Friday, 27 May 2011

Marz and Banks talk Green Lantern Retrospective

Newsarama have talked to 90s Green Lantern writers about returning to Kyle rayner as the last Green lantern and what they think of the new movie.

Kyle Rayner is back as a solo Green Lantern again this summer, with the one creative team who could really do him justice.
 In August, writer Ron Marz will reunite with artist Darryl Banks for DC Retroactive: Green Lantern - The '90s #1. And they'll revisit the Kyle Rayner who won a whole generation of fans.
Created by Marz and Banks in 1994, Kyle Rayner is the Green Lantern who succeeded Hal Jordan. Despite Jordan's return in 2005, Rayner has stuck around, and he's still an important part of the Green Lantern universe.
Newsarama talked to Marz and Banks about the reunion, and we asked what they think about the new Green Lantern film and DC's Retroactive comics.
Newsarama: How did the two of you working together come about?
Ron Marz: They called me first, and they offered me the gig. And my first question was, well, is Darryl going to draw it? Because that would be a huge carrot for me to sign on. And that was the plan. As far as working with Darryl again, I couldn't ask for a better situation.
Nrama: Darryl, did you have to clear your schedule to do a little bit of Green Lantern again?
Darryl Banks: In all honesty, I can't say I cleared my schedule, because I keep a pretty busy schedule. I would have loved to have been able to clear my schedule. It's more like just staying up a little later, 'cause this is an opportunity I wasn't about to miss. Never have I wished that I had a clone of myself more than right now.
I got an email from the editor, Ben Abernathy, introducing the Retroactive line they were putting together. Immediately, I said yes! But I thought, Lord, how am I going to do this? But I wanted to do it. And I'm about six pages into it so far, and I absolutely love it. It's like getting the whole band back together.
Nrama: Ron, what's the story going to be in this issue? It's set in that time period, right?
Marz: It's set in that time period, but I didn't want to do something that was so specific to a particular issue. I didn't want the audience to have to have read our run on the book from front to back to be able to enjoy the story. So it's set during, for lack of a better term, "our" era of DC. But there's not an overly specific point where it's set. It's not taking the place between two issues or, God forbid, two panels somewhere.
It's a battle story. We just wanted to tell a good story with the characters that Darryl and I worked on for, well for me it was seven years, and for Darryl a little bit longer than that.
Nrama: Was the story something you came up with for this line?
Marz: Yeah, DC just said, what story do you want to tell? And that really left the whole thing wide open for me to just come up with whatever amused me. So from that aspect, it's a real boon to be able to get that kind of opportunity, to do a story that you're not connecting to any other story. There's no crossover aspect. It's just, tell the story you want to tell.
Nrama: So what did you come up with? What kind of things will we see in the issue?
Marz: I don't want to reveal too much, since it's only one issue. It's a character-driven story with a lot of special effects.
But we'll see the JLA headquarters on the moon. We'll do some stuff in space, and we'll do some stuff in Manhattan. I tried to make sure, location-wise, that we got in all the touchstones from our run.
Hopefully I've accomplished what I've set out to do, which was to tell a story that anybody could plug into and enjoy, but to make sure it has the aspects that people were attracted to when we were doing our run.
Nrama: Were you a little bit rusty on these characters? Or is it like riding a bicycle?
Banks: I understand the bicycle reference, but with me as an artist, I'd been out of comics for awhile, so my dynamic for how I handle work in general has changed so much from when I was doing comics. It just comes so much easier for me now. It's funny -- with all the plates I'm spinning and juggling now, and I'm still able to work on this. Back then, all I did was comics and I could barely keep up. I've often said I can't wait to get another shot at doing something comics related. The Darryl Banks of 2011 could burn the '94 one with ease, and not just speed-wise, but I feel like artistically I've grown. And I've been really chomping at the bit to showcase it, and this affords me the opportunity.
Nrama: Do you think your style has changed?
Banks: I don't know if I'd say that the style itself has changed. I think it's more my approach. Back in the '90s when Image was in prominence, the market was artist-driven. I think I was paying so much attention to who was hot and how I could incorporate that into my work, and always looking over my shoulder. Now I draw what I draw and concentrate on telling a good story with intelligence and drama.
I don't know that I would say my style, visually, has changed that much. But I'm probably not the best judge of that, since it's me. I think we'll have to leave that up to others.
Marz: Yeah, you can't see the forest for the trees, man. To me, I think your style has matured. It's very obviously still your stuff. People who show up to the book looking for that will very much get exactly what they're looking for. But I think, just from the pages you've done so far, I think your style has matured, and you've refined yourself a little bit.
