Monday, 24 December 2012

New Star Trek: Into Darkness Images

Coming from the latest issue of Empire are these new images from JJ Abrams' latest film.

Must say these are looking great.  Can't wait to see the film when it drops May next year!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Characters we would love to see in Arrow

I must say I'm enjoying Arrow.  While it may not be fantastic I am finding it to be highly enjoyable, even if the writing can be hit and miss the overall narrative has me intrigued.  As many of you know Green Arrow has encountered a plethora of characters in the past, ranging from the Huntress (which recently featured in the most recent episode of the series) to Batman, and there are a certain number of characters I’d love to see in the future.

What we've seen already

So far Arrow’s not been afraid to incorporate lesser known characters from the DCU into the show, having already featured the likes of Huntress, Deathstroke, Deadshot and China White, Firefly is also being flung into the mix in the tenth episode, with all of them having key roles in the overarching story-line.  We've had name drops towards character like Speedy (Thea's nickname) and some slightly more annoying ones, as with Laurel (Dinah) Lance's law firm being C-N-R-I (you see what they did there too?).  There's been a new take on the villainous archer Merlyn, and also a new interpretation of the Royal Flush Gang.

Characters we'd like to see:

The Question (Vic Sage)

Being the Question fan boy that I am, it would be impossible to leave off the brilliant Charles Victor Szasz off this list.  Vic Sage resides in Hub City, one of the most dangerous and violent areas of the DC universe, and is an investigative Journalist for the local news station.  Vic adopts the identity of the Question in order to expose corruption and fight crime where he sees it.  Vic is also very competent in hand to hand combat, having been taught by Richard Dragon, and has been able to match Lady Shiva in the past.  The Question has crossed paths with Oliver Queen before, having teamed up with him to attack the corrupt mayor of Hub City along with Batman and Blue Beetle.  Not only has the Question met with Oliver, he also made a massive impact on the Huntress too, having protected her, and being her first ally.  Sage could be brought in to expose the Triads, while at the same time questioning Ollie’s body count and evaluating his tactics.  I think it’s about time the Question made his live action début now; He’s a very interesting character, and the way he plays off others is always a joy to see, not to mention the fact the character generally rocks and deserves to have his own show.

Essential Reading: Zen and Violence, Epitaph for a Hero, 52.

Blue Beetle

Another of the Charlton Comics characters picked up by DC, Ted Kord possesses great intellect (being one of the most renowned minds in the DCU) and utilises both gadgets and martial arts to fight crime.  While Kord isn't particularly known for working with Oliver Queen, I do believe Kord could bring a comedic element to the show, while tying in to the Arrow mythos.  Kord doesn't even have to don the suit, but the character I feel would assist Ollie, perhaps developing new types of Arrows and equipment for Oliver, and one day even assist him in the field as Blue Beetle.

Essential Reading: Infinite Crisis


The polar opposite of Batman, being brought up by criminals, his parents were gunned-down by law enforcement officers, and ever since then Prometheus vowed to “Annihilate the forces of justice” wherever he saw it.  Prometheus affected Oliver greatly during his time on the Justice League, having maimed Roy Harper brutally and destroyed half of Star City; Prometheus was killed by one of Queen’s arrows after surrendering himself to the Justice League.  Prometheus could raise the tension of the show; entering Starling City to take out the ‘Hooded Man’ he’s heard so much about, and in the process establishing a new base of operations in ‘Starling City’ (why they didn't call it Star city we’ll never know).

Essential Reading: Justice League: Cry for Justice


Catman is a fantastic character, as shown by Gail Simone’s brilliant Secret Six (if you haven’t read it you really need to), and possesses a rich history.  Catman is a intelligent warrior, an anti-hero, and compared to many other villains he is depicted as being quite a noble and heroic character.  Catman has been known to disagree with many heroes, believing many to be arrogant and that they abuse the powers given to them.  This belief brought Catman to confront Oliver during Secret Six in regards with Dr Light (who had aided Merlyn and Deathstroke in defeating Oliver previously).  This could be the driving factor for Catman to appear on the series, seeing Oliver arrogantly taking out who he wants could bring Blake to Starling City, to confront him.  Or they could push Catman down more of the Villainous route, as an antagonist that can let the audience sympathise with the character, portraying him as the honourable villain.

