Wonder Woman bails out a battle-fatigued Batman and Superman in Warner Bros.’ latest DC Comics-derived extravaganza.
Todd McCarthy writes: The increasingly turgid tales of Batman and Superman — joined, unfortunately for her, by Wonder Woman — trudge along to ever-diminishing returns in Justice League. Garishly unattractive to look at and lacking the spirit that made Wonder Woman, which came out five months ago, the most engaging of Warner Bros.’ DC Comics-derived extravaganzas to date, this hodgepodge throws a bunch of superheroes into a mix that neither congeals nor particularly makes you want to see more of them in future. Plainly put, it’s simply not fun. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice grossed $872.7 million worldwide last year, apparently about enough to justify its existence, and the significant presence of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in this one might boost its returns a bit higher than that.
Fatigue, repetition and a laborious approach to exposition are the keynotes of this affair, which is also notable for how Ben Affleck, donning the bat suit for the second time, looks like he’d rather be almost anywhere else but here; his eyes and body language make it clear that he’s just not into it. For his part, Henry Cavill’s Superman, left for dead and buried in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (we see the grave of Clark Joseph Kent more than once), isn’t resurrected until the second half, and it takes considerably more time for him to snap into action.
That leaves things mostly in the capable hands of Wonder Woman, who’s just as kick-ass as she was this summer but in a less imaginative, one-note way. The good news is that Jesse Eisenberg’s embarrassingly misguided Lex Luthor from the previous outing is nowhere to be seen.
So what are we left with here? With all the characters that need to be introduced, the virtually humor-free script by Chris Terrio and Joss Whedon (who was brought on to complete directing duties after Zack Snyder had to leave for family reasons) less resembles deft narrative scene-setting than it does the work of a bored casino dealer rotely distributing cards around a table. Everyone is very downcast in the wake of Superman’s unimaginable fate and there’s naturally a new villain threatening to bring the world to an end, a big meanie named Steppenwolf (voiced by Ciaran Hinds). So Bruce Wayne, with Diana Prince’s assistance, must put together a new team to save the world yet again. Read the rest of this entry »
Original Splash Page by Dick Dillin (pencils) and Sid Greene (inks) from ‘Atom and Hawkman’ #41, DC Comics, 1969Posted: January 24, 2017
“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is facing a rocky start ahead of its Friday release. It holds a bleak Rotten Tomatoes percentage.
Maria Cavassuto writes: “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is facing a rocky start ahead of its Friday release. The tentpole has met with lukewarm reviews and holds a bleak Rotten Tomatoes percentage (which continues to change as more reviews roll in). The last installments fared far better for these caped crusaders, with “Man of Steel” holding a 56% Fresh rating and “The Dark Knight Rises” holding a Fresh 87%.
“I am gobsmacked by just how dull this movie turned out to be.”
— Mike Ryan of Uproxx
Although there are a few positive reviews for Zack Snyder’s film, most are calling out the film for its messy, less-than-spectacular promised clash of comic-book titans.
Variety‘s Andrew Barker says this epic standoff never develops fully, and instead “the life-or-death battle between the two icons ultimately comes down to a series of misunderstandings.” Barker also believes Henry Cavill’s Superman pales in comparison to “the winningly cranky, charismatic presence even when out of costume” of Ben Affleck’s Batman. Visually, the film is a win. For Variety’s full review, click here.
Eric Kohn of Indiewire echoes some of Barker’s points by calling this messy and “cacophonous” showdown “basically one long teaser for the next installment.” Kohn also pointed out that while the film “doesn’t lack for inspired visuals” because “it’s filled with motion-heavy sequences rich in light and color,” a good deal of the story “reeks of the usual routine.”
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone thought this was a step up from “Man of Steel” but nowhere near Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” franchise. However, even though “Batman v Superman” is probably a dream for most comic-book fans, the “kick-ass revelation” is the “wowza of a Wonder Woman,” played by Gal Gadot.
Classic cover by Russ Heath from Journey Into Mystery #1, published by Atlas Comics, June 1952.
Marvel Comics is starting with a clean slate this fall, and fans should get ready for some huge changes — and controversy.
The company said Thursday that after its Secret Wars event ends it will launch an “all new, all different” Marvel universe which, according to Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso, will include no. 1 issues for about 60 titles.