It's interesting for me, because we haven't done anything together for 11 years. So it's really interesting to me to have us go back and do this, and insert ourselves into that earlier time period, but with -- hopefully -- the maturity and frankly, I would hope we've both gotten better at what we do over those 11 years.
And I think it's obvious Darryl has. He was obviously no slacker in the first place. But the stuff he's sending me is really breathtaking. It's really lovely stuff. It gets me juiced up to do more stuff after this together.
Banks: One of the things I've always liked about working with Ron is that -- and I don't know if it's because he grew up around artists or he lives in proximity -- but he's a writer that thinks very visually. So often, I work with writers who think about how it's going to sound, but his scripts are very visual. I don't have to sit and try to figure out what he's saying. I feel like we're telling a story together.
Like I said, I couldn't say yes to this fast enough. Even though my schedule didn't necessarily warrant it.
Nrama: Darryl, we usually talk each year at Mid-Ohio Con, and I'm always asking what you think of the current Green Lantern comics. But this year, there's a Green Lantern movie. What do you think of the live action version of what you got to draw for so long?
Banks: It had to grow on me; I'll be honest. At first, I wasn't so sure about it. But as the ring creations got more interesting, I liked it. To me, that's what separates Green Lantern from other heroes. There are plenty of energy-based heroes or characters who can fly. You've got to get into what the ring actually does. You have to think in terms of the public seeing Green Lantern for the first time. They may have heard the name, but this is probably an introduction to a lot of people.
I really liked the more recent trailers that have Hal creating the gun and everything. I saw that and I thought, "I remember doing a panel where he did that very same thing!" Not that I'm trying to imply they saw that, but the coincidence was not lost on me.
I also liked the fact that the creature they're going up against is Parallax. As Ron will probably tell you, that's a little ironic, because DC didn't like that name at first.
But to answer your question, I like what I'm seeing now. Not originally, but it's grown on me. And I like the fact that they're not dumbing it down. We're getting Oa. And we're getting the Corps, with all types of aliens. Even the ones in the comic that looked human-like have been made to look even more alien. And I love that, just to show a difference between the species and races, but they all have the commonality of the Green Lantern power.
Nrama: Ron, what do you think of what you've seen?
Marz: I'm excited. Green Lantern is cool because it's a very malleable kind of concept. You can do outer space stories with it, you can do superhero stories with it, you can do stuff on earth. It's very elastic in terms of the storytelling.
But to me the obvious way to go in terms of a movie is what they've done, which is turn it into a giant space opera. Green Lantern was always a special effects book, even 30 years ago. The difference being the kind of special effects you could show in a comic were things that you generally couldn't reproduce on the screen, because the technology wasn't there yet. Now, finally, movie technology has caught up with the kind of stuff we did in comics with a pen and paper. So now that you can show anything you want in a movie, it's an obvious way to present the property, as this huge space opera. So hopefully, that's what's going to make it different from all the other superhero movies coming out this summer. This is going to be the Star Wars cantina scene of superhero movies.
Nrama: Then to finish up, what do you think of the whole concept of the Retroactive comics?
Marz: I think as a whole, comics do too much looking back and not enough looking forward, but to me, there's something kind of cool about this whole Retroactive thing.
They're all one-and-done stories. There's a sense of honoring the past. I think there's room for that. I think comics always run the danger of wallowing in nostalgia too much. Comics -- especially superhero comics -- are a nostalgia-driven business, in a lot of ways. And I think if we do too much of that stuff, we shut ourselves off from attracting a new audience and pulling in people who have maybe never read a superhero comic, but go see Green Lantern at the movies and think, wow, this is cool and maybe I'll pick something up.
But I think that as long as you have the forward-looking stuff, there's room for this kind of nostalgia stuff. And I hope that, going forward, comics continue to do both.
Ultimately, I'm just really thankful to be working with Darryl again. As fond as I am of Kyle, I'm a lot more fond of Darryl.
Banks: Well, thank you!
And I would just add that people should keep in mind that Kyle Rayner first came into being in the middle of the '90s, when gimmicks and foil covers and all that were the norm. And there were a lot of things being tried to boost sales.
To me, at least with what Ron and I are doing, this Retroactive shows that Kyle wasn’t just a gimmick. He's a legitimate, fleshed-out character who's still around to this day. I always wondered how many years it would be until he'd be killed off, but he's still around. That kind of proves what I already knew, that he was a very good addition to the Green Lantern mythos, and he has an enduring charm about him that even other creators can pick up on.
The Retroactive is signature Kyle Rayner. You'll see similarities to how he relates to the Corps and fits with Hal Jordan, but this will show what makes him unique, what makes him such a likable character who has survived so long.