Essential Reading: Secret Six: Six Degrees of Separation, Secret Six: Dans Macabre

Roy Harper

The original Speedy, Roy Harper’s relationship with Oliver Queen has been a tough one.  Originally Queen’s sidekick, after discovering that Harper was addicted to Heroin, Queen punched Roy and left him on the street.  After successfully withdrawing from his drug addiction, Harper confronted Queen and the two stopped working together.  Roy adopted the new identity of Arsenal and fought alongside with Nightwing and others in the Outsiders, eventually leaving due to complications in the team.  Harper then went on to join the Justice League under the title of Red Arrow.  Much of this history has been changed with the New 52, most notably how Queen and Harper stopped working together (to which currently remains un-revealed), and has now joined the outlaws, a group led by Jason Todd.  Considering that Arrow seems to be giving the  title of ‘Speedy’ to Oliver’s sister, the show could introduce Roy as someone who has been inspired by Oliver’s actions, eventually proving his worth and working alongside Queen as Arsenal.

Essential Reading: Justice League: The Tornado's Path, The Outsiders: The Sum of all Evil, Red Hood and the Outlaws: Redemption

Barbara Gordon (Oracle)

The first Batgirl, Barbara was left crippled by a bullet from the Joker (but I'm sure you're all pretty aware of that) and adopted the identity of Oracle, providing assistance to Batman and the bat-family when needed.  Eventually Babs went on to work with the Birds of Prey, coordinating and helping others in the field.  With the inclusion of Huntress in the show (a key member of the Birds of prey), it could be appropriate to add Oracle, serving the function of adding critical assistance to Ollie and Helena in the field.  With the inclusion of Oracle in the series many doors could be opened to include certain members of the Bat-Family, maybe allowing Nightwing to eventually make the leap to the silver-screen.

Essential Reading: Batman: The Killing Joke, Birds of Prey: End Run


Brick made his comics début in Green Arrow, being created by Judd Winick and Phil Hester during their run on the character.  In the comics Brick is a strong meta-human with 'brick' like skin that makes him virtually invulnerable.  At first, Brick was an enforcer for the various gangs that operated in Star-City, but as his aspirations grew so did his gang, and in the wake of the attacks that took place in Star-City Brick came to blows with Green Arrow, with Queen only just managing to best the character.  Like Bane added to the Dark Knight Rises, Brick could bring an intimidating physical presence to the show, challenging Oliver not only intellectually but also physically.

Essential Reading: Green Arrow Vol3

So these are just some of the characters we'd like to see in the future!  There are probably a few that we've missed out, but these were some of our most wanted.  While the probability of these guys appearing on Arrow are mixed, it would be silly for DC not to take advantage of this medium and spread out lesser known characters to the casual audience.  I'd be very happy to see any of these characters in the show, (especially Question) as long as not too many drastic changes are made to the characters.  Alternative interpretations are great, but only as long as the basic traits that make the characters enjoyable are kept.

Do you guys have any characters you'd love to see done in live-action?  Sound off and let your voice be heard!

Star Trek Into Darkness trailer

Here's Alice Eve looking very Elizabeth Dehner and Benedict Cumberbatch behaving very Gary Mitchell as they play Dr Carol Marcus and John harrison in the new trailer for Star Trek Into Darkness. I think that we're going to get a mix of Space Seed, Wrath of Khan and Where No Man Has Gone Before all mixed up together in this one.

Man of Steel trailer

The new Man of Steel trailer is here! I wasn't convinced by the teaser trailer earlier this year, but this trailer hints at some good stuff in the movie. Consider me hopeful.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Huntress darts into 'Arrow'

Helena Bertinelli, the Huntress, is coming to Arrow. Why do we care? Because Huntress is awesome and Arrow, whilst not stunning, is turning out to be quite watchable (certainly an improvement on the dire Smallville).

Arrow producers had this to say about her upcoming two-episode arc:
"The whole reason for bringing the Huntress on -- it isn't so we can just throw in a new DC Comics character, even though she's very cool. It's really about having an emotional effect on Oliver. When we meet him in that storyline, he's lonely and he's feeling a little lost, and then, in comes to his life this girl who's the darker version of him who he thinks he can save. On an emotional level, she and Oliver are both damaged by their pasts, and then the fact that she's hot and Oliver is into her makes it all the more complicated."
Source: CBR

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Monkey Island movie?

