15 January 2010

The JSA Assembles

Just a couple of weeks before they were set to arrive in Smallville, the Justice Society will appear tonight on Batman: The Brave and the Bold's episode, The Golden Age of Justice. Honestly, episodes featuring Wildcat haven't really been great yet, so here is to hoping tonight's breaks the streak.

Gladiator Hulk Smash

A new clip for Planet Hulk has smashed its way online over at newsarama.com. I never read the Planet Hulk comics, but I guess I can get behind the idea of intergalactic gladiator Hulk. I just wish the animation didn't look so cheap.

14 January 2010

Spectre Revealed

Here he is, for the first time on screen, The Spectre as he will appear in the upcoming DC short attached to next months Justice League : Crisis on Two Earths. I guess he looks pretty spectrey, so sure, I'm content.

And for all those asking, the "short" will be 12 minutes, about half the length of a normal televised episode.

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Gotham Girls

Between 2000 and 2002 a Flash-based web series depicting the girls of Gotham was produced for the world wide web titled Gotham Girls. The series' three season focused on the ladies of Gotham city: villainesses Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman as well as heroines Batgirl and Zatanna.

The 3-5 minute episodes made up 30 episodes in total, some of which allowed interaction from the viewer such as being able to click on which spell to make Zatanna cast.

Overall, the episodes were pretty silly and fun with plots such as Harley Quinn getting turned into a baby by plant toxins.

The third season took a bit of a different approach. telling a story related to the Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero movie. In this season, Dora, the sister of Mr. Freeze's wife Nora, seeks revenge against costumed villains such as Freeze whom she blames for her sisters condition. In the process, she pretty much becomes Ms. Freeze.

Pretty much all of the character designs came from the simplified New Batman Adventures looks which actually adapted pretty well to the Flash animation format. The episodes are still available online, so go check them out:

Part 1

Up Next: Return of the Joker

13 January 2010

Wonder Woman STILL Not on Smallville, But Her Costume Is

For some reason Wonder Woman and Batman are not allowed to appear on Smallville, but sometimes they try to sneak in clever references like posting the name of Wonder Woman's island Themyscira in a newspaper headline, or casting star of the Wonder Woman series Linda Carter as Chloe's mom. Other references are a tad more blatant like this costume in the upcoming episode Warrior. I am not sure who Lois is going to claim to be dressed up as, but it most likely will be someone like "Warrior Queen" or something, but we all know the truth. The question is, why don't they just let Wonder Woman be on the show?

What to Expect in 2010 - Part 2

Part 1 covered upcoming shows through June. In part 2, we will finish off 2010.

02 Jul 2010 - The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an amazing TV series. I do not expect The Last Airbender movie (having dropped the Avatar to avoid confusion with the current phenomenon) to be as good, but hopefully M. Night Shyamalamading-dong can do the series some justice. If not, at least we will always have the animated version. Either way, landing the 4th of July weekend was a big win for this movie and may allow it to follow in the footsteps of last years Ice Age 3 (released during the same weekend made $884 million worldwide) on its way to global domination.

Summer 2010 - Batman Under the Red Hood

Though no details have been released, the title for DC's summer DtV movie Batman: Under the Red Hood has been announced. Believe it or not, this is only Batman's second solo feature in the line and the first, Gotham Knight, was more of a gimmick that a movie with a story. So, I am looking forward to this one even though it seems like focusing on an obscure villain is an interesting choice. Who knows, its possible Red Hood is the Joker. That makes more sense.

Augustish 2010 - Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

I don't know much about Scott Pilgrim other than that he is a comic book character that must defeat 7 ex boyfriends to win a date with a bonnie lass. Does that make him a superhero? I guess that depends on whether or not he wins.

05 Nov 2010 - Megamind

Originally Master Mind then Oobermind, its now Megamind. Dreamworks is no Pixar but its also no Fox animation studios, so maybe this will be an interesting "fractured fairy tale" like take on the Superhero genre.

17 Dec 2010 - The Green Hornet

Will The Green Hornet be this years surprise hit as was Sherlock Holmes? Maybe. If it is a big hit, I will be surprised. Will it be this generations lackluster Dick Tracy. Also fairly likely. Then again this picture is all we have to go on thus far.

Sometime in 2010, Maybe

A couple of other projects are in the works with release dates that are still up in the air.

The Black Panther will be the star of an animated mini-series on BET. The motion comic style episodes may air elsewhere as soon as February, but in these United States we still don't know when they will arrive.

The Canadian made Woody Harrelson film Defendor debuted in 2009 at the Toronto film festival and will probably be seen in broader release at some point. Does this description excite you? "Arthur Poppington is a regular but delusional man who believes that he is a superhero named Defendor. He combs the city streets at night in search of his arch enemy, Captain Industry, befriending a young prostitute in his quest."

