Saturday, 26 March 2011

An open letter to DC editorial

Dear DC Comics,

         To say that I have been a Batman fan all my life is barely hyperbole, as some of my earliest memories involve watching my heroes Batman and Robin on the TV and then pretending to be them with my friends at playgroup (preschool). Anyone who knows me closely knows of the time that I tried to go to school with my Superman costume (including cape) on under my normal clothes, they know how traumatised I was when my sister sat on Batman, breaking off his leg, and more recently, they see my array of DC Comics t-shirts on a nearly daily basis (my wife now recognises the Sinestro Corps symbol).
        Unfortunately, I am writing with a complaint. Since the end of Batman RIP we have been suffering with a group of books that work really well with each other and a lead book that feels disjointed and distant from the rest. This separation felt small at first, but has grown larger month by month. Batman & Robin started out well, but by the time we got to the Blackest Knight arc, it had moved to the bottom of my reading pile. When Bruce's Batman turned up to save the day in B&R#16, I groaned. This should have been great, but Dick and Damian needed saving by a character who had been external to that story arc because no thought had gone into how they could have solved the problem themselves. How is that going to make any sense to people who just read trades? Printing a message like "Oh, by the way, you also need to go and buy Return of Bruce Wayne for this book to make sense." just doesn't cut it.
         Whilst I understand that changes need to be made to push a series forward and provide new challenges, I think that the Batman Inc idea would have worked fine without Grant ripping off the end of Ironman. Bruce Wayne is too careful to let such an obvious link to Batman be made (especially not by himself!). Now we have a fairly obvious Bat family/Wayne family connection that even the slowest fictional journalist could surely put together.
         Yesterday, I actually put my copy of Batman, Inc. #4 down in disgust without finishing it. I have never done this with a comic before, so I waited until I could stomach it and finished it off. Awful, truly awful. What was the point of getting rid of all these things that didn't work in Crisis on Infinite Earths, only to have one man drag them back into continuity? Honestly, I've had all I can take from Grant Morrison. I could put up with messing continuity, as well as other writers and artists, around if the stories were full formed and coherent. Instead we are treated to half-baked ideas and segues that lead nowhere. Sticking prefixes like 'hyper-' or 'meta-' onto words doesn't make one a genius; lets make sure that it works as a story before trying to show how clever we think we are.
         I suppose what I am trying to say is, please edit Grant Morrison. If he turns in his work late, then dock his fee. If it's late then he isn't giving you or the artists time to do your jobs. I'm sure that all it would take sometimes is someone asking "Where is this going?", saying "I don't think that ____ would do that." or pointing out "Grant, this doesn't make sense." for the stories to find a more natural flow. This then results in a much lower quality product and less satisfying stories. Most of all, it makes the readers feel like they are being jerked around. If he can't take the criticism, then that is his problem. If the stories don't make sense, then that is yours.  He may produce strong sales, but if things continue to spiral out of control they way they are then not even Batman will be able to save the title.

Chris, a concerned fan, aged 26

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Welcome to the Decade of DC: DC Comics foothold on Cartoon Network

DC Comics have had a long standing success in animation, from Fleischer's 40's Superman to the Emmy Award winning 1992 Batman The Animated Series and beyond to the original animated movies. Now DCEntertainment are branching out further under the banner of DC Nation at Cartoon Network. DCE's Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns, has mentioned different media types including CGI, traditional 2D animation, stop motion and live action 'to suit the character'.
It looks like DC are really upping the ante. They have the best selling (and rated) comicbook movie and videogame. They are lining up a reboot of Superman and a sequel to this Year's Green Lantern. The comicbooks themselves are going strong, with some titles the best they have ever been. The animated properties have been excellent since the 90s and they are expanding on their strengths.
It's taken a couple of years for the effects of the DC Comics-->DC Entertainment reshuffle to truly be felt, but 2011 is shaping up to be the start of something special.
Welcome to the Decade of DC.

Press release:
Debuting in 2012 as a multi-platform franchise, DC Nation will be the exclusive home for original DC animation properties. Backed by the production, publishing and marketing resources of Warner Bros., DC Entertainment and Cartoon Network, DC Nation will be an on-air and online programming block populated with event programming, interstitials, exclusive behind-the-scenes of theatrical production and an insider look into the world of all things DC.

