Welcome back to Someone Old, Someone New. If you don’t know the drill by now, here’s how it works: you’ll get two perspectives on one of the bigger events in contemporary comics: DC’s universe reboot in the New 52. First, you’ll get a new-comer’s opinion (Jon), and find out just how much DC’s attempts at appealing to new readers are succeeding. Then, you’ll get the opinion of someone who’s familiar with the DC Universe (in this case, Third), who will assess how these changes rate among comics today. So, if there are no other questions: Third and Jon’s review of Action Comics #1.
Someone borrowed, someone blue? Nice guess, but no: what we’re doing here is hopefully something you’ll find new and interesting and unique. We’re taking on DC’s New 52, from both the perspective of a veteran reader of comics and that of a new-comer to the super-hero genre. Jon will be taking on the task of providing that all-important new reader opinion – all-important because it is precisely that demographic that DC has bet the house on. One of the rest of us (or maybe all of us, if we want to gang up on the new guy at some point) will give the old hand’s opinion of the reboot. Third will be providing that perspective to start. We have decided to kick this off with the first issue of the New 52, Justice League #1, so without further ado… Third and Jon’s tandem review of Justice League #1.
In case you’ve been living under a rock, the past few summers have been full of blockbuster comic book movies. Obviously since the very first of this new crop of comic films started being made with the original X-Men and Spiderman, nerds everywhere have been excited about the mainstream embrace of (at least some of) their culture. Of course, even within the comic book world, there are arguments over which characters and properties should and should not go to the silver screen next, and virtually every comic blockbuster to come out over the last decade has been based on characters from the Marvel Universe. The only exceptions that I can think of right now are Superman Returns, which was laughable at best, and Chris Nolan’s excellent Batman series, which has the feel of a much more serious film and is hardly in the same vein as Iron Man or Thor.
As of today that is no longer the case, thanks to the newest entry in the DC universe, Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, and Peter Sarsgaard. The film tells the story of how former Air Force and current commercial test pilot Hal Jordan becomes a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Here are my thoughts on the characters, the story, and the use of 3D in movies. Read more
Up is down, black is white, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria! That’s what it can feel like in the continuity-obsessive comic book world when film adaptations continually cast from the same, relatively limited, stable of actors. Chris Evans, formerly known as Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm, will be in theaters this summer playing Captain America, another Marvel Comics character. Ryan Reynolds is not only Hannibal King and Wade Wilson/Deadpool for Marvel, he’s also Hal Jordan for DC. To make matters worse, these casting decisions often disregard decades of established character history. Admittedly, some actors were born for certain roles. To wit, even though Wolverine is listed at 5′ 3″, 6′ 3″ Hugh Jackman’s adamantium skeleton and retractable claws pretty much guaranteed him the part.
Although I was always told not to cross the streams, whether nerds like me like it or not, this cross-universe casting seems here to stay. So, when life gives you lemons, make a Top Five. Read more
Everyone knows that the point of superheroes is that they’re heroic. They kick ass, take names, and generally always win. Everyone also knows that things that only ever win are boring. Imagine playing chess against a two year old or being Charlie Sheen. Okay… being Charlie Sheen might be marginally more interesting.
Anyway, to the point. I can’t stand superheroes who are too ‘super’ – superheroes who in their natural form can’t be defeated. I’m looking at you Superman. Thor too, although he’s a slightly different case. In fact, I’m going to argue that these characters suffer from the “Superman Problem”.
Last week I went to check out the exhibit at the Museum of Sex in New York called “Comics Stripped.” I’d heard good things, so I was excited. Upon first entering the exhibit, I found the stereotypical comic tropes of “Wham! Blam!” painted in large letters on the wall. “Oh, great,” I thought, “another superficial treatment of comics.” But then I turned and saw on the opposite wall, similarly painted, “Boing!” and “Ohohoh!” I realized that it was actually a commentary on how sex and comics are both treated superficially, and both are far more subtle and nuanced than the general public assumes. My excitement restored, I explored the rest of the exhibit.
Hit the jump for highlights, and my take on the exhibit. Read more