By now I'm certain that you all know about the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm. I'm writing up a larger article about the implications that has for Star Wars, but I just had a brainwave and had to share it.

In the purchase, Disney acquired LucasArts. Disney also own Pixar. LucasArts own a game property called Monkey Island; which did have a movie in development for a while. The screenwriter went on to write the Disney property, Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney, and by extension PIXAR, have direct access to the franchise that helped to inspire one of Disney's biggest money-spinners of the last decade. With a return of Johnny Depp and the Pirates franchise looking less likely, surely Disney would like to fill the pirate-shaped hole in their line-up.

Insert brainwave:
Could we see an animated Monkey Island movie from PIXAR?

Learn more about the cancelled movie here.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

My Top Ten Westerns

Ah the western, this is a genre that never ceases to crank out fantastic films, and has spawned so many classic icons that have made their mark on the cinema industry.  As I've said before, I'm really excited for Django Unchained.  Quentin Tarontino directing a Western is a match made in heaven, and the film itself has a fantastic cast including the likes of Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz with Leonardo DiCaprio to name but a few, plus the latest trailer seems to re-affirm my beliefs that this film will rock.  So without further delay, here are my Top Ten Westerns.

10.  Open Range

So we open the list with 2003’s Open Range, a film that is often quite overlooked.  Kevin Costner is firmly in his own element here, putting in a pretty descent performance as Charlie Waite, a veteran of the civil war, working as a cattle rustler alongside his old friend, Boss Spearman (Duval) and two other young workers.  Duval also puts in a good performance as an old farm hand, who brings a very relatable character to the table.  Needless to say a series of events causes their tranquil lives to be destroyed, forcing the two into action.  Costner also directed the film.

9- Young Guns

This film is just plain fun, and all actors put in really solid performances.  The story focuses on the early career of famous outlaw ‘Billy the Kid’ and how he came to fame.  Emilio Estevez looks insanely like the original photos of the out-law in question, and represents the personality of the kid very well.  Kiefer Sutherland in particular stands out here, playing Josiah Gordon 'Doc' Scurlock, a young regulator with a strong heart.  Lou Diamond Philips and Charlie Sheen also do their roles justice, with the latter probably being one of Sheen’s best.  The only real gripe I have with this film is the cheesy over dramatic soundtrack that would be far more at home in a Transformers film.  Despite the shortcomings of the soundtrack, I’d advise anyone who hasn't seen this to give it a watch; it’s quite a fun western.  John Wayne’s son Patrick appears as Pat Garret.

8- Dances with Wolves

Another Costner film finds its way onto the list.  The film that won both best picture at the Oscars and best Director for Costner, this story is something pretty special.  The film deals with Costner, an ex Union officer and his experiences with the Lakota Indian tribe.

7- Unforgiven

Now this is a truly brilliant film, even if it is a little depressing at times.  Clint Eastwood plays Will Munny, an old gun slinger who reluctantly takes on one last job.  This best picture winner has some brilliant talent behind it from Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman.  I Would highly recommend watching this film, as Eastwood is on stellar form, as are the rest of the cast.

6- Tombstone

This film may not be the most historically accurate re-telling of the gunfight at the OK. Corral, but it’s most certainly the funnest.  Kurt Russell plays retired law-man Wyatt Earp, on his way with the rest of his family and his best friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer), to seek their fortune in the mining town of Tombstone.  Needles to say events spur the group into action, with consequences to the family.  Val Kilmer is the highlight of the picture, with a performance which rightly deserves an Oscar.  This movie is certainly worth watching.

5- 3:10 To Yuma (2007 remake)

Completely unrelated, but this is the reason why I'm so excited for The Wolverine.  James Mangold can direct, and this film shows it.  Christian Bale plays an ex union soldier who has settled down with his wife and family, but due to recent attacks on his property, he needs funds to repair what is rightfully his.  Russell Crowe plays notorious outlaw Ben Wade, and when he is captured by the law, they enlist the help of Bale to transport the man to the 3:10 to Yuma train.  The result is a fantastic film, with plenty of amazing performances from all the cast.  Crowe is particularly brilliant here.