“DC Nation on Cartoon Network will be the first-ever dedicated broadcast destination to showcase the depth and breadth of the DC Universe,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment. “We and our partners at WBTV are thrilled that fans will be able to immerse themselves in DC’s phenomenal stories, experience a wide spectrum of amazing characters and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings of the world’s greatest superheroes and their creators, both on-air and online.”

Source: DC The Source

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Really, more delays on Batman, Inc. ?!?!

Am I the only person waiting for DC to say 'No' to Grant Morrison?

The delays behind [Batman Inc.] are a combination of slowness on Grant and Yanick’s part. Yanick does all of his work on a digital pad and his art process requires a whole lot of lead time that Grant Morrison just doesn’t give him. On the Saturday morning, Grant had just e-mailed Yanick 12 pages of script for issue #5 when Yanick’s deadline for the art is in 1 week…so yeah, expect some more delays for issue 5 unless they get a fill-in artist.

—’s David Diep, reporting from this past weekend’s Wizard World Toronto convention, on what he learned about the future of DC’s flagship Bat-book, Batman Incorporated—presumably straight from artist and con guest Yanick Paquette himself.

A look at the solicit as posted on DC’s website shows that the book is scheduled for release on April 20. But the company still has it running with a J.H. Williams III cover that was actually used on issue #3 when it finally came out two weeks ago, likely because that issue was originally supposed to come out in January and thus had an “iconic” cover as part of that month’s line-wide cover gimmick, which was obviously no longer in effect. Issue #5 is now slated to run with the cover you see above, also by Williams…who is himself the co-writer/co-artist of the even more delay-plagued Batwoman. On the other hand, the company just signed the prodigiously talented artist Chris Burnham, who made a splash as the co-artist of the climactic Batman & Robin #16 and was already on board to draw Batman Incorporated #4, 6, and 7, to an exclusive contract. So there’s still some joy in Gotham after all.

Source: CBR

Abin Sur crashes onto the net

Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur in June's Green Lantern.

Source: DailyBlam

Arkham Asylum Batmobile from Hotwheels

Hotwheels are releasing the Batmobile from Batman: Arkham Asylum (last seen ramming Bane into Gotham river) this April.
I can't believe that this looks better than it did in the game. I did think that it looked too small in the game though.

Source: Gotham Knights Online

Monday, 21 March 2011

War of the Green Lanterns: Tony Bedard interview

Wow. Today has been really busy for a Monday.
Newsarama have interviewed Green Lantern Corps writer, Tony Bedard. Green Lantern Corps is my favourite title in the GL umbrella, so I was happy to see this pop up. war of the Green Lanterns is shaping up to be interesting, although I'm a little worried that one of the Earth-born Lanterns may snuff it. There will almost definitely be someone switching sides. The obvious would be Guy Gardner going to the Red Lanterns, but I suspect that we might see Hal Jordan join the Sinestro Corps.

Anyway, check out the interview here:
Newsarama: Tony, what's it been like coordinating "War of the Green Lanterns" with the other writers involved with the universe?
Tony Bedard: It's been the sort of teamwork I really hoped for when I first signed with DC. I've worked at plenty of publishers who flew by the seat of their pants, but Geoff Johns is a man with a plan and I'm happy to follow his lead. Doing conference calls with Geoff, Pete Tomasi, and editors Eddie Berganza and Brian Cunningham is great fun as we build upon the hottest franchise in comics. And what we're planning for the Corps in "War of the Green Lanterns" is a real shake-up.

Nrama: How important is the upcoming movie to the timing of this event? Has the editorial staff taken the movie into consideration as you make plans for the comics? Or is that not affecting the main titles, staying relegated to the movie prequels?
Bedard: The movie is definitely important to our plans. The month the movie hits will also present readers with good jumping-on points in all three Green Lantern monthlies. But we're not reinventing the comic to follow the movie. It's more that the entire Green Lantern franchise is coordinated so there's a synergy between the different media, be it print, feature films, animation or online.