Sourece: Newsarama

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Revan novel synopsis

Here is a look at the official synopsis for the third Old Republic novel based on the sometime-Darth Revan. Note: This artwork is not indicative of the book's cover or content.
"There’s something out there:
a juggernaut of evil bearing down to crush the Republic—
unless one lone Jedi, shunned and reviled, can stop it.

Revan: hero, traitor, conqueror, villain, savior. A Jedi who left Coruscant to defeat Mandalorians—and returned a disciple of the dark side, bent on destroying the Republic. The Jedi Council gave Revan his life back, but the price of redemption was high. His memories have been erased. All that’s left are nightmares—and deep, abiding fear.

What exactly happened beyond the Outer Rim? Revan can’t quite remember, yet can’t entirely forget. Somehow he stumbled across a terrible secret that threatens the very existence of the Republic. With no idea what it is, or how to stop it, Revan may very well fail, for he’s never faced a more powerful and diabolic enemy. But only death can stop him from trying."

Star Trek's Data raps for Spot

This is a silly remix of an Ode to Spot from The Next Generation. Enjoy.

Source: Geekologie

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Follow Normal Nerds

There has been alot of traffic here over the last few days, which is absolutely great. I hope that you can find your way around the blog okay and that you've read something interesting.
If you have any questions, then ask and I'll try to find answers for you.
The blog can't grow, however, without followers. Please take the time to follow the site, either through blogger, Facebook or twitter.
Thank you.

Monday, 23 May 2011

The Dark Knight Rises heads to Glasgow

It looks like Nolan is trying to flesh his Gotham out even further, thankfully taking the European influence on the city that is so often prevelant in the Gotham City of the DCU.
"Caped crusader to film in Glasgow
Glasgow is to be transformed into Gotham City in the latest Batman film sequel.
Dark Knight Rises, which sees Christian Bale return as the caped crusader, will be filmed in the city, with Anne Hathaway and Michael Caine among the cast.
Director Christopher Nolan will use shots filmed around Glasgow in some of exterior scenes in the final instalment of his Batman trilogy.
Shooting has already begun in London and Croydon and will head north for several scenes early next month.
Nolan, who previously used Chicago to depict Gotham, wanted to use several different locations to create a Gotham nobody would recognise. A source revealed: "He plans to use various cities to provide a mash-up of what Gotham will look like.
"Glasgow was location-scouted for the last film Dark Knight, though in the end it wasn't used. This time, Chris already has several scenes in mind.
"The city centre architecture is hugely impressive. But he will be filming in secret.
"That said, if you see a man in body armour driving a big Batmobile down Sauchiehall Street, it's Batman.""
Source: The Daily Record

Flashpoint creates a new One Year later?

