franchise with bad sequels.

To truly understand the enormity of the problem Warner Bros themselves face post Dark Knight Rises, is to look at what Nolan has achieved with his work on the Batman films.  To take a product that was considered dead in the water after back-to-back critical flops and turning it into a billion dollar franchise is an undisputed achievement which DC aren’t likely to achieve again. Warner Bros have finished with Harry Potter and finishing with Batman and now left needing a new blockbuster hero. Will that be Superman? I doubt it.

Warner Bros don’t have another big time superhero to turn to. Man of Steel faces an uphill battle to win over sceptics that find Superman unrelatable, while 2011’s Green Lantern killed off any potential for a Flash movie. They need a superhero property that keeps their presence felt in a market where rivals Marvel are currently dominating. Once Nolan’s Batman trilogy wraps up, DC only has Superman left to compete. Even then, Man of Steel finds itself up against Iron Man 3 and Thor 2 in the same year.

I don’t think Batman is going to die in The Dark Knight Rises. While studio factors are definitely a part of the reason, I just feel Nolan simply doesn’t have to have Bruce Wayne die in order to complete his story. I think Gotham will realise Batman is their true white knight, and the film will end with Bruce Wayne going in to hiding akin to the ending of Frank Miller’s masterpiece, The Dark Knight Returns.

As a side note, one of the best Batman comic books of the modern age contains Bruce’s former sidekick Dick Grayson as the Caped Crusader. Batman doesn’t need Bruce Wayne anymore. As said by Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins , “as a symbol I can be everlasting”. A new face behind the mask means Warner Bros won’t need to reboot the Batman franchise while leaving Nolan’s trilogy intact.

Related articles

 

 

What Characters Will Benefit From The DC Reboot The Most?

Grant Morrison at San Diego Comic-Con 2008 day 1.

Image via Wikipedia

With the DC comic revamp just around the corner, I’ve decided to look at what characters might benefit mostly from the shake-up. With a huge 52 titles set to be released in September, DC is showing that they are serious about their characters, and I for one can’t wait.

1- Superman

Superman is the character most affected by the upcoming reboot. With a new origin, and a new costume, DC attempts to modernize Superman for the 21st century. Starring in three different series, (Action ComicsGrant Morrison, Superman- George Pérez, Justice League– Geoff Johns) Superman is DC’s top priority heading into September. With a new movie on the way, The Man of Steel needs to quickly establish a new fan base, and writer Grant Morrison describes Action Comics 1# as an action comic that recreates Superman in lots of different ways. After years of fans arguing Superman is too overpowered and incorruptible, DC have promised to show us, just who Superman is, and what motivates him to don a costume and fight against evil. Anything Superman with Grant Morrison involved is sure to be a hit (just see his work on All-Star Superman), and it’s about time The Man of Steel gets back to top spot as the world’s top superhero.

2-The Flash (Barry Allen)

To decision to put Barry Allen back as The Flash in 2008 angered a lot of people. Fans thought Barry’s nephew, Wally West had come so far in character development, and taking away the Flash mantle from him was a bad move. In my opinion, apart from some stand out moments in Blackest NightBarry has yet to make the Flash his own again. Well, now’s the time for Barry to justify why he’s the definitive Flash, and what better way for him to do it then when a close friend becomes a an all new villain who can be everywhere at once.

3- Green Arrow

With Marvel’s archer Hawkeye currently getting all of the attention, now couldn’t be a better time for Oliver Queen to get himself a new series. “Armed with cutting edge technology and illegal gained Intel, Green Arrow is shooting first and asking questions later.” What I love about Green Arrow is that he’s morally ambiguous. He is a fairly right-wing hero, who isn’t afraid to put villains down for good in certain circumstances. With the new reboot putting Oliver Queen back to basics, hopefully new readers will realise just how interesting Green Arrow is as a character and that a Robin Hood look alike beats a guy in purple spandex any day. DC just needs to avoid making Green Arrow too similar to Tony Stark, and I’m sure this series will do wonders for the character. Did I mention the fact that his bow now has blades at both ends?

4-Nightwing

When Haley’s Circus (the circus where Dick once performed) returns to Gotham, along with murder and mystery, Nightwing must confront his past and face new and old enemies. Dick Grayson never really fitted the persona of Batman. His acrobatic fighting style, and his upbeat personality didn’t exactly install great fear. With Bruce back as the Caped Crusader, Dick returns once more as Nightwing. The reboot has given Grayson a new black and red colour scheme for his suit, which indicates DC intend on making Nightwing the coolest character in comic books again. Hopefully his new series will have plenty of action, and a hook up with Barbara Gordon not too far down the line. Marvel have proven former sidekicks such as Bucky Barnes can be just as popular if not more so than their respective heroes, so hopefully DC will have the same success with Nightwing.

