Two years into DC’s New 52, it’s clear that execution has been lacking in this initiative, leading to numerous title cancellations and creative shake-ups. It makes DC an easy target to ridicule.
But all is not lost when looking at the brand as a whole. Fresh blood inserted on key titles is starting to pay off. Other mediums are going strong with a good future in store as well.
Don’t believe me? Hit the Play button and get the scoop.
There’s a lot to be said after another great New York Comic Con. Beyond the displays to see and books to buy, there’s a consensus that DC may be losing touch with their fanbase and what they want. How they can get out of that rut? Well, you’ll just have to click on that little Play button up above and find out
Music provided by 13 Shadows – Slide
This week, we explore the godfather-run world of Lazarus, those wacky and Uncanny Avengers, and Batmen and Supermen running amuck on Earth 2. Who needs episodic television?
We’re back and we got announcements, kids!
And with us missing a few months of action, I give the half-year report of comics and where the publishers stand with their comic offerings today. Some good stuff from everybody, but makes you wonder if that will stick around in the next 10 years. Listen to find out why!
Swamp Thing #18 sees Scott Snyder wrap up the Green’s battle with the Rot and give a compelling end to the complex relationship between Swampy and Abby. But in the end, All New X-Men #8 sees Brian Michael Bendis keep bringing compelling character interactions with the original five X-Men being part of the present day. One freaks out, another is freaky. I’ll leave it at that.
It’s not every day that I get nice things. That changed when my friend won VIP tickets to an advanced screening at the Paley Center in NYC last Thursday. Warner Animation and DC have been doing this lately with their animated showings to get the hype going. And for me to see the 16th in DC’s collection of great animated movies and the most anticipated of the batch is the greatest honor.
For us Batfans, we all know how this goes. This is re-telling the Frank Miller story that not only changed the direction of a famed character to a more darker setting, but helped set that same mood and tone for future stories and characters to come. You can say that DC is still trying to relive that aura with all of their books in the New 52 (almost to a fault perhaps), but the industry itself has been greatly affected by what Dark Knights Returns was able to achieve.
Part 1 gave us the first two books in the saga with Bruce Wayne making his way back to the cowl to face the threat of Two-Face and the Mutants. He picked up a new Robin along the way. Saw the Commissioner hang it up. And Joker woke up.
No question that this was the one long-time fans wanted to see. Joker returning to his sadistic roots and the government lackey Superman will do that for you. What really set this adaptation going was that same mood and tone we got from the comic. This just went to darker places that even I didn’t think DC and Warner would have the guts to do even given the material they were working with. You felt it particularly with Joker’s appearances, which should be no surprise to anybody especially if you’re been reading Scott Snyder’s recent take on the character. I’m surprised the R rating wasn’t considered – guess I’ll see when my Blu-Ray copy arrives.
Speaking of the Clown Prince, give it up for Michael Emerson for giving me terrible nightmares. Something about the character just makes the actor playing him – to borrow a line from the flick – “lose control”. Anybody who’s seen Emerson play Ben on “Lost” can see that manipulative and sadistic side that works well with this character. It’s basically “Dark Knight” Joker times 11 – if that is even possible.
And then we have Mark Valley, fresh off a shortened stint on Human Target, taking on the Lackey of Steel. A fine performance where you didn’t expect much of the character to do much other than be the foil for Bruce that represents what he isn’t. He’s not likable here but yet wants to be because of the choices he made. Even though we know the outcome, it makes the final battle between these long-time friends/adversaries all the more sweeter.
Let’s not forget our regulars from the first showing – Peter Weller keeps the gritty going with a man who knows he’s coming to his end soon. I felt he brought a lot more to this than what was complained about in part 1 regarding his monotone interpretation of his lines. I could have used more “oomph” from his rally speech midway through the film, but it gets the job done. Ariel Winter kept providing some spunk to her Robin character, which was a nice contrast to the grim and gritty mentor she followed.
Sixteen movies done with these adaptations and DC and Warner seem to keep getting better when it comes to animation and fight sequences. They somehow have managed to master the pacing of the 75-minute movie and made it feel like it was more. Say what you will about a Batman in his 50s moving as fast as he does, but it sure makes for some well-choreographed battles.
I’m still conflicted on this and Under the Red Hood as my favorites of the batch. The latter still stays close to me because of how it unhinged itself from the source material (Infinite Crisis was prominent during the comic’s run) and made the story arc even better. But this is the granddaddy that the tone of all Bat books is based off for the last 25 years. It’d be hard not to celebrate it as one of the best. I’ll leave it open and say kudos to DC for once again reminding us for why we became fans.