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1. SDCC ’15: DC Collectibles Sneak Peak

2015NerdHQ

By Nick Eskey

DC Collectibles has another exciting line up for this upcoming year. We’ll be seeing much in the way of artist inspired work: from action figures, to statues. For the high-end collector, comic inspired artwork is typically high on the priority list. And what other company produces such detailed pieces from beloved franchises such as DC?

Jim Fletcher, showing off his action figure graveyard jacket.

Jim Fletcher, showing off his action figure graveyard jacket.

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Interesting bag view.

Kevin Kiniry, playing fortune teller with the DC Tarot Cards.

Kevin Kiniry, playing fortune teller with the DC Tarot Cards.

This year’s DC Collectibles sneak peak is a fun atmosphere, with DC’s Jim Fletcher in full action figure regalia, and DC’s Kevin Kiniry sporting a turban and reading tarot cards. The tarot cards are actually the “Just League Tarot Cards,” designed by Sara Richard, and releasing this November for $24.95.

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Bronzed Batman Statue.

DC’s statue franchises have done very well for the company. It’s no surprise that they’ll eventually decide to bronze one of the best loved super heroes. This “Bronzed Batman Statue” captures the awesomeness of the caped crusader in mid flourish. No date yet on this beauty.

Batman.

Batman.

Superman.

Superman.

Armored Batman.

Armored Batman.

Coming in the way of the DC movies, we have three wonderful pieces inspired by the upcoming film “Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice” and sculpted by the artist James Marsano. Each of these resin statues look true to life, as much as a comic book can be of course. Batman and Superman will retail for $150 apiece and are dated for January 2016, whereas the Armored Batman will be released March 2016 and is yet to be priced.

Cheetah.

Cheetah.

Killer Frost.

Killer Frost.

The best selling DC Comics Bombshells will be seeing some additions to their lineup that were designed by Ant Lucia. A short skirted “Cheetah” will be making her debut, as well as this snow bunny version of “Killer Frost.” Each will retail for $124.95, with Cheetah releasing in March and Killer Frost in June respectably.

Kryto, Hoppy, Streaky, and Dex-Starr.

Kryto, Hoppy, Streaky, and Dex-Starr.

DC Super-Pets will introduce a line of soft plush dolls that feature super powered pets. “Krypto, Hoppy, Dex-Starr, and Streaky” all range from 6 to 9 inches, and were designed by Art Baltazar. Dex-Starr and Streaky will be available this November, where Krypto and Hoppy will be March 2016. No price has been set on them yet.

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One of Batman’s signature “toys” is of course the “Batmobile.” This version of his iconic vehicle is from the Batman the Animated Series. A number of figures will be releasing from the same show, but this Batmobile is the best thing by far. It measures at 24 inches long, with independently moving wheels. To add to the cool factor, the headlights, breaks, and engine all light up as well. It releases this October for $99.95.

Man-Bat, Azrael, and Professor Pyg.

Man-Bat, Azrael, and Professor Pyg.

The biggest additions this year however will be coming from DC’s action figures. Following with the “Batman Arkham Knight” video game by Rocksteady, DC was showing off their “Man-Bat, Azrael, and Professor Pyg.” These figures were all designed by Rocksteady, and offer over 20 points of articulation. will all be out February 2016 and retail for $25 a piece.

Firestorm, Green Lantern, The Joker

Firestorm, Green Lantern, The Joker

Another line coming to stores will be DC Comics Icons. Designed by Ian Reis, the series will include: “Firestorm” from the “Justice League”, “The Joker” from the “Death In the Family” comic story arc, and “Green Lantern John Stewart” from “Mosaic.” Each one also features over 20 points of articulation, as well as interchangeable accessories. They will be releasing May 2016 for $25 apiece.

Harley Quinn, Super Girl, and Adam Strange.

Harley Quinn, Super Girl, and Adam Strange.

Superman, Lex Luthor, and Batman.

Superman, Lex Luthor, and Batman.

Exciting things are also coming from their designer line. From Darwyn Cooke, we’ll be seeing his versions of “Batman, Supergirl (complete with Krypto and Streaky), Harlequinn (with mallet accessory), and Adam Strange (with Raygun).” And artist Lee Bernejo will be coming out with his designs of “Batman (with Batarang and interchangeable hands), Green Lantern (with Lantern and interchangeable hands), Superman (with interchangeable hands) and Lex Luthor (with briefcase and interchangeable hands).” Each one will retail for $25, with Cooke’s line coming out June 2016, and Bernejo’s in April 2016.