So there you have it. These are the top 4 characters I think will benefit most from the DC comics revamp. With a whopping 52 titles set to be released, there are sure to be some stinkers, but as far as these four characters go things are about to get big. Other names such as Wonder Woman and Aquaman also have a shot at finding glory, but only time will tell. Bring on September!

Would A Nightwing Movie Work?

Cover to Nightwing #100 (2004). Art by Scott M...

Image via Wikipedia

Continuing with my Batman themed posts, I’ve decided to explore if a solo Nightwing movie would work; now Nolan‘s Bat trilogy is wrapping up next year. To start with, let me explain that I do not actually think there’s any chance of seeing a Dick Grayson/Nightwing movie anytime soon. DC isn’t going to take a gamble on a lesser-known character after the disastrous result from this year’s Green Lantern. However, if the unexpected were to happen, and the movie was given the green light, how would a Nightwing movie successfully translate to the big screen?

To start with, the movie would need to be treated extremely seriously so that it can be connected to Nolan’s trilogy. Warner Bros aren’t going to start a DC cinematic universe anytime soon, so connecting at least two or their franchises together would be a nice touch. I would set the movie in the fictional city of Blüdhaven. The city can be depicted like a cross between Gotham City and the Narrows area seen in Batman Begins. There would need to be a sense of corruption and evil surrounding the place, perhaps even making it the base of the new organised crime criminals, who were beaten out of Gotham by the Batman. It can’t under any means be as glamorous as Gotham. Blüdhaven should feel like the slums compared to Gotham or Metropolis.

Enter Dick Grayson. Would Grayson necessarily need the Robin gimmick as for Grayson it did come before he took on the persona of Nightwing? The Robin gimmick wouldn’t work unless he was a sidekick to Batman. It definitely needs to be a more adult Nightwing flick. The story could follow a teenaged Dick Grayson, inspired by the stories coming from Gotham about the Batman. The real task lies in creating Dick’s character. As readers of the comics will know, Dick is not necessarily a dark character. He’s actually one of the more light-hearted allies to Bruce Wayne. So Grayson shouldn’t be as dark and broody as Batman, but he shouldn’t be a wise cracking Spidey rip-off either. His origin in the circus should be kept, as it’s the only logical reason to explain his acrobatic fighting style that is essential to the character. Grayson’s origin should be that he was raised in an orphanage, only to run away during his adolescent years searching for the criminals responsible for his family’s death. Would the comic book villain Tony Zucco (who is responsible for the death of the Grayson family) be the main villain? I’d rather use a pre-established criminal such as Sal Maroni (providing he’s not dead already) who was last seen in a car crash in The Dark Knight. That way it ties the films together and adds some much needed depth to the Sal Maroni character.

Grayson is quite a ladies man in the comics, and that’s the hardest thing to translate onto screen without damaging the overall tone of the film. I’m a big fan of the The Huntress character (who had a great scene in Batman: Hush), and although she’s not an original love interest for Dick in the comics, she could be Nightwing’s answer to Hit-Girl. A young woman who uses a variety of gadgets and weapons she steals from criminals. Unlike Catwoman though, Huntress is more reckless and careless. If Batman has Catwoman, Nightwing should have Huntress.

And lastly, who would direct it? At the risk of sounding delusional, I’m going to say Frank Miller. A Nightwing film needs a director who can capture the serious tone of the film. Whilst Gotham’s been getting all of the attention, its sister city Blüdhaven has been ignored and left to ruin. The legend of the Batman needs to be a recurring theme throughout the film as it’s what will drive Grayson throughout his crusade. Miller would capture that perfectly, whilst adding some real importance to Nolan’s films.

It’s a shame Warner Bros own of all DC’s cinematic properties. Under their ownership I really doubt that we’ll ever see a Nightwing movie. Perhaps if DC gave some of their properties to other studios we might eventually one day see Nightwing fighting crime on the streets of Blüdhaven on screen. Do you think Nightwing deserves his own movie? How would you do it? As always leave your comments below.

*Update* (July 23rd 2012)

Spoiler alert: The ending of The Dark Knight Rises hints at the John Blake character (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) taking on either the mantle of the Batman, or his own costumed persona. Blake taking up the mantle would be an interesting way to continue the Nolan Batman franchise without resorting to a total reboot now Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale have gone. What do you guys think? Do you want a John Blake Nightwing film, or would you prefer a fresh Nightwing movie, more based on the comics?