Nrama: Let's talk about the last issue of Green Lantern Corps, which ended with quite a surprise. The decision by Weaponer to join the Sinestro Corps wasn't predictable at all. Was his decision made because he was so moved by Sinestro? Or does he have other motivations?
Bedard: That ending actually came out of one of these conference calls between myself, Eddie and Geoff. I think my original inclination was to have the Weaponer become the new leader of the Qwardians, but when you write these multi-chapter epics, you want to leave room to improvise. So when we were discussing the Weaponer's final fate, I think it was Geoff who suggested having him join the Sinestro Corps, and the minute he said it, I knew that felt right. This is a guy who felt cheated of his rightful destiny by Sinestro. Now, after years of lonely exile, he's offered the chance to feel special and be part of a team. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to find the Weaponer plotting against Sinestro somewhere down the road. It's a real love/hate relationship between those two, which may explain why the Weaponer got along with Soranik Natu so well.

Nrama: Will we ever find out how he was wielding the white light? Will that come into play later?

Bedard: I think that having created the yellow ring so long ago, the Weaponer was experienced with creating ways to wield energy from the emotional spectrum. He may well be able to create a green ring or violet ring, etc. But he found the unique White Energy which doesn't dissipate, and that's what he had to work with.

Nrama: The Weaponer's sudden alliance with Sinestro feels like it's a precursor for what we'll see in "War of the Green Lanterns." Is the testing of alliances part of the theme as the corps head toward war?

Bedard: Well, "War of the Green Lanterns" is more of an internal thing within the Green Lantern Corps. It's more of a brother-against-brother sort of thing, so in that way, we'll definitely test alliances and friendships. Coming out of the War, the friendships between our four main Green Lanterns will definitely be strained or even broken in some cases. The Corps hung together against Sinestro's forces and against the Black Lanterns, but the "War of the Green Lanterns" will push them further than those two events did.

Nrama: One of the strangest links we've seen in the GL Universe is between Atrocitus, Ganthet and Guy. Will you be exploring this or any similarly strange upcoming alliances as the war begins to rage?

Bedard: That pact between those three characters pays off big-time in the War, and the fact that those three would be in cahoots gives you an indication of the threat they are up against. I don't think we have any stranger team-ups, but the repercussions are huge.

Nrama: It's obvious from upcoming covers and solicitations that there's going to be a problem between John and Kyle. Is there anything you can tell us about what would make these two characters clash? Where are their heads right now?

Bedard: In the opening pages to Green Lantern Corps #58, I have Kyle observing how different he and John are, and yet how well they partner up. He says they are the Yin and Yang of the Green Lantern Corps — the complimentary opposites. But there's a lot that goes unspoken between them, especially because John is more internalized, less likely to express his feelings. But all of John's problems with Kyle will explode to the surface when John and Kyle are forced to choose very different paths to fight the threat posed by Krona, the renegade Guardian.

Nrama: Since there's also trouble brewing between Hal and Guy, what can we expect for the four Earth lanterns as the war begins, particularly in your comic?

Bedard: We've felt that through all the trials of the past few years, the four Lanterns from Earth have stuck together extraordinarily well. "War of the Green Lanterns" is about testing that brotherhood and taking it beyond the breaking point. We'll be feeling the consequences long after this particular story arc is over.

Nrama: The relationship between Kyle and Soranik has turned into almost a "triangle," because of the dominance of her father, Sinestro. Will their conflict continue to play a role in your title — and in War of the Green Lanterns?

Bedard: Yeah, I want to keep exploring that. In fact, the events on planet Qward damaged Kyle's relationship with Soranik more than he realizes. We'll explore that fallout more in the months to come.

Nrama: Sinestro, because of his "fatherly" protectiveness and the truce he's drawn with the Green Lanterns, has been an odd combination of aloof and sincere recently. Would you agree? And is that a characteristic we'll see more in upcoming stories?

Bedard: Sinestro has long had that interesting mix to me. Geoff did a great job of both humanizing him and making him even more badass than he had ever been before. The truly great villains like Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom and Magneto usually have that mix of nobility and utter ruthlessness. They're the heroes of their own stories, and Sinestro definitely sees himself that way. And I think Sinestro will continue to surprise folks with what he's capable of, both good and bad. Sinestro may be the most interesting character in the Green Lantern universe.