DCCollectibles_5

But the most exciting toy will be “DC Comics Blueline Edition Batman.” Designed by the much sought after Jim Lee, this limited edition figure looks like a black and white sketching. Each package comes with either a signed sketch of Batman, the Joker, or Harley Quinn. Unfortunately, this baby is a Comic-Con exclusive. If you happen to be at the convention, it retails for $300.

 

I’m super excited over the level of collectibles coming out over the next twelve months. For those who’ll be able to get their hands on them, I’m as equally jealous.

0 Comments on SDCC ’15: DC Collectibles Sneak Peak as of 1/1/1900
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2. Rumor: Green Lantern Reboot to focus on multiple Lanterns?

green-lantern_610

Up to this point we at least have some idea for what the majority of DC’s future cinematic output is going to look like. While the 2016 films (Batman v Superman, Suicide Squad) are totally on the books and are either done filming or getting there, later year films like Wonder Woman, Justice League Parts 1 and 2, Aquaman, Shazam, and The Flash all have stars attached, and writers or directors. Even Cyborg already has its lead.

The one wild card here in the rebooted Green Lantern. Nary a peep has been whispered about it in recent months other than a casting rumor here and there, and Tyrese Gibson going on a promotional crusade to get the part.

But now, thanks to Collider, we finally at least have a rumor to chew on.

According to their report, they’ve heard that the new Green Lantern film will not just star Hal Jordan or John Stewart, but both of them, and potentially Guy Gardner as well. Going further, they state that the Green Lantern franchise from that point will never focus on just one Green Lantern, but the entire Corps. Matt over at Collider also surmises that we may end up meeting the new Green Lanterns (at least John and Hal) at SDCC during Warner Bros’ sure to be massive Hall H presentation.

Collider isn’t generally in the business of breaking unfounded rumors, and Latino-Review is hearing basically the same thing. So while it’s still a rumor, and even they admit things could still change for a film that’s years down the line in the production cycle (2020), it’s probably the most promising idea I’ve heard regarding this franchise in some time.

2 Comments on Rumor: Green Lantern Reboot to focus on multiple Lanterns?, last added: 6/25/2015
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3. Surprise! Ryan Reynolds didn’t read a script before signing onto Green Lantern

green-lantern_610

Green Lantern has been considered the low-bar for the recent wave of superhero cinema since its release in 2011, and while it has plenty of company in Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World, Kick Ass 2 etc…this beleaguered adaptation of Hal Jordan’s origin has haunted its star, Ryan Reynolds, for over four years.

In 2016, Reynolds will return to the comic-based spotlight with this X-Men spinoff Deadpool, and while promoting his upcoming comedy-thriller The Voices with Yahoo! Movies, he compared the two experiences:

When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn’t exist. I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that’s what’s different on this one…we’ve had a script for three years. The script got leaked, and people even loved that. That says a lot — if you can create a script around a comic-book character that is directly within the canon of the character and be embraced. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I’ve since learned that a lot of superhero movies don’t really have a fully functioning draft of the screenplay ready until they’re already well into shooting.

The failure of Green Lantern had a pretty clear ricochet effect on how Warner Bros handles their DC properties. It was an attempt at brighter super-heroics of the Marvel variety, but without any of the sharp humor, storytelling momentum and populist appeal that Marvel was able to solidify, post-Iron Man, just a few months later with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

It’s fairly apparent that Green Lantern‘s critical and commercial flop is what pushed the studio into aping the grittier feel of The Dark Knight for Man of Steel. At the time, it seemed clear that the studio saw the situation as “you either do Iron Man or you do Batman”, based on box office draw. Given the massive success of The Avengers and every Marvel film that’s followed, I can’t help but wonder if WB’s position has evolved at all for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

 

9 Comments on Surprise! Ryan Reynolds didn’t read a script before signing onto Green Lantern, last added: 2/5/2015
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4. Arrow actor discusses the possibility of being Green Lantern

Home Invasion

Arrow isn’t really my bag in general, but I know a good deal of you out there are big fans of the series, particularly since its second season.

One of the elements of the show and its cast that I’ve really admired is just how open its stars are with fans, Stephen Amell especially.

But David Ramsey, who plays the original character Diggle, is no slouch in that department either; never being shy to sit down with the comics press and chat out all the DC mythology that’s unfolding each week.