4- For a few dollars more

One of the reasons why I love this film so much is Lee Van Cleef’s performance as ‘the man in black’, a ruthless bounty hunter who might just take the cake for ‘biggest badass in the west’.  I actually think Van Cleef plays the part of the hero a lot better than he does the villain, and if any film can help me argue that point it’s this.  The film also delivers emotionally in the final act as well, demonstrating the degree of Van Cleef’s acting talents.

3- True Grit

Surprisingly the only John Wayne film on this list.  While I do enjoy the remake with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon, this is truly where I feel Wayne came into his own, playing the lovable Rooster Cogburn.  If you haven’t seen this film yet you really should, and this is from someone that doesn't particularly enjoy quite a lot of Wayne’s films; If you've enjoyed the remake, I'm sure you’ll enjoy this.

2- Once upon a time in the West

Wow! Another Sergio Leone film that stuns at every corner.  Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda are just brilliant in this, and it’s a testament to brilliant film making.  Claudia Cardinale moves to Utah, who then finds her entire family killed by Gang Leader Henry Fonda.  Fonda plays the part of the antagonist frighteningly well, making some parts of the film quite unnerving.  Bronson is truly brilliant in this role, and it was a huge challenge to choose between this and number one...

1-  The Good The Bad and the Ugly

The finale to Sergio Leone’s ‘Dollars Trilogy’, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is a film you definitely don’t want to miss out on.  The story about three men making an uneasy alliance to find hidden treasure during the American Civil war is expertly told, with fantastic performances all round.  Van Cleef plays a different character than the one he did in For a Few Dollars more, this time playing a truly emotionless Bounty Hunter.  The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone is truly something to behold.

So that’s my list!  Quite a few controversial positions, but these are my favourite westerns, and there are some truly remarkable films on this list.  Django Unchained is looking pretty good, but I guess we’re going to have to wait a while to find out whether my expectations are met.
Django Unchained comes out December 25th state-side, and January 18th in the UK.

The (abandoned) Flash movie

Sometimes going through old ideas that have lingered in Development Hell can be revealing other times they can be frustrating. This explanation of The Flash movie being dropped from WB's preproduction offices seems to be more of the latter than the former.
Attempted to post a bit more about The Flash and it appears to have disappeared. Well, in any event, just wanted to say thanks to all of you who've expressed their regrets, etc. To be honest, when WB first approached me about doing The Flash, it seemed a little too good to be true. A part of me thought they'd never really make a movie like that. For the record, the script did involve both Barry and Wally as The Flash. I wanted to showcase the legacy aspect of the hero -- as that was something that hadn't been explored yet in film. Like Batman Begins, the script drew on some seminal comicbook runs (Mike Baron, Mark Waid, Geoff Johns). There have been other super-hero scripts of mine that fell by the wayside. An R-rated Ghost Rider script that Stephen Norrington was going to direct. A horror-centric Doctor Strange script for Sony (which portrayed Mordo and Dormammu in a very Lovecraftian light). Even a pretty crappy Venom/Carnage script that I got roped into writing for New Line! Andy Walkers script for Batman/Superman was great. And I'm sure Whedon's Wonder Woman is pretty damn cool as well. The truth is, I've had a remarkably good track record with these kinds of films so far, so I don't have a lot to complain about. My peers and I are well-compensated for what we do. We're essentially living the dream we'd envisioned when we were kids. Now we get to meet and work with people we viewed as roll models and heroes. Just the other day I had lunch with Wendy & Richard Pini, the creators of Elfquest. (And I can remember buying their very first issue back in 1978 when I was just thirteen). I got to have dinner with Neal Adams before the Batman Begins premiere. Work with the likes of Stan Lee and Mike Mignola. In the coming weeks I'll post a bit more on the projects I've been working on since the Flash's demise. (One of them takes place in the DC Universe.) Until then...
Apparently this is who he had lined up for the film:

Remember, this film was cancelled very early in it's development, so take the casting with a pinch of salt. Ryan Reynolds, however, was apparently in talks for the role. He mentions it around 2minutes in:


Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Dark Knight Returns part 2 trailer

WOW! Talk about SPOILERIFIC! Do not watch this trailer if you haven't read the comics.