Last week I posted about Flashpoint being more important than we first thought. Newsarama have been pondering this and have come up with several ideas.
The most interesting of which is that the end of Flashpoint will signal a new 'One Year Later' style jump in continuity. One Year Later came part way through Infinite Crisis, all the books in the DCU jumped forward one year (the missing year was told in 52). Some books handled this better than others, as the lead up to the jump left alot of threads that weren't picked up in certain books. Personally, I hope we don't see a jump because the Bat books are just reaching a nice status quo after Bruce's return and I don't want the fallout from War of the Green Lanterns to be cut short.
Whatever happens, I hope that we get one of the teasers that we got for Countdown to preceed it.
Here are two articles from Newsarama:
Something is obviously brewing at DC as the company plans for September, but nobody is talking about it.
For the last couple months, many of DC's creators have purposely gone silent about what's coming after August in their titles, and no official word has ever been released by DC about anything in September.
This week, however, DC dropped a hint of its own, reporting that on August 31st, the publisher is only releasing one comic.
"Because of its impact on the DC Universe," DC revealed, "Flashpoint #5 is the only title that DC Comics is currently soliciting to arrive in stores on August 31."
Whether it's simply hype or something more foreboding, the implication is that the conclusion of Flashpoint packs enough punch to carry the entire line that week.
It's not the first time DC has only released one comic. Readers may remember that Zero Hour #0 was shipped alone. More recently, on Dec. 30, 2009, the company released only Blackest Night #6, which was also by Flashpoint writer Geoff Johns. But that was a week when distributor Diamond Comics didn't have anything shipping, so DC decided to send retailers their copies of Blackest Night a week early, but have stores hold it a week.
Blackest Night #6 ended up being the top seller that month, so it worked out well last time DC tried it. The move in August with Flashpoint #5 could be a similar sales tactic.
But the lack of information about what DC is doing in September points toward something more drastic coming after the end of Flashpoint.
So what are the signs we've seen so far about DC's plans?
Don't Talk About September
The hush from DC is apparently by design. As Johns explained it last week to Newsarama: "The first rule about Flashpoint is, don't talk about what comes after Flashpoint."
It's not just a fun saying, but a policy DC has enacted with its "people in the know." A few creators have even admitted to Newsarama that they've signed a legally binding "non-disclosure agreement" that prevents them from even hinting about their work after August.
Johns, who likes to downplay the buzz about "big endings," would only say Flashpoint "will have repercussions. But I think it's a great story on its own.
"But yes, it will have major repercussions."
Timing Is Everything
One look at August's solicitations and it becomes obvious: Storylines are finishing up in a hurry so that the timing is right for new stories to launch post-Flashpoint.
Phil Hester, who is writing Wonder Woman after taking over the "Odyssey" storyline from J. Michael Straczynski, gave one of the earliest clues about the importance of September.
Back in March he told Newsarama, "My run has been extended two issues to make it dovetail into Flashpoint more seamlessly," indicating that DC apparently wanted Wonder Woman's storyline to reach its conclusion in August instead of June.
"I will say that when you finish page 20 of that issue you will have read a complete, self-contained story. Flashpoint will follow, but it won't impinge on anything we might accomplish with 'Odyssey,'" he said.
Wonder Woman isn't the only ongoing title that is finishing up a major storyline in August. Batman Incorporated's latest story concludes in August, as do the stories in titles like Birds of Prey, Action Comics, T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, Adventure Comics, Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Arrow, and even the much-hyped "Grounded" storyline in Superman.
Big Things in Batman
The Batman universe has been hinting about the importance of this autumn for a while now. As Newsarama reported last month, Tony Daniel confirmed "big things" are "happening this fall, as many are already speculating."
Detective Comics is shipping two issues in July to make sure Scott Snyder's ongoing story is finished before the end of August. As he told Newsarama last month, he and his two artists realized they needed a little more room to finish their story. But instead of just extending the story into September, the title is double-shipping in July with an oversized issue in August — all clearing the way for something new in September.
August also sees two issues shipping of the mini-series Snyder is co-writing with Kyle Higgins, Batman: Gates of Gotham. Apparently, DC also wants that five-issue series to be finished up before the end of Flashpoint.
Snyder wouldn't even confirm whether or not he would still be writing Detective in September. "I can't really say much about what DC has planned beyond that," Snyder said, "but I can say that I'm super excited about it. And everyone knows I love being in Gotham. I'm extremely happy about where I'll be after we're finished with this story."