Nrama: While the earth Green Lanterns have made some questionable decisions lately (which we can only assume will add to their conflict), Soranik seems to be maintaining a certain level of integrity despite being Sinestro's daughter. How would you describe Soranik's thoughts right now, and can you tell us anything about her upcoming journey during "War of the Green Lanterns?"

Bedard: Soranik’s role in "War of the Green Lanterns" will become clear early on in the story. She's a neat character, though, and I'm really enjoying exploring her. She's a brilliant surgeon, so there's plenty going on in her mind. She also remembers well Sinestro's reign of terror over her homeworld Korugar. Only recently did she learn that "space-Hitler" is really her father! There's a lot to work through there, and I personally connect to a character who feels a need to make up for his parent's misdeeds. Also, Kyle has had some great girlfriends before, but no one quite like Soranik. In a way, I think she's out of his league intellectually. So maybe Sora takes a harder look at her boyfriend and rethinks whether she wants to be with this guy, especially considering the changes he'll experience in "War of the Green Lanterns."

Nrama: What other characters will be playing central roles in "War of the Green Lanterns?"
Bedard: Well, it was recently revealed in Green Lantern that the big bad guy collecting all the different Corps' Entities is the renegade Guardian of the Universe, Krona. He's certainly a prime mover in "War of the Green Lanterns," and since he was there at the founding of the Corps, Krona poses the most serious threat ever seen to the Green Lantern Corps. He also has an interesting motivation and goal which becomes even clearer in the War.

Also important to this tale are the Guardians themselves, especially Ganthet. But I don't want to get much more specific since there are some great surprise twists in the story that I wouldn't want to spoil.

Nrama: Geoff told us a few months ago that "War of the Green Lanterns" changes some of the Green Lantern universe characters in "pretty dramatic ways." Will we see big changes for the characters who are the focus in your title as well?

Bedard: There's a big turn between Kyle and John that I think really illuminates both their characters. Other fallout from this conflict will become clear in the months following the war.
Nrama: The first solicitation after "War of the Green Lantern" concentrates on John Stewart. Will we see him getting some attention later this year? (And you had hinted in the past that he might have time for a relationship — is there still hope for that?)

Bedard: John's new love interest will be explored following "War of the Green Lanterns," but in general I want to keep giving him defining moments. I loved having him leading Qwardian Thunderers in the Weaponer arc. He's developed into a formidable warrior, but I want to give him a rich inner life too.

Nrama: A lot of reviewers have remarked recently about the growth of the artist on Green Lantern Corps, Tyler Kirkham. What do you think he's bringing to the title?

Bedard: Oh, Tyler's pouring his soul into this book! His stuff has this great energy, he never skimps on detail, and yet everything is so meticulously rendered. I wonder if the guy ever sleeps! It's always fun when new pages come in from Tyler.
His design for the Weaponer was awesome — just the sort of cosmic blacksmith character I had hoped for. And his Soranik is sexy and spunky. It's hard to draw her with that short hair and not make her too masculine. Ty hits just the right note with her.
I think he came to the book with mad skills, and if people are remarking on his growth, I think that's just the learning curve that comes with taking on the Green Lantern Corps. The more familiar he is with these characters, the more Ty brings them to life. I'm really enjoying this collaboration and look forward to meeting him at the Philly convention.

Nrama: The cancelation of R.E.B.E.L.S. disappointed your fans. Do you know if any of those characters will show up anywhere else this year? Did you at least raise their profile to the point that they'll be seen in DCU books — or maybe even the Green Lantern universe?

Bedard: My main mission on that book was to raise the profile of Vril Dox, the Omega Men, and so on. I think we did accomplish that, and now we have to keep building on it. I have a project in the works that will have a cosmic scope and will revisit some of these non-Lantern DC space characters, but it's too soon to discuss. We may have cameo appearance in Green Lantern Corps too, but the focus will remain on John and Kyle in that book.

Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell readers about what's coming up in Green Lantern Corps?
Bedard: Just stick around after "War of the Green Lanterns," because we're going to pay off on some Lobo-centric storylines that have been brewing over the past few months. I love me some Lobo, and the Main Man has been wearing a certain red power ring around his neck, so...

