26 February 2010

Will Superman Red Son Rise on DVD

In a story about rumored happenings on the upcoming Man of Steel movie, a re-reboot of the Superman movie franchise, BleedingCool.com had this to say about Mark Millar, who at one point was pitching his own story for a Superman live-action film:

Mark Millar likes Superman. I think we all know that. He grew up thinking Superman was real, but had been killed off. He dressed up as Superman repeatedly as a small child – and now owns the Superman cape from the movies. He grew up to write a number of Superman comics, included his acclaimed run on Superman Adventures and the soon-to-be-animated Superman: Red Son. But for a while it’s been clear. he wanted to write a Superman movie.

Wait! Whats that you say? soon to be animated Red Son? Don't know how reliable this is, but I have heard there is a Superman animated film in the pipe and this elseworlds tale of a Superman who landed in Communist Russia instead of Kansas would be an excellent choice.

Retrospective 1986

1986 seemed to be the year of the under"duck" when it came to superhero action.

Howard the Duck

In the summer of '86, movie goers cried "fowl" when Marvel Comics Howard laid a giant egg on audiences. You know, to be fair I am not really sure Howard can even be classified as a super hero, I mean, he's no Lobo the Duck. In any case, whenever someone wants to argue how bad the Punisher movies or Elektra were, defenders can always say, "Marvel has done worse."

Defenders of the Earth

And speaking of defenders, 1986 also gave the animated Defenders of the Earth series. The series gave us not only Flash Gordon, but a team up with The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician, And Lothar, AND their kid sidekicks. Now isn't that a recipe for success? I actually remember thinking this show was pretty cool as a kid though I didn't know at the time that the heroes were "real" comic book superheroes. They kind of came off like B-listers. Anyways, the show lasted for 65 episodes which by today's standards isn't too shabby. Back then, it may have been a bit of a disappointment.

Just tell me that theme song doesn't get you energized.

The Greatest American Heroine

Execs also decided in 1986 that it was time to relaunch the dormant Greatest American Hero series that ended in 1983. A pilot was filmed for The Greatest American Heroine, showing Holly Hathaway receiving the hero guise after the original hero's identity was revealed making him a celebrity. The pilot was not picked up, but was instead slapped with the original series theme song and credits and placed in syndication as the final episode of the Greatest American Hero series.

In all seriousness, I wonder when we will get a movie adaptation of the GAH series. Seems like its ripe for an adaptation. In all 1986 may be remembered thanks to Howard, though not too favorably. On the other hand, at least it didn't send a multi-hundred million dollar franchise down the toilets. For that you will have to wait until 1987.

25 February 2010

Evolution of the Batman (and Robin) - Teen Titans

Beginning in 2003, Robin and the Teen Titans arrived for five seasons. Interestingly, this Robin really had no secret identity and Batman was barely even alluded to (in "Apprentice," Robin said that he already had a father and some bats were shown...). Instead the focus was on Robin, not as a sidekick, but as the team leader.

The season two future-based episode, "How Long is Forever?" revealed Robin's future identity as Nightwing.

Though Robin assumed another alter ego in season one, that of Red X.

The Red X persona was later assumed by an undisclosed villain who many (including Beast Boy) hypothesize was Jason Todd (comics' second Robin) who in other media became the villain Red Hood.

In "Fractured," Robin was visited by Larry AKA Nosyarg Kcid a Bat-Mite like bumbling fan of the Boy Wonder.

Robin was always the cool one of the group. When he went away for some training in "The Quest" the rest of the Titans all tried their hands at filling in for him. The Teen Titans series was effective in presenting Robin as a stand alone character, one that didn't need Batman to be a charismatic hero.

Up Next: Mystery of the Batwoman

24 February 2010

Watch Robin Die

In July Batman: Under the Red Hood will replay the Death in the Family story from 1980's Batman comic in which an unpopular Robin (Jason Todd) was voted to death by fans calling into a 1-900 number. Not sure how the rest of this movie will be a "mystery" but in any case years later someone calling himself the Red Hood arrives in Gotham seeking vengeance. Should be a good time. Here is a sneak peek at the movie. Watch it while it lasts on youtube.

Glimpse of The Spectre

Tagging along with yesterday's Justice League movie was a 10 minute short featuring the Spectre. While I am still waiting for my copy to arrive, a clip of the Spectre has been posted online and it looks pretty amazing and I expect it is much darker than the feature film. The next one of these will be Jonah Hex who I feel is overexposed for a C-Lister and then Green Arrow for which I have exceeding high hopes.

Here is the clip.

22 February 2010

Green Lantern's Brightest Days #23

#23 Justice League of America: Pilot (Unaired)

In 1997 a pilot episode was commissioned for a potential Justice League of America series. The pilot was horrible, cheaply made, filled with lame mock-interviews of the Leaguers, and fortunately never aired. So how does this qualify for one of Green Lantern's brightest days? There are a couple of reasons. First, regardless of his actual appearance, this was the debut of Lantern Guy Gardner. As an example of how the creators just didn't get the characters, Guy wore the trademark double breasted vest but he lacked the bowl cut and red hair. Why didn't they just call him Hal Jordan?

The second and more important reason for making this list is that IT DID NOT AIR. Your average person doesn't know too much about the Green Lantern and this would have been a toxic introduction, forever branding him in the minds of audiences as a goofball. Take for example Guy's method for flight. He constructed a big green helicopter style whirligig. I am sorry, but that is just ludicrous (no offense to the rapper).

#25 - Justice League Unlimited: Initiation - John Stewart's new look
#24 - Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Death Race to Oblivion! - Guy Gardner's Lanternmobile
#23 - Justice League of America: Pilot - Doesn't air