“I think they’re going to offer diverse and exciting and, above all, accessible entry points into the Marvel universe,” Alonso told Speakeasy. “There will be a lot of flavors.”
“In the fall, the Marvel universe will see the arrival of an all-new Hulk, a Hulk you’ve never seen before that’s sure to be exciting and controversial. It’s going to be water-cooler talk. There will be a new Spider-Man in town, and — spoiler alert — there will be an all-new Wolverine. So let the speculation begin.”
The editor said Marvel is moving toward a more seasonal approach to its comics, much like cable TV shows, which will make them more accessible to a wider range of readers. There will also be big changes for some of Marvel’s most iconic characters.
“It’s important to point out that these were rooted in story. It was more that there was either a character or opportunity that came up in conversation that we examined and bore fruit.”
“In the fall, the Marvel universe will see the arrival of an all-new Hulk, a Hulk you’ve never seen before that’s sure to be exciting and controversial. It’s going to be water-cooler talk,” Alonso said.
“The world as it is now is not the world of the 1960s. It’s a world where the new Peter Parker can be a 16-year-old Pakistani girl from Jersey City, where an African American can dress in the red, white and blue and ponder what that means.”
— Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso
“There will be a new Spider-Man in town, and — spoiler alert — there will be an all-new Wolverine. So let the speculation begin.” Read the rest of this entry »
Daniel Greenfield reports: The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that many critics on the right and the left have described as a mail order scam disguised as a civil rights organization, responded to the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, by adding one of its targets, artist Bosch Fawstin to its list of hate groups. Not only is adding the victim of a hate crime to a list of hate groups, a perverse thing to do, but it raises real concerns.
While Bosch Fawstin is in the headlines now because of his brush with death in the ISIS terrorist attack, he’s a talented artist who was nominated for an Eisner award and whose work has been praised by Chuck Dixon and Alex Toth among others.
— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) May 13, 2015
And some in the comics community find SPLC’s targeting of an artist after an attack meant to suppress his work to be troubling.
At The Outhousers, Jude Terror, who makes it clear that he disagrees with Bosch’s politics, asks some interesting questions.
If Fawstin belongs on the list of hate groups, does someone like Frank Miller, who wrote a similarly-themed (but less well-received) comic about killing Muslims called “Holy Terror,” belong there as well?
If so, what does that mean for major Hollywood movie studios promoting movies based on his work, such as the upcoming Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice, set to launch a multi-movie franchise?
Or for that matter, for DC Comics, who promoted Miller’s return to writing Batman comics as a major event just last month?
What about Charlie Hebdo, which the world was pretty much unanimously celebrating in January after an attack on their building killed several cartoonists and editors, and whose defiant “Je Suis Charlie” slogan can still be readily be found on t-shirts and social media avatars. Read the rest of this entry »
Original cover art by Brian Bolland from Superman Annual #12, published by DC Comics, 1986.
Colin Chocola and Benny Johnson write: Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman, is the world’s greatest detective. He protects his realm, Gotham, from criminals that range from street thugs, corporate cronies, and masterminds like Joker.
What’s set him apart from other crime fighters is his lifestyle which aligns with a distinct moral code. As Bruce Wayne by day and Batman by night, he shares the dual characteristics of a conservative and a libertarian, or more elegantly, ‘Conservatarian.’
[Check out Charles C. W. Cooke‘s new book: “The Conservatarian Manifesto: Libertarians, Conservatives, and the Fight for the Right’s Future” at Amazon.com]
National Review columnist Charles Cooke is the foremost expert on Conservatarianism and has recently published a book on the hybrid political ideology. Cooke thinks Batman is a hallmark example of a Conservatarian. He tells IJReview:
Nobody as mysterious as Batman could ever quite be pinned down into a political movement, but there is a great deal about him that is Conservatarian. Batman takes care of his own city instead of looking to the state, he does not permit wishful thinking to intrude on reality, and, like a model public servant, he shrinks from view when his job is done.
If the opinion of this expert is not enough for you, here are nine more, iron-clad reasons why the Dark Knight is inarguably Conservatarian.
Also see – Can Libertarians and Conservatives Coexist? An Interview With Charles C.W. Cooke – thefederalist.com]
1. Batman is an Industrialist Playboy
Bruce Wayne is a Capitalist. He is the sole heir to a multinational enterprise that specializes in everything from bio-tech to transportation. When re-entering the company as an adult, he quickly fires the crony board leaders, takes the company public and makes Lucius Fox the CEO. Wayne stands up for free enterprise, his companies produce products people want, he provides thousands of jobs and does it without heavy reliance on government. Forbes lists Wayne Enterprises, with revenues of $31 billion, as the 11th richest fictional corporation in the world.