Fabian Nicieza interview

Fabian Nicieza, writer of Red Robin, talks about upcoming stories including the Seven Days of Death crossover. Always pleased to hear from a creator who has a passion for the character they write.

CBR News: "Red Robin" #23 is the first chapter of "Seven Days of Death." What can you tell us about both the tournament and story arc? 

Fabian Nicieza: I introduced the idea of the tournament during the "Red Robin: Road Home" issue. The basic idea was to create a mystery that frustrates Tim because of its seemingly random nature, it's international scope and appeal to the thrill-seeking nature of many assassins as well as their sense of greed, which means it will draw a lot of killers out of the woodwork. But the most frustrating part, as we'll see, is growing evidence that this tournament has possibly been going on for a very long time -- and it had escaped the notice of the Bat-family. I like putting Tim in situations that challenge his need for control, letting the bad guys know more than he does.

Niceiza sets time aside for Red Robin in "Seven Days of Death"
From your one-shot on, Tim Drake as Red Robin has mainly faced off against assassins and mercenaries. Is this a trend you plan on continuing after the "Seven Days" arc? 

I hadn't even thought of it that way, to tell you the truth. I don't think of Lynx, Anarky, a corrupt billionaire like Viktor Mikalek, the Unternet, Calculator or the Mad Men as either assassins or mercenaries, per se. I think its kind of splitting hairs when you narrow down what kinds of bad guys our good guysfight, and I really have tried to have a bit of balance.

Fair enough! As you point out, you have pulled a lot of established Batman villains (Ra's, Calculator, the Mad Men, etc.) into Tim's life. Do you plan to introduce new characters that might serve as Red Robin's arch-nemesis?

I think turning Ulysses Armstrong into Anarky, bringing Lonnie Machlin, the original Anarky into the fold, fleshing out the new Lynx and, soon, digging a bit deeper into the assassin Scarab and her background answers a lot of those questions regarding new characters or Red Robin-specific characters. [But] "Seven Days of Death" will also feature some recently introduced characters that are also "Tim-centric."

We've seen old villains pop up -- will we see other members of the Bat family swing in to help Tim during "Seven Days?" 

Yes, we'll see Dick Grayson in the opening chapter and we'll see Cassandra Cain in the story as well.

What role does Tam Fox play in this new arc? As her father is one of the assassination targets, is she going to take a proactive role? 

She plays the part of the grieving family member. It's a part she plays well, considering what happens in Part One.

Going back to Tim's need for control, you've said before that there's chemistry between Tam and Tim, and you flirted with that idea a little when they got "engaged." Is the relationship with Tam one of those areas where Tim is not fully in control?

Any relationship with a woman is one where Tim is never fully in control. Maybe that's one reason he doesn't have any successful ones under his belt -- then again, how many 17 years olds do? I like how Tim is so competent in so many other aspects of his life, but he is still an awkward doof when it comes to dealing with girls.

According to the solicitations, Red Robin might be breaking Scarab out of jail. First he frees Lynx from the cops, and now Scarab -- what's with Tim springing all the ladies from prison? 

Notice a pattern there? That was meant to both play on the arrogance of thinking you can make the right call by making the wrong decision and also to set up potential problems down the road between Tim and [Commissioner] Gordon.

He seems to constantly walk the line between heroism and breaking the law. Is this Machiavellian gray-area going to intensify? 

I think so. Tim enacts a plan to get inside the tournament structure that is long on technical foresight and short on emotional consideration; as with many decisions Tim makes, I think they'll hurt him long term even if he can rationalize them in the short term.

Why does he keep making these decisions? Is it simply because he's still just a teenager?

The "Seven Days of Death" continue in "Red Robin" #24
Not really because he's 17, but rather because the short term needs usually outweigh the long-term ramifications. Saving someone's life or apprehending a criminal now matters more in the big picture than hurting someone's feelings, damaging a relationship, etc.

Tim, I would think in many ways to his emotional detriment, has decided the big picture is the more important long term target, and the only way to address it properly is by handling the short term "little pictures" as expediently as possible.

Is it important to you that Tim is allowed to make these mistakes to have room to grow as a crime fighter?

Of course it is. I've been accused by some of making him "perfect," and my response is, since I started writing him in "Robin" and now "Red Robin," how many times has one of Tim's intricate plans worked out without problems, mistakes and glitches?