A Fanboy’s Tribute: Batman Is The Best Comic Book Character Ever Created

Batman: Dark Victory #1

Some people argue superheroes are no longer relevant in today’s world. Golden Age characters such as Superman have struggled in a modern context due to their limited flaws and storylines. One character that has flourished in a modern setting is Batman. The Caped Crusader is probably the most socially and culturally relevant comic book character in existence. He lives and fights against a world governed by fear and evil. Based on what we’ve seen this week, is that any different from the world today?

We live in dark times. Just this week, the city of London was thrown into chaos by a bunch of rioting youths. With no political will, these were just mindless acts of violence by gangs wishing to install fear and violence across the capital. What started as a small isolated incident, quickly escalated into nationwide pandemic of violence. It was then I realised just how relevant the Batman character is to our modern society.

What I find most appealing about Batman is his origin. After witnessing his parents being gunned down at the age of eight, Bruce Wayne could have gone off the rails and grown up to be a revenge driven psychopath. An interesting idea was raised in Alan Moore‘s The Killing Joke. The idea is that Batman and Joker are two opposite parallels. Both were victims to what Moore describes as “one bad day” that sent them on the path to insanity. The suggested origin of the Joker is that the loss of his wife and baby, followed by his disfigurement sent him insane. It’s the decisions of Batman and Joker that keep them apart. Batman chose to harness his inner demons and use them to seek fair justice and fight crime. Despite his horrific experience, Batman essentially remains ‘a good guy’. This is further conveyed by his decision to seek justice under fair means. Whilst beating criminals to a pulp pushes ethical boundaries, his decision to capture criminals and let the justice system decide their fate keeps the Dark Knight’s ethics in the right place. Shooting them down, or murdering his victims, makes Batman no different from enemies. At the risk of sounding delusional, how many people can say that they don’t take satisfactions in the idea of a hero praying on the type of criminals we saw in the UK last week?

Another great aspect of the Batman character is that he can fit into any storyline/subtext. He can be used in storylines with political subtexts such a Frank Millar‘s amazing ‘The Dark Knight Returns‘ or fantasy subtexts as seen in some of Grant Morrison‘s recent work. As long as the key mythos is the same, and that Batman is an ordinary man seeking to fight crime and evil, Batman works in any storyline. His mission is endless. As seen in the Nolan films, Batman fights for a day where he is no longer needed. He sees himself as a means to an end. A clever theme explored in ‘The Dark Knight’ is that a day won’t come where either Bruce or Gotham do not need the Batman. Frank Millar’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ also explores the notion that Batman had become crucial to society. Without him, crime will eventually take hold of Gotham. You won’t find many heroes that carry as much gravitas as the Caped Crusader.

Despite the rise of Marvel’s heroes on screen, Batman will always remain the most compelling comic book character ever created. Batman is relevant to the screwed up world we live in. His choice to fight crime is something many people can relate to. He carries more emotional weight than any other comic book character and his storyline potential is endless.

My top 5 Comic Book Events

Comic Civil War

Comic book crossover events usually occur one a year and usually the publishers will promise a big shake up after the events conclude. With DC’s Flashpoint flourishing and Marvel’s Fear Itself struggling, I thought I would take a look back at some of my favourite comic book events, and discuss what made them so special if they delivered on their premise.

5:Blackest Night

This was personally for me, a rare comic book event where every tie in truly did add something special to the story. Rather than feel like you were being stripped of your cash, each of the Blackest Night tie-ins added more depth to a story that was full of emotion and grand action scenes.  It was also a rare comic book event to actually have a plausible reason (zombies) to shake up the status quo of the existing DC comic book universe.

4: Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War

This is one of the main reasons for the recent resurrection of the Green lantern franchise. Tapping into the Fear based mythos for Green Lantern, Sinestro Corps War was one of the most epic events I’ve ever read. It’s often been compared to Star Wars, and it more than deserves to have that praise. If Green Lantern: Rebirth was the start of the trilogy, this is the Empire Strikes Back for Green lantern. It’s dark, it’s epic, it’s a fantastic take of redemption, it’s wonderful to look at, Sinestro Corps War is one of the best comic book events around.