Double ShippingTeen Titans is also shipping two issues in August, releasing its "bonus-sized" 100th issue on August 24th, just a week before the conclusion of Flashpoint. There's no indication why the title would release two issues in August, beyond the speculation that everything had to be finished before September.Superboy is also shipping two issues in August, quickly finishing up Jeff Lemire's story for the title before September. He told Newsarama two weeks ago that his summer storyline in Superboy will be the "culmination of all those little plot threads and seeds" he's been planting, apparently making sure the decks are clean for September.And when asked about September, Lemire would only say he couldn't talk about it. Like Snyder, he wouldn't even confirm he'd what comic he is writing after August.Just GuessingBecause Johns is writing the Flashpoint event, many fans are pointing toward the "One Year Later" shake-up that occurred after the end of his Infinite Crisis event. That line-wide change simply skipped things ahead a year, launching several new comics and introducing new concepts and characters.But some bloggers have even voiced concern about whether Flashpoint would lead to DC renumbering its books or even rebooting the entire DCU. Whether those more extreme rumors are true, DC isn't saying. They may have to clarify next month when September solicitations come out, but so far, mum's the word.
If rumors found around the internet are to be believed, DC is planning something big with their September releases. Not only is the publisher only soliciting one comic on August 31st, but every other regular DCU title for the month prior appears to be reaching the end of a storyline, status quo or train of thought. Are we heading towards another One Year Later-style relaunch of the entire DCU? It definitely seems possible... which means that it's time to ask really nicely for some of the following things. We'll keep it limited to five so that you can add on.
No Relaunching Books From #1 Without A Good Reason
One of the rumors going around is that all books will be relaunched with a brand new #1 to entice new readers. Considering that two of the titles affected by this would be the two longest-continuously-running series in comics history, I'm sure that you can see my hesitation with this idea. Is dumping 70+ years of history really worth what is sure to be a temporary sales bump? (Spoiler: No.) That said...
Every Post-Flashpoint Issue Should Be Approached As If A First Issue
If the September books are to be pushed as jumping on points for new readers, they have to act as such: The premise of the series has to be clearly laid out, the characters introduced and whatever mysteries or long-running questions the readers need to be asking themselves should be in place by the end of the first issue. Everything the reader would require in order to become a fan of the series should be present in the September issue. No time for slow burns, Doctor Jones.
No Drastic In Media Res Changes Without A Plan To Explain Them Sooner, Rather Than Later
One of the problems with One Year Later was that changes were made to series with the intent of hooking the reader in (Why is the book suddenly called Hawkgirl? Who are all these new Teen Titans? Who is this new Aquaman?) without, it seems, the most clearly thought-out plans for explaining the changes to the reader. If there are changes coming to the status quos of books in September, please make sure that the reasons behind them aren't left dangling for months, giving readers the idea that even the creators have no idea why they happened. On a similar note...
If We Have To Do Retro, Let's Do Retro Right, Shall We?
You know what DC Comics readers have been starved of, recently? Superman flying around Metropolis, saving the day and, as mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent, visiting the Daily Planet for his dayjob. Or Green Lantern being a space cop who looked into things other than the increasingly-incestuous multicolored lantern corps or shenanigans perpetuated by his bosses, the Guardians of The Universe. Or Wonder Woman doing anything that isn't addressing her own origins, cut off from the rest of the universe. Whether by coincidence or design, it seems as if we've gone through an extended period of taking iconic characters away from their iconic roles, and if there's a time to fix that, a line-wide relaunch would seem to be the ideal one. Change isn't necessarily bad, but it has to be worth it: If you don't have anything better to replace the classics with, don't just change them for the sake of change.
Take Your Influence From The Right Places
Whether intentionally or otherwise, Geoff Johns' shadow has fallen long across the DCU as a line in recent years. It makes a lot of sense, considering (a) his place within the company and (b) his sales figures. But I'm always surprised to see so few creators looking at Grant Morrison's Batman to see another model of how to do things to critical and sales success - Morrison's Batman breaks with the Johns model in a lot of ways, not least of which is its emphasis on form over character (Both Batman and Robin and Batman Incorporated have character moments, but they're really about the story and the way the story is told, in a way that Johns' books rarely are) and its willingness to push forward through status quos without invalidating the core concept. Somewhere between Johns' and Morrison's approaches (but taking note of everything that they share, just as importantly) is a road plan for doing DC superheroes "right." If you can somehow crack that, you should be all set.
Wait, is that five already? But there are so many more! Give Some New Characters A Chance, Don't Invent Things You're Not Going To Do Anything With (Hi, new Global Guardians in Green Lantern), Try And Ensure Your New Creative Teams Don't Bail On Books A Couple Of Months In Where Possible, As Far As Humanly Possible, Try To Have A Better Shipping Schedule Than One Year Later Did, or even Seriously, Killing People Off For Shock Value Is Over, Please Don't Have A Sudden Death or Two To Make A Point... I could go on for days...! Most importantly though, DC, take care of the characters we love; make sure when you're trying to grab new readers you don't leave the current ones behind.
Source: Newsarama

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Canned Wonder Woman Costume 3

Source: DCwomenkicknass

First Amazing Spider-man posters

The teaser poster and first banner for The Amazing Spider-man have been released, giving a very subtle tease to the Lizard as the villian (as if Rhys Ifans as Dr. Curt Conners wasn't enough of a clue). A bit underwhelming if you ask me, I would've wanted to make a bigger split from the previous films.

Source: LatinoReview