New Django Unchained Trailer-Now with more Awesome.

I must say this really is shaping up to be one brilliant film.  My most anticipated of the coming months I might add, slightly over-taking Skyfall and The Hobbit: Part 1.  Django Unchained just screams 'I'm brilliant and I know it', with a cast involving some of Hollywood's finest, it's going to take a miracle for this film to turn out badly.

Django Unchained hits cinemas state-side on Christmas Day, whereas in the UK we're just going to have to wait a little longer, until January 18th.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Good Day to Die Hard: Teaser Trailer

John McClane is back kicking ass in this all new teaser for 'A Good Day to Die Hard'.

Preview of Batman: Death of the Family

As someone who has come to love Scott Snyder as a writer, I was seriously excited to find out that for his second arc on his Batman run he would finally be re-tackling the Joker.  This promises to be brilliant, as Snyder has previously stated he has an immense love for the character, stating that “Joker is my favourite villain of all time.”  The storyline will once again feature the fantastic, moody artwork of Greg Capullo, and the artist himself has shown his excitement for finally drawing the Clown Prince of Crime.  “Talk about a dream come true!  For me, the Joker is the ultimate rogue and the villain I most wanted to draw.”
This has all the workings to be another fantastic story arc by Snyder, who has yet been able to write a story I could fault.  We've already seen briefly what Snyder could do with the Joker in just a few issues of his run on Detective Comics last year, (which produced one of the most frightening Joker’s I’ve read on paper in the past few years) and if Snyder’s saying Joker will be at his most fearsome in this next arc, I may have to brace myself for what’s about to come.

This new arc in Snyder’s run on Batman will also cross over into the various Bat-titles at DC, just like the previous storyline did with “The Night of the Owls”.  It will be very interesting to see the consequences of Joker’s actions and how they affect the Bat family, and I think it’s guaranteed we’re in for a fair share of shocks and surprises, with the way Capullo and Snyder are discussing the book, I think I might actually be afraid to pick up #13.
As someone who has mostly drifted in and out of the New 52 in the past year I must say titles like Batman, and the upcoming Justice League of America series may just be what I need to reinvest some time and love into the medium again.  Snyder is always a writer you can rely on to tell a fantastic story without neglecting the characters we all know and love, and I haven’t managed to fault him on any of his works so far!  This surely promises to be one hell of romp, and I think I’d be slightly insane if I chose to pass on reading this arc.
Batman: Death of the Family begins with #13 of Batman, which hits comic book stores everywhere next Wednesday.

Monday, 27 August 2012

New Justice League book announced!

Justice League of America will be written by Geoff Johns, with art by David Finch. It launches in early 2013 and will run alongside the current Justice League title. It will star Vibe, Catwoman, Steve Trevor, Baz (new Green Lantern), Martian Manhunter, Star Girl, Katana, Hawkman and Green Arrow.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Justice League movie being scripted

Variety is reporting that Will Beall is currently writing a draft of the script for the new Justice League movie. Will it actually come to the big screen after 2008's disaster? Judging The Avengers' box-office, I'd say it has a decent chance. It would be nice if DC/WB could spin movies for The Flash and Wonder Woman out of a Justice League movie, rather than having them lead up to it as happened at Marvel (though if they want to use Man of Steel and Green Lantern as part of the same universe, that would work too) .

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Beyond: Two Souls and The Last of Us footage

I can't wait for Quantic Dream's follow up to Heavy Rain and Farenheit or Naughty Dog's new game, The Last of Us (both apparently starring Ellen Page).

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Harley Quinn's Revenge trailer

The longer trailer for Batman Arkham City story DLC, Harley Quinn's Revenge. Available to download worldwide from May 29th and on the Game of the Year edition (May 29th USA, September EU).

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Monday, 7 May 2012

Amazing Spider-man trailer #3

Looks fun (but I still don't really see the point in doing another origin).

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Brett Booth's Failed Red Robin redesign

The Marcus To redesign from the Red Robin ongoing, in my opinion, did not need to be changed. It was perfect. If I had to choose between the current costume and this; honestly? Prefer this. Source: Brett's Blog

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

TV's Green Arrow revealed

For those that missed it yesterday, here is Green Arrow from the CW's new TV pilot, Arrow.