But more importantly, out of trying to avoid those mistakes or dealing with their consequences comes real character conflict, and that's the fun meat to monthly storytelling.


Between Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne and Jason Todd, there is an abundance of Robins and former Robins currently in Gotham. What makes Tim stand out from all the others? 

Each has their own personality, style and approach. I think what sets Tim apart is his intelligence, his planning and his "long term approach" to the problem of crime in the world. I think he also has aspects of each of the other characters in his personality, while they don't have much of his. He has the social comfort of Dick, the willingness to cheat that Jason has and even a bit of the arrogance that Damian displays.

Does Tim's Hit List come out of his "long term approach" to crime fighting?

The Hit List was just to get the ball rolling. The Neon Knights Foundation is [designed] to work legitimate channels to rehabilitate criminal youths or get to them before they become hardened criminals. His working with the Titans and forming his own covert brand of operatives like Cassandra Cain is also part of his plan to create a network of loyal, trusted agents in the field. Ultimately, the "bigger picture" I see for Tim is one I will never get the chance to display in print, since in terms of real publishing time vs. comic bookfiction time, I'll never get to writing a thirty-year-old Tim, unless I'm writing Red Robin #3,450 -- which, you know, what with renumbering all the time and everything, not really likely.

Needless to say, the longer-term plan for him would be to make him King of the World!

How has it been working with "Red Robin" artist Marcus To? 

It's been great! He is a really nice guy, draws all the ridiculous things I ask him to without complaining, always tells the story in clear, concise manner. He's not a selfish artist who takes your script and turns it into pin-up shots that stroke their ego rather than service the story. He choreographs his fight scenes really well, composes the panels with foreground, middle ground and backgrounds, busts his hump drawing cityscapes and he does his work on time and on schedule.

So much to complain about, huh?

Nicieza introduces the Mad Men to Red RObin's world in this week's issue #21
To many fans, you are still known best for writing the Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. With "Red Robin," do you try to interject humor into the comic, or do you find you have to restrain yourself from putting too many jokes in Tim's mouth?

With many other fans I'm known for writing bad X-comics or comics with groups of villains in them. Why, some even know me for having edited "Barbie Comics," so there you go!

And no, it doesn't take any effort at all to write Tim in character without forcing humor out of him that's not inherent to his character. He has a dry wit, which I enjoy writing. So, in order to get stupidity and obscure cultural references out of my system, I brought in the Mad Men for this week's #21.

Maybe someone at DC will get a laugh out of it and offer me a monthly Mad Men comic where I can get all the crazy stuff clogged up inside my brain out to the public in a legal and medically safe manner. It sure would make my family happy, because without the outlet of writing "Cable & Deadpool," they've become the recipients of that insanity!

Along those lines, are there other books in the works for you, either for DC or independently? 

I've been very involved in non-comic work for years now, working on intellectual property management and development with Starlight Runner Entertainment, and now I'm also Chief Creative Officer and co-founder of a kids sports themed virtual world called FunGoPlay that is launching this year, so the time I have to do comic book work is limited.

I'm very grateful that I've been able do it for DC, and though we are talking about some other things, it's still way too early to say how it will go. I know I haven't enjoyed writing comics as much as I've enjoyed writing "Red Robin" in years, so the ideal option for me would be writing that title forever, but that being said, you never know what interesting opportunities could pop up!

"Red Robin" #21 is in stores today. Issue #23, chapter one of "Seven Days of Death," hits stores May 11

Source: CBR

The Dark Knight Rises rumours wrong?

Again, the Internet has taught us not to believe everything you read. The problem is do we believe this or the original rumour? I don't know! I'm going to go for Alberto purely because I think that it ties the films together, whilst also drawing from The Long Halloween (as the The Dark Knight did).

On Friday, Variety reported that Inception co-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt had closed a deal to re-team with director Christopher Nolan for The Dark Knight Rises. The trade has since updated their article with who he will play in the anticipated film:

Speculation has run rampant regarding the role, with blogs pegging the part as The Riddler or Deadshot, but insiders tell Variety that Gordon-Levitt will be playing Alberto Falcone, the son of Mafia chieftain Carmine Falcone, the character Tom Wilkinson played in "Batman Begins."

