12 February 2010

The Many Voices of the Bat

IGN.com just posted an article titled, "Voices in the Knight" examining the voice actors who have played Batman over the years. Its well worth a read.

11 February 2010

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Crossovers

Over the course of the DC Animated Universe run there were quite a few crossovers involving the caped crusader. The first, marketed as a movie event, occurred in 1997 on a three-episode arc of Superman: The Animated Series titled, World's Finest.

An alliance between Lex Luthor and the Joker forced Batman and Superman to reconcile their differences in order to take down the evil duo.

In the Superman episode Knight Time, Superman paid a visit to Gotham to find a missing Batman. To counter emboldened criminals who realized Batman was MIA, Superman donned the cape and cowl and teamed up with Robin the Boy Wonder. Later Batman and Superman would reteam against Ra's and Talia Al Ghul in Superman's The Demon Reborn.

Batman teamed up with Static Shock (a hero tangential to the DC Animated Universe) a number of times beginning in 2002 when the pair (along with Robin) took on the Joker in The Big Leagues.

In Hard as Nails, Batman and Static would team up in Gotham City against Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.

In the two part A League of their own, Batman and the Justice League, sans Superman and Wonder Woman, teamed with Static to take on Brainiac.

Finally, Static would team with the future Batman from Batman Beyond in Future Shock.

Up Next: Birds of Prey

10 February 2010

Spider-Man Reboot Gets a Date

Spider-Man has claimed July 3, 2012. In spite of losing a director and the entire cast for the Spider-M4n movie, fans will only have to wait an extra year to see the webslinger return to theaters. This will open Spidey 2.0 a few weeks after The Avengers and the week after Star Trek 2.2 (or is it 2.1?). I wonder what sort of effect this will have on Batman 2.3 (3.3?) AKA The Dark Knight 2 which, if aiming for 2012, would probably have aimed for a July release date as well. Hopefully casting news will be coming soon.

EDIT: Oh and its in 3D - you know because every movie in 3D will be as big as Avatar

Yip-Yip The Last Airbender Gets a Real Trailer

The trailer could still use better music, but it looks impressive. Can't wait to Appa.

Batman to be Hoodwinked

Its official, DC comics next direct to video project is Batman: Under the Red Hood. The LA Times has the scoop:

Plenty of of fanboys are anticipating the new Justice League DVD "Crisis on Two Earths," which premieres on Feb. 23, but that disc will also give birth to a new DC must-see home movie when the Dark Knight saga "Batman: Under the Red Hood" launches one of its first promos.

Written by Judd Winick and based on his 2005 Batman comics story line, it's Batman versus another vigilante, Red Hood, who doesn't mind cleaning up Gotham by leaving dead bodies in his wake. Animated guru Bruce Timm exec produces this pretty violent look into crime on the streets, and it's directed by "Superman Doomsday" co-director Brandon Vietti, with a cavalcade of stars as voice talent. It all starts with Bruce Greenwood ("Star Trek") as Batman, then continues with "Supernatural" star Jensen Ackles as Red Hood, Neil Patrick Harris ("How I Met Your Mother") as Nightwing, John DiMaggio ("Futurama") as the Joker and Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter films) as Ra's Al Ghul.

Since it sounds like this will be based on the 2005 Under the Hood comics, the identity of the Red Hood may not take fans too by surprise unless they change it up, which maybe they will. I'm sure more details will be coming soon.

09 February 2010

Rank Some Marvel DTVs

With the advent of Planet Hulk there are seven lucky Marvel DtVs. While I have enjoyed them all to some extent, some have been much more effective in drawing me back for repeat viewings than others. My preferences may adjust a bit from time to time, but as of now, this is how I would rank them.

#7 Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme may or may not be a faithful telling of a character that I just don't find that interesting or likable. I would also say that these DtVs just aren't long enough for origin stories to feel like they aren't completely rushed.

#6 The Invincible Iron Man was another decent origin story that begins to feel pointless without any further stories to build upon it. The phenomenal live-action Iron Man movie released after this makes The Invincible Iron Man even more irrelevant and the flaws more evident.

#5 Ultimate Avengers 2: The Rise of the Panther was a step down from the first Ultimate Avengers. I did like the Black Panther, but his role on the team didn't seem to justify an entire movie. My memory may also just be failing me, but this movie didn't really seem to have much point other than "stop alien invaders."

#4 Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is a movie that sounded like a disaster, but wasn't. The story was pretty enjoyable and the Hulk's role was perhaps the movies highlight. My main problems with the movie are that the limited running time prevents the viewer from really caring about this new roster of characters. Also, the movie was annoying in that the whole point of these DtVs was to make animation more geared for teens and adults. Why then produce an (albeit good) adventure aimed at kids?

#3 Ultimate Avengers deserves credit for launching not only this line of Marvel DtVs but DCs line as well as movies for other characters like Hellboy. I really like the WWII sequence as well as the Hulk fight at the end. The middle is a bit uneven, but for the size of the cast, everyone was given a couple of memorable scenes.

#2 Planet Hulk surprised me. No I have not read the original story, but the whole idea sounded a bit hokey to me. I am still not sure I like the idea of perma-Hulk versus transforming Hulk and the movie did seem quite reminiscent of the movie Gladiator. Nevertheless, when all was said and done the talking/thinking Hulk stuff didn't bother me at all.. Besides, if they were going to do another Hulk movie, I suppose this approach was better than another monster than must be stopped story. The arena fights, especially the one with Beta Ray Bill (if they could use Wolverine in Hulk Vs, why couldn't they use Silver Surfer here?) were enjoyable, and all of the flashbacks were entertaining. I also liked the resolution of the movie with the exception of one [SPOILER] how one of the villains finally decided to switch sides. [/SPOILER] Time will tell, but I wont mind revisiting this one.

#1 Hulk Vs. not only delivered two stories for the price of one, but both were interesting, different enough from one another, and briskly paced. I probably preferred the Wolverine story to Thor, but both were enjoyable. This simple idea begs for a follow-up with a Hulk Vs 2 or even a line of Marvel Vs movies.

There you have it. To recap:

#1 Hulk Vs. (Wolverine and Thor)
#2 Planet Hulk
#3 Ultimate Avengers
#4 Next Avengers
#5 Ultimate Avengers 2: Rise of the Panther
#6 The Invincible Iron Man
#7 Dr. Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme

08 February 2010

Red Skull to be Defeated by Captain America and More

The villain of 2011's Captain America movie has been revealed to be Red Skull. Not only that but the movie may feature team ups with Union Jack and a non-Fantastic Four Human Torch. The plot thickens...

Green Lantern's Brightest Days #25

While we all sit and wait for news and images from the live action Green Lantern movie (which will hopefully be his greatest moment to date) to appear on the interwebs, I thought it would be fun to take a look at GLs past onscreen moments. For Lantern initiates, this would be a good time to get up to speed on the mythos before next year. So lets get things rolling, shall we?

#25 Justice League Unlimited: Initiation

After a betrayal at the hands of Hawkgirl in the series finale of Justice League, John Stewart was ready for a new look. Ominously, his shaved head (and beard) brought his appearance more in line with that of his Justice Lord counterpart from the previous series' A Better World. That Lantern had crossed the line from hero to well intentioned dictator. GL's new look gave John a much needed edge and represented a new direction for the Justice League Unlimited series.

Links to episode part 1
Links to episode part 2
Links to episode part 3