Source: MTV Splashpage

Monday, 5 March 2012

Earth-2 deatiled for the New52

Newsarama have revealed the new look of Earth-2's Jay Garrick (The Flash) and uncovered some details about the alternate Earth in an interview with writer James Robinson.

James Robinson is finally getting to talk about Earth 2, and while he's not giving much away, there's one thing that's abundantly clear:

This is not your father's Earth 2.

The comic, which Robinson is launching in May with artist Nicola Scott, will tell the story of heroes first emerging on the alternate Earth. It will focus on heroes like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Flash — but the people wearing those costumes may not be the same as the more familiar heroes on the main DCU Earth.

In our interview, Robinson revealed that:

- This is a complete reboot of the Earth 2 concept.

- Earth 2 has a "five-year jumping on point like the main DCU Earth" for its superhero story.

- The story of issue #1 begins with a few characters (including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman) who are "gripped" in a dire situation. But then an "event" happens, and "out of that conflict," some familiar faces begin to "take the mantles of superheroes in the future."

- Jay Garrick is the "everyman" through which readers are introduced to the world of Earth 2. While the name Jay Garrick may be familiar to older DC readers as the elderly Golden Age Flash, in this comic, he's younger, as seen in our exclusive art for the cover of Earth 2 #2.

- Alan Scott and Al Pratt are also key characters in the story of Earth 2.

- Robinson said: "It isn't the Justice Society. It's Earth 2. So it's going to be a whole world of different characters."

- The comic also introduces different versions of Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, but Robinson said Earth 2 is an "ensemble" book, and doesn't just focus on the Trinity. (For previously released information on those three Earth 2 characters, see our summary here.)

- The first issue also includes Helena Wayne as Robin, and Karen Starr as Supergirl, before they somehow end up on the main DCU Earth as Huntress and Power Girl (as seen in the current Huntress mini-series and May's World's Finest).

- The differences between the main DCU Earth and Earth 2 are not traceable to one easy explanation (such as, "they lost the war").

- Fans of Wally West and Donna Troy should not expect to see them on Earth 2, because Robinson said he doesn't know what the plans are for those characters.

- Although Parademons show up on the first variant cover to Earth 2, don't expect to see Darkseid (keep reading for Robinson's cryptic explanation of that).

- DC and its writers have a tough time figuring out what to call the main DCU Earth. Robinson originally used terms like "Earth One" and "Earth Prime," but Newsarama inquired with DC editorial and was told that Robinson should have used "main DCU Earth." This is the second time a DC writer accidentally used the wrong name for the main DCU Earth in an interview with Newsarama.

What follows is the transcript of our discussion with Robinson about May's Earth 2.

Newsarama: James, it feels like this is less a reinvention of the old Earth 2 and more like a reinvention of the DCU in general, but just on a different Earth. Is that the right interpretation?

James Robinson: Well, this book is definitely a reboot in the vein of Grant Morrison's Action Comics or Geoff Johns with the new origin of the Justice League. It's one of those books. It isn't a soft reboot, like Green Lantern or Batman.

Nrama: What's the world like? From the teases we've seen about Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, it feels like this world is darker. Is that the correct assumption we should make from some of the images and descriptions we've seen?

Robinson: It isn't darker. It's just taken a different turn based on key events unfolding differently than on [the main DCU Earth]. And as the series progresses, you're going to see that, while it isn't a completely different world that's so alien to us that we can't recognize it, or even a world with a gimmick, kind of like the old Earth X where it hadn't won the war. Those kinds of things, which are very easy and pat to put down.

This is an earth that in some ways is very like [the main DCU Earth], but in very key important ways, it's also very different. And obviously, I can't reveal too much now, but by the end of the first issue, I guarantee you you'll get a sense of how this world is different and then how it's familiar at the same time.

Nrama: I think the big question is, does it match the five-year-old superhero timeline on the main DCU Earth? With Helena Wayne running around as an adult, we get the feeling that superheroes have been around a lot longer on Earth 2.

Robinson: I don't know. If you think about her age in the Robin sketch and her age now, I don't know if it's accurate to say that they've been around longer, but they've been around for five years.