Lastly, the Phantom having already aired in Canada is set to debut as a mini-series on SyFy. Hardly anyone seems to have watched it when it was on, but those that did don't have much favorable to say. So, don't go signing up for cable to watch this one.

With so many projects forthcoming, surely some of them have to be good. Right? If not, fear not. In part 3 we will look at all those other sci-fi and fantasy movies that will be vying for your hard earned cash.

12 January 2010

Spider-M4n is Dead, Thor to the Rescue

Looks like Sony took my advice. If they weren't going to let Raimi make the Spider-Man movie he wanted (including the Vulture as the main villain) they should fire him. They did. Spider-Man 4 is no more. I guess if Sony is going to spend $300 million on a movie they should be happy about the villain, and to me the Vulture is pretty much as lame as the Penguin. Bird themed villains are just kooky. I wonder who Sony was pushing for?

So, it looks like Thor made the right call in swooping in (ironically like a proverbial vulture) to Spider-Man 4's release date, cuz Spidey is dead. Instead we are looking at a Spider-Man reboot in 2012. I just hope they give us something different this time around. Seriously, the Spectacular Spider-Man animated series is a good model, at least as far as the holding off on MJ goes. I really doubt anyone wants to see the whole Spidey loves MJ arc again. But I wouldn't mind seeing the Goblin kill someone.

Anyways, these reboots are getting out of control. I guess its sort of the James Bond model where no one points out the continuity problems and just rolls with it. But to reboot a franchise after 4 or 5 years seems a tad quick. At least we got 2 1/2 good Spider-Mans. And now we can all look hope that Venom will show up again and not suck and that some of Spider-Man's enemies aren't also his mentors. Also, we can forget that it was really Sandman that did in Uncle Ben.

11 January 2010

Onscreen History of Penguin

As a supervillain, the Penguin is one odd duck but for one reason or another he has stuck it out through the years and is arguably Batman's most well known villain second only to the Joker. Oswald Cobblepot AKA the Penguin first appeared in 1941 in the pages of Detective Comics #58. His first on screen appearance belonged to the 1960's Batman series followed by the 1966 theatrical film. No doubt this portrayal, complete with quack laugh, is what earned Pengy such a lasting legacy.

The Penguin was next spotted in animated spin-off of the 1960's series Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder.

During the 70's the Penguin landed a couple of guest spots on Scooby-Doo along with the Joker and teh Dynamic Duo.

In the 1977 New Adventures of Batman series, very little had changed with the Penguin's look since the previous series nearly 10 years prior.

Just in time to support a Super Powers action figure, the Penguin made a single Super Friends appearance during the shows final incarnation, The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians. In the episode, Penguin managed to possess, albeit briefly, Superman's powers.

In 1992, the Penguin received the opposite of a face lift when Tim Burton created a grotesque version of the character with webbed fingers and an army of actual penguins for Batman Returns. Oh and he ate raw fish- and not your sushi variety.

The Penguin in Batman: The Animated Series somewhat reflected the new film version of the character in appearance, mostly in stature, but was toned down quite a bit. Penguin was the star of some of the series worst episodes like I've Got Batman in my Basement.

When it was time to redesign characters for The New Batman Adventures, Penguin was once again given a bit more of a dignified look and became more of a mobster than a circus freak.

This incarnation of the Penguin served as one of the main villains in the DTV Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman in which he used his Iceberg Lounge as a legitimate front for his dirty dealings. Though the Penguin would not appear in Justice League, his Lounge was seen on occasion.

The Batman decided to go back to the more outrageous version of the character, though to make him more menacing he was given Wolverine inspired Kabuki henchwomen. Also, the Penguins family of the Cobblepot's was given a long standing rivalry with the Alfred Pennyworth (Bruce Wayne's butler) family. This version was pretty detestable, though like many other versions still pretty lame.

In the Batman vs. Dracula DTV, Penguin unearthed Dracula and became a stooge for the vampire.

In 2009, the Penguin along with a slew of other classic Batman foes appeared on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This incarnation payed heavy homage to the 1960's live action incarnation. Penguin would finally get his own main villain story in 2010's Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure in which Batman and Aquaman (along with Mera and Aqualad) were needed to take down the bird. In a series with foes like Kite Man, the Planetmaster, and Babyface, the Penguin finally fits right in.

What the future hold for him is uncertain, but I sure hope he doesn't show up in any live action films any time soon. There is no denying his rich legacy, but not matter how many trick umbrellas he has the Penguin is and always will be pretty lame.