3: Secret Invasion

Putting Secret Invasion at number 3 is sure to raise eyebrows, but I truly believe if it hadn’t had been for the events disappointing climax, it could have been one of the best events of the decade. It started out great, with lots or paranoia brewing over the incoming Skrull invasion, who was a skrull? And who wasn’t? Perhaps this deserved its criticism for not taking risks. What if they actually revealed Iron Man to be a skrull and that was the reason for his actions during Civil War. Instead of delivering earth shattering ramifications, all which really happened as a result of Secret Invasion is that Normal Osborn became top dog of the Marvel universe.

2: House of M

House of M makes the runner up spot because it contains my favourite group of superheroes. The X-Men. The mutants of the Marvel world rarely feature in comic book crossovers, instead remaining in their own bubble where they deal with their own problems. House of M focused on both the X-Men and The Avengers as they worked together to combat the Scarlet Witch whom had delivered shocking ramifications to both parties. In Avengers Disassembled, Scarlet Witch brought an end to one of the greatest superhero teams. In House Of M, she made sure the mutants were no more. Despite some overly witty writing from Bendis, the event stood out as a game changer for the entire Marvel landscape. By focusing less on the action, and more on the reality shifting events, House of M left a mark on the X-Men for years. Plus Oliver Coipel‘s art was a dream.

1: Civil War

No event can claim to have had more of an impact than Civil War. By having two of Marvel’s heavy hitters Captain America and Iron man duke it out, Civil War was destined for success. Mark Millar is known for his more mature blockbuster stories and he easily translates what made books like The Ultimates so great easily into Civil War. The book can be ready by anyone. Kids can read it to just to see Iron Man and Captain America hitting each other, whilst adults can read it for Millar’s political tones. Civil War also had ramifications that are still being felt in the Marvel universe. Captain America was killed and reborn, Bucky Barnes took his place, Iron Man became head of S.H.I.E.L.D, Norman Osborn replaced him and now Iron Man and Cap are only just getting over their differences. Whilst some of tie-ins were a little unsatisfying, Civil War stands as my favourite comic book event of all time.

And based on the quality of Fear Itself, Marvel aren’t going to top it any time soon.

DC Characters We Will Never See As Movies

Green-arrow sig

Image via Wikipedia

The summer comic book movie season started off with a hammering bang. Thor was superb, offering cinema audiences a slightly different superhero movie to what they’re used too, but still managing to be dramatic, compelling and fun. X-Men: First Class was dramatic, intelligent, and filled with youthful energy. The pressure was on for DC’s Martin Campbell‘s directed Green Lantern, and did it deliver? No. The movie was universally panned by critics and now faces a struggle to avoid becoming a box office disaster. With Warner Bros putting such high hopes on Green lantern for it to instantly fail, the ramifications will undoubtedly halt future DC movies for B-List characters. But which ones?

The Flash

The adventures of DC’s Scarlett Speedster would undoubtedly have been DC’s next superhero film in line. With a huge comic book fan base, The Flash could have easily translated well to the big screen. Whether the film followed the origin of the always late Barry Allen, or the story of his nephew Wally West, it was a certainty that the film would be announced after the success of Green Lantern. With Hal Jordan not causing much of a storm at the box office, the film starring the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Mark Strong struggling will undoubtedly have Warner Bros pushing the panic button on their smaller franchises, meaning we probably won’t see a Flash movie any time soon. It is however the most likely character to avoid the fall out of the Green Lantern movie.

Wonder Woman

This will undoubtedly be the certain casualty of the fall out of Green Lantern’s failure. With Joss Whedon the only likely candidate to successfully helm the Wonder Woman film and get results busy on Avengers business, the Amazon Princess will likely stay in development hell for the mean time.

Aquaman

Lampooned by comic book fans as the ‘useless’ hero who talks to sea animals, the cinematic potential for Aquaman likes much deeper. Aquaman could have been an underwater epic, to rival the likes of Avatar. The story could have followed a young Arthur Curry as his human father raised him in the under water city of Atlantis, where Curry develops healing powers along with other powers suited to his aquatic surroundings. What also makes this film standout is that of all the superhero movies getting the 3-D treatment, this was probably the film that could have benefited from it most. If Green Lantern can’t strike cinematic gold, there’s no chance of seeing Aquaman on cinema screens, unless a director such as James Cameron or Steven Spielberg gets behind it.

So these are the main DC films that will probably never see the light of day. There are tons of other DC properties that could have benefited from films, such as Green Arrow, Black Canary, Atom and Hawkman, but these certainly won’t be made if the big three I mentioned can’t escape development hell. Also to take into account, is that Warner Bros are behind the upcoming DC comics reboot, as they wish to start turning a profit on comics books, meaning money saving now seems to be on their agenda.

They do certainly not seem like the type of company to give us a Martian Manhunter film anyway.