If you compare her age now as the Huntress to the age she is as Robin in that illustration, it's safe to say there's a five-year jumping-on point like [the main DCU Earth], but it doesn't necessarily imply to me that they've been around longer than that.

Nrama: Are you saying it's less than five years old?

Robinson: No.

Nrama: OK. Well, there's a lot of speculation that the "lost" characters from Teen Titans might show up on Earth 2. Is there any hope for fans of characters like Donna Troy and Wally West that they might show up on Earth 2?

Robinson: From what I gather, based on the panel interviews that Dan [DiDio] gave recently, I believe that DC has plans for those characters. I'm not sure what the plans are for Wally West and Donna Troy, to be honest with you, if there are any at all. I have no idea.

Nrama: Then let's talk about what you do know. What will we see in issue #1 of Earth 2?

Robinson: Well, you're going to see the status quo of the superhero community on Earth 2, which are the characters that DC revealed last week. And you're going to see them in a pretty extreme situation that has gripped the world at that time.

And then from out of that conflict, you'll also see other familiar faces as they begin to get caught up in the dramas and begin to take the mantles of superheroes in the future.

The characters that you're going to see in issue #1 will be Jay Garrick, Alan Scott and Al Pratt.

And then obviously, as the series unfolds, you'll see other characters still.

But the point of this book is that it isn't the Justice Society. It's Earth 2. So it's going to be a whole world of different characters with things going on in different parts of it, obviously all coming together as the plots coalesce and these plots arise.

But it's definitely an ensemble book with these characters. You know, people want to see Jay Garrick. They want to see Alan Scott. And you're going to see them front-and-center in this book as much as anyone else.

Nrama: That's interesting to note. Because images we've seen so far from Earth 2 — the variant cover for issue #1 and the sketches — have all been focused on the Trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. But you're saying that it's not just about those three? That there are superheroes all over Earth 2?

Robinson: What I'm saying is that, as the series unfolds, events happen that, in the future, you will see superheroes around the world. Yes.

Or rather I should say, you will see different characters in different stories — all of them part of the big picture, which is our ongoing dramas on Earth 2.

Nrama: DC has given us a cover for issue #2, which reveals Jay Garrick. What can you tell us about his character in the Earth 2 comic?

Robinson: As the book unfolds, Jay Garrick is very much our point of entry to the world. He's the "everyman" character that we all like, that we all want to be, want to hang out with. That's kind of the role he was in the original Earth-2, and I think it suits him well. He's the likable guy, the one you care about.

Nrama: What about Alan Scott?

Robinson: Alan Scott, as you'll see in the first issue, is a titan of industry and communications. He's a noble, gallant man who will rise to the challenges presented to him.

Nrama: And you mentioned the character we know as the original Atom, Al Pratt. What's he like as we meet him?

Robinson: In the first issue, Al Pratt is a solider who is also everything that you want Al Pratt, this tough little fighter, to be. And yet he is faced with an impossible task and rises to the occasion.

Nrama: We've been introduced somewhat to this Earth 2 version of Superman. He's "mourning" Lois Lane. Was she killed? Or did she just die?

Robinson: Um...

Nrama: Does that matter?

Robinson: Well, I'm never going to be quoted by the comic book press that the death of Lois Lane doesn't matter. I'll tell you that right now.

Nrama: Good idea.

Robinson: So instead I'll say, the events of her tragic death are not something that we actually will be showing, but they are something that drives Superman on in his actions in the comic book.

Nrama: And it sounds like Wonder Woman has the same sort of drive because she's lost people close to her as well, correct?

Robinson: More importantly, she's the last Amazon, so she has her heritage that she carries with her. It isn't just that she's lost her sisters and that whole world, but also that she has this sense that she has to carry on for all of them, and be even stronger and even better for all of them.

Nrama: The description we saw of Batman talks about him choosing to kill to save his own daughter. And his daughter is Helena Wayne, the Earth 2 Robin, correct?

Robinson: Yes.

Nrama: Yes. But it hasn't been revealed that Batman is Bruce Wayne under the mask — only that he's a Wayne. Assuming you can't reveal who's under the mask, what are this character's motivations for being Batman? Is it the same as the Batman we know?