Wayne also has no problem buying a luxury hotel so the models he’s with can swim in the lobby pool.
2. Batman is a Philanthropist
Conservatives are more generous than liberals. The Wayne fortune has funded Gotham’s hospitals, orphanages and its monorail system. Wayne Enterprise is a multinational operation, but its charitable focus remains within the limits of Gotham. Like other charitable conservatives, the Wayne Foundation took the initiative to aid the public’s need instead relying for the government to take responsibility.
3. Batman Manufacturers Military Grade Weapons, Is An Arms Dealer
Batman chooses not to use firearms, but manufactures and wields high-tech weaponry developed by Wayne Enterprises. “He is not seduced by utopian nonsense,” Charles Cooke says, “He needs to defend the innocent and will do so with force.” Along with employing his weaponry as a vigilante, Wayne also signs contracts with the U.S. military for advanced technology and weapons development. Read the rest of this entry »
WORLD’S FINEST #148 (March 1965)
Art by Curt Swan & Sheldon Moldoff
Words by Edmond Hamilton
TODAY IN COMIC BOOK HISTORY: December 11, 1942
In the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures #18 we learn Billy Batson has a long lost twin sister, Mary Batson. Mary is based off of actress Judy Garland by artist Marc Swayze and soon gains the same powers as her brother and is later dubbed Mary Marvel.
Mary Marvel would go on to headline her own book with supporting characters such as Uncle Marvel. Although Wonder Woman debuted a year earlier, Mary Marvel gained a great following especially from younger girls.
In the mid-fifties Fawcett Publications ceased the Mary Marvel books and all the Captain Marvel Family titles due to a copyright lawsuit by DC, and she wouldn’t be seen again for 20 years. DC eventually started publishing stories about the Marvel Family in the early 70s under the title “Shazam”. Read the rest of this entry »
Next: Santa Claus, Fact or Fiction?
For Popular Mechanics, Andrew Moseman writes:
In advance of San Diego Comic Con, DC Comics has declared today to be “Batman Day,” a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight. (Go pick up some discount comics!) We look back on our favorite Batman tech: His sweet cars…(read more)
Note: Obviously, this is not an exhaustive list. Look here for that.
See all 8 here…
Swing over to Graphic Swing for a well-selected collection of Vintage Sci-Fi comic book covers. This one–Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow–started in WW2, 1940, there’s a tag for war bonds in the lower right corner. What is that cube, with connections to his head? Who is that beautiful woman? Pre Hayes-code pulp comics were so lurid, so obscenely frightening and racy. This one, with rich color inks and bold illustration, is well-preserved.
Captain Future is a science fictional hero pulp character – a space-traveling scientist cum adventurer – originally published in self-titled American pulp magazines between 1940 and 1951. The character was created by editor Mort Weisinger and principally authored by Edmond Hamilton. There have subsequently been a number of adaptations and derivative works, most significantly a 1978-79 anime adaptation, which was dubbed into several languages and proved very popular, particularly in French and Arabic.
With flags flying, bikers head down 3rd Street through the National Mall. pic.twitter.com/h9QZxCc3Xo
— mollenbeckWTOP (@mollenbeckWTOP) September 11, 2013
Jacob Davidson writes: A group called the 2 Million Bikers to DC is leading a parade of motorcycles through the nation’s capital today to commemorate 9/11 victims and military veterans. “We’re here for 9-11,” the national ride coordinator Belinda Bee told the Washington Times. Since Tuesday, riders from around the country have been tweeting photos of their journey to Washington (hashtag #2MBikers), with early pictures and videos showing thousands of bikes overflowing out of rest stops and parking lots on their way to the event. A Facebook page devoted to the ride is also being updated with highlights.
— Jane (@jusjane6060) September 11, 2013
If this sounds like the type of event that would never receive approval from the city, you’d be correct. U.S. News reports that the group initially asked for a permit to demonstrate around the National Mall. However, the National Park Service denied the request, saying that such a large gathering of motorcycles would cause “a severe disruption of traffic” and more police than D.C. could provide. Read the rest of this entry »