Filming for the movie is set to kick-off soon. Warner Bros. Pictures is planning a July 20, 2012 release.

UPDATE: EW is now saying Variety is incorrect. While he has a role, the magazine says it's not Alberto Falcone. Let the speculation start again...


Damian Wayne flirts (in his own way) with Hit Girl

This little bit of fan art was created by Lebmat de Quevedo and it's original title is We're all Fucked Now.

Batman's little psycho-Robin has calmed down of late, but this would still probably be his idea of flowers.
Source: GeekTyrant

Hitman 5 campaign starts?

Is this the first from Hitman 5?

The image is of a black gloved hand screwing a silencer into place.

Not much to get excited about, but it would be great to finally have this game which has been rumoured for years now. I was a big fan of the previous games (Hitman 2: Silent Assasin was my favourite) and I look forward to seeing what the current generation of consoles can do for 47.

The first Hitman 5 screenshot may have just been revealed.

We say "may" because the shot itself doesn't give very much away, it does however show a gloved hand clutching a silencer, which is classic Hitman.

It comes out of a viral campaign that has been poured over by fans over at the official Hitman forums who were encouraged in a "warmer, colder" kind of way from "IO Community Guy" Nick at various intervals.

After much decoding and investigating on various viral teasers the fans have come up with the date: June 7 2011, which is the start of this year's E3.

Following the post, IO man Nick responded with, "Yeah, looks like you've done excellent detective work, guys. I'm very proud. Being the Sherlock Holmes that I am, however, I can see there's one thing that you've yet to discover..."

That other thing looks like it could have been the screenshot, which looks like it has come from CG footage, the URL for which was found in some metadata.

Of course, with nothing confirmed, that date could be nothing more than a website launch, a red herring, or a complete misunderstanding. It's unlikely though, right?

Make of it what you will, there are 52 pages of forum investigation to flick through.

A series of mysterious Hitman images first started to appear online earlier this month suggesting an imminent reveal for the return of Agent 47 series. Seems like we could be closer than ever.
Source: CVG

The Hobbit finally starts shooting

After numerous delays, The Hobbit has sprung up out of nowhere to start shooting in New Zealand. The Office and Sherlock star, Martin Freeman will apparently play the younger version of Ian Holm's Bilbo Baggins.

Official Plot Synopsis:

The Hobbit follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Here's the Official Press Release:


In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit…

Wellington, NZ, March 21, 2011—Production has commenced in Wellington, New Zealand, on “The Hobbit,” filmmaker Peter Jackson’s two film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s widely read masterpiece.

“The Hobbit” is set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”

The two films, with screenplays by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, will be shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Filming will take place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

“The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor, which was long ago conquered by the dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakensheild. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Giant Spiders, Shapeshifters and Sorcerers.

Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever … Gollum.

Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of guile and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities … A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know.

Martin Freeman takes the title role as Bilbo Baggins and Ian McKellen returns in the role of Gandalf the Grey. The Dwarves are played by Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenshield), Ken Stott (Balin), Graham McTavish (Dwalin), William Kircher (Bifur) James Nesbitt (Bofur), Stephen Hunter (Bombur), Rob Kazinsky (Fili), Aidan Turner (Kili), Peter Hambleton (Gloin), John Callen (Oin), Jed Brophy (Nori), Mark Hadlow (Dori) and Adam Brown (Ori). Reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy are Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Andy Serkis as Gollum and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Jeffrey Thomas and Mike Mizrahi also join the cast as Dwarf Kings Thror and Thrain, respectively. Further casting announcements are expected.

“The Hobbit” is produced by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, alongside Carolynne Cunningham. Executive producers are Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner, with Philippa Boyens as co-producer. The Oscar-winning, critically acclaimed “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, also from the production team of Jackson and Walsh, grossed nearly $3 billion worldwide at the box office. In 2003, “The Return of the King” swept the Academy Awards, winning all of the 11 categories in which it was nominated, including Best Picture – the first ever Best Picture win for a fantasy film. The trilogy’s production was also unprecedented at the time.