Robinson: At this point, that isn't explored. His origins are much more mysterious. But he has put his web of intelligence and crime-fighting abilities out throughout this world, so he's very much his own version of the Batman on [the main DCU Earth]. The big difference is that he has a daughter he's trained to be Robin and to pass on all of his skills and talents to her. And of course, we'll get to enjoy that with the able talents of Paul Levitz [in May's World's Finest].

Nrama: Right. Will we see the Helena/Robin and Karen/Supergirl in your comic?

Robinson: In the first issue, you will see them in the book, yes.

Nrama: So if Helena and Karen are in your first issue, but then on the main DCU Earth after that, I get the feeling that there's a very important "something" that happens at the end of your first issue, and that leads to the World's Finest book and the rest of your story in Earth 2. Is that correct?

Robinson: There's a lot going on in the first issue, yes. And it's a really, really good final page.

Nrama: You're being more than a little cryptic, James. It's hard to understand what's going on in this book.

Robinson: Yeah, I wish I could speak with candor. But in this instance, it's a bit of a knife walk, I have to say.

Unfortunately, for everything that I don't say, there are a million theories and concepts, and people get angry because they don't know what's going on. This is a very tricky book to promote.

Nrama: Then let's just finish up with a question about this threat we've been shown from the first issue. It's obvious from the variant cover — which showed several Parademons attacking — that the "event" that happens in issue #1 is related to Darkseid. Right?

Robinson: No. It's related to Apokolips. And that's all I can say. It's a very subtle but very important difference.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Geoff Johns on DC Comics video games

I started off my talk with DC Entertainment's Chief Creative Officer on the wrong foot, by forgetting that Geoff Johns has been writing an Aquaman series. "You just proved my point," he chided me. The point being that people rag on the publisher's amphibious character, which is a phenomenon that Johns is trying to reverse in the DC Comics New 52 relaunch. Johns' Aquaman is powerful in ways that other characters in the DC Universe are not and, when cannibalistic sea creatures come to the surface, the same people who once made fun of the Sea King in the comics have to thank him for saving their lives.
Re-envisioning classic characters has made Johns one of the most respected writers in superhero comics but even he has to admit that taking characters outside of comics presents a whole new set of challenges. Everyone's basking in the success that Rocksteady's had with their two Batman games but DC's flagship character has gotten airborne in the interactive medium.

Johns has written great runs on Superman so I asked him specifically about what he thought the problems have been with bringing the Man of Steel into video games. "We talk about it a lot, about how flipping up robots for four hours would get old," he offers.

There's been talk about adapting Johns' Last Son storyline—where Kryptonian villains escape the Phantom Zone dimensional prison to plague Superman—because it delivers enemies who are credible threats to Kal-El's power level. Cosmic tyrant Darkseid's also been floated as another big bad for Clark Kent to face off against. "I think all games come down to gameplay and the right studio. I'm sure the right studio could crack it. Rocksteady has a real passion for Batman, and I think that's why they make a great game."

Johns knows how to get inside characters' heads and the best example of that right now is in the new status quo of Green Lantern, where villain Sinestro finds himself with former hero Hal Jordan's power ring. "That conviction that what he's doing is right is what drives him. People have gotten hurt and killed and outright murdered because of him . He's very ego-driven but he's not selfish," He is narcissistic but he doesn't really do things for glory. What makes him a compelling villain is the fact that he really knows what a Green Lantern is."

Johns' penchant for the cosmic is reflected in his video game tastes, too. He jokingly asked me if I had any dirt on Halo 5 before admitting that he's got a serious Halo: Reach habit. While Gotham City Impostors represents a video-game shooter with DC Comics roots, Johns is most excited about another game in development form the media company. "We're working on Suicide Squad; it's in development right now," he divulges. The team book where supervillains take on ultra-dangerous government espionage missions that they're not expected to come back from is on the DC Entertainment slate as both a movie and a video game. "I'm really super excited about it. Because of the concept, you have a game where any of the lead characters can conceivably die and it's not a stunt. Some really cool story could come out of that."

Source: Kotaku

Monday, 13 February 2012

Tim Drake returns to the Batbooks

Well, I've known since December, but it has finally been officially announced, so I guess we can talk about it. Tim Drake will be rekindling his ties with the Bat-family as part of the Night of Owls event in May.

Source - DC Comics