Among the creative behind-the-scenes team returning to Jackson’s crew are director of photography Andrew Lesnie, production designer Dan Hennah, conceptual designers Alan Lee and John Howe, composer Howard Shore and make-up and hair designer Peter King. Costumes are designed by Ann Maskrey and Richard Taylor.

Taylor is also overseeing the design and production of weaponry, armour and prosthetics which are once again being made by the award winning Weta Workshop. Weta Digital take on the visual effects for both films, led by the film’s visual effects supervisor, Joe Letteri. Post production will take place at Park Road Post Production in Wellington.

“The Hobbit” films are co-produced by New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing being handled by MGM. The two films are planned for release in late 2012 and 2013, respectively.

New Line Cinema continues to be one of the most successful independent film companies. For more than 40 years, its mission has been to produce innovative, popular, profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line produced the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which is a landmark in the history of film franchises. New Line Cinema is a division of Warner Bros.

Peter Jackson is one of the world’s most successful filmmakers. His monumental achievement co-writing, co-producing and directing The Lord of the Rings trilogy (with fellow Academy Award winners and frequent collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) earned a total of 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 Academy Awards. Jackson and Walsh received their first Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay for their acclaimed film Heavenly Creatures. Jackson, through his New Zealand-based Wingnut Films banner, also was responsible for the globally successful 2005 remake of King Kong which earned over $500 million worldwide and 3 Academy Awards. Jackson most recently directed the Academy Award nominated The Lovely Bones; an adaptation of the acclaimed best-selling novel by Alice Sebold, which to date has earned nearly $100 million worldwide; and produced the global sensation, District 9, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. He is also developing a trilogy of films with Steven Spielberg based on Tintin, the world renowned comic book series by Herge. In 2010 he received a Knighthood for his services to film.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. The company owns the world’s largest library of modern films, comprising around 4,100 titles. Operating units include Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., United Artists Films Inc., MGM Television Entertainment Inc., MGM Networks Inc., MGM Distribution Co., MGM International Television Distribution Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment LLC, MGM ON STAGE, MGM Music, MGM Consumer Products and MGM Interactive. In addition, MGM has ownership interests in domestic and international TV channels reaching over 130 countries. For more information, visit


Sunday, 20 March 2011

DC Comics go one event too far

Thanks to my little nerdy sister for sending me the link to this picture. I have to agree with her about the last one though; "we don't joke about things like that."
My favourite is 'Arsenal: Drug Cake'. Just like a real addict, Roy can't ever be allowed to forget it.
Source: Seriously Tall

Boba Fett video game (Wishlist)

After playing through part of The Force Unleashed II wearing the Boba Fett skin, I realised what I really wanted was an actual Boba Fett game.
Let me use the array of weapons in his armour, let me use the jetpack, let me see through his HUD.
The game could play as part Hitman, part Uncharted, part Half-Life.
The missions could count towards a larger story, but optional side quests could see you completing bounties in the Star Wars galaxy.

What would be on your video game wishlist?

The Dark Knight Rises with more casting news: Joseph Gordon-Levitt locked and Juno Temple in talks

It looks like the rumours were true, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has signed onto the Dark Knight Rises. As we're only a few months away from principal photography, I'd expect more details to come to the fore quite soon.

Update 20th March: it appears that the rumours were even more true, with JGL's role being touted as none other than Alberto Falcone as featured in The Long Halloween and Dark Victory. I won't spoil those stories other than saying he is Carmine Falcone's son. Interesting choice, I think that I'll be reading those two collections very soon.

After much speculation, the Inception star will re-team with director Christopher Nolan again for an as yet, still unknown role.
Warner Bros is also looking for a supporting role to be filled as well with British indie starlet Juno Temple (Kaboom, Atonement). The part is said to be that of a street-smart Gotham girl. No formal offer has been presented to her as of yet though.
Unfortunately nothing too revealing to report here as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's role still has not been disclosed but Variety's Jeff Sneider adds his thoughts on what it may or may not be:
Nolan's camp is extraordinarily airtight -- but speculation has ranged from The Riddler (don't bet a plug nickel on this) to League of Shadows villain Deadshot (more likely).
The Dark Knight Rises stars Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman. Nolan will direct the film from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer. Nolan will also produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven. “The Dark Knight Rises” is slated for release on July 20, 2012. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
Source: DailyBlam