In a recent interview with our friends at Comicbook.com, Ramsey discussed one of the year-long theories that’s been floating around about John Diggle: that he’s really Green Lantern John Stewart. Here’s the pertinent excerpt from their interview:

Now, John Stewart… Is John Diggle John Stewart? I cannot say “yes,” and cannot say, “no.”

Oh, come on!

I’m serious! I do know that there is serious discussion about whether or not this guy becomes John Stewart. But, I mean, I’ll say this: it is top secret. David Ramsey has asked them, and they’re like, “we’re working on some stuff.” If that’s the case, it’s gonna be huge. This is the stuff they want to avoid. I think they don’t want anybody to know yet and they haven’t even told me. They have told me that they are thinking about it and they are considering it. Greg Berlanti told me that. Andrew and Marc have told me that. I haven’t spoken to Geoff Johns about it, yet. But that’s the word from people directly involved in Arrow- that they’re working on something.

Here’s the truth of it: if I knew, I would tell you I knew and I’m not at liberty to tell you that. I probably wouldn’t tell you anyway! I would at least tell you that I know. But I honestly do not know.

It’s definitely more of a no comment than anything else. Not that my opinion means a hill of beans, but from the Arrow I’ve watched, Diggle has been my favorite character by far. I’d rather he remain his own thing, and inspire comic writers to come up with great storylines involving him in Green Arrow (akin to how Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino introduced him during their run).

But what do you think? It’s only a matter of time before John Stewart is our next on-screen Green Lantern, should it be David Ramsey?

7 Comments on Arrow actor discusses the possibility of being Green Lantern, last added: 2/9/2015
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5. Man is dressed as Green Lantern at his wake

puerto-rico-standing-wake.jpg
Cosplay AFTER death? Yes.

Puerto Rican man Renato Garcia was all with respiratory problems, and then he found a Green Lantern costume in a box of clothing. He spent his last few weeks wearing it around his hometown. When he passed away, at age 50, his sister decided to dress him in the costume for his wake.

As lugubrious as this story sounds, dressing people in unusual way from life is a Puerto Rican tradition, so it has cultural validation. And you know, a lot of people are inspired by Green Lantern.

Photo by Ricardo Arduengo for the AP

2 Comments on Man is dressed as Green Lantern at his wake, last added: 2/20/2015
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6. Entertainment Round-Up: Cooper cast in Preacher lead, an Oscar-winning screenwriter is developing a Marvel project, and is John Stewart your new movie Green Lantern?

dominic-cooper.jpg

It’s Friday! Here a few of the Entertainment-related headlines that just hit the wire:

– After weeks of negotiations, AMC has found its lead for its adaptation of DC Comics/Vertigo’s Preacher, and it’s a face familiar to comic book movie fans: Dominic Cooper. The British actor, who you surely recognize as the younger face of Howard Stark (Mad Men‘s John Slattery plays him in his middle aged years) in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter, will be playing the role of Jesse Custer, with production on the pilot beginning this summer. Preacher‘s Executive Producer Seth Rogen confirmed the news on twitter today.

For you Garth Ennis experts out there, what do you think about this casting choice? Did AMC make the right move?

- 12 Years A Slave is easily one of my favorite films of this decade, and one of the only movies that’s moved me to near-tears in the theater. It is truly that moving and engrossing. So, it was with great shock today that I saw EW reporting that its screenwriter (and winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his work on the film) John Ridley is teaming up with Marvel for a mysterious television project aiming to reinvent an existing Marvel character for ABC. This project is reportedly a separate entity altogether from the already announced Agents of SHIELD spin-off that’s in the works.

Given that it’s for ABC, something like the Punisher seems like a no-go, and really, neither does Blade (both of which Marvel recently regained the rights to back to a few years back). I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Moon Knight perhaps, but really any guess is a good one at this point.

Ridley is no stranger to comics, having written The Authority and the graphic novel The American Way.

– Yes, we know all about the leaked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, and we won’t be posting it here for obvious reasons. Plus, the presentable version will make its way online by Monday, if not over the weekend. We’ll hold out for that. In the meantime, here’s a related unconfirmed rumor, according to Jeff Sneider (of TheWrap) on his latest episode of Meet the Movie Press, he stated that the Green Lantern that we’ll see in the 2020 reboot (and presumably the Zack Snyder directed Justice League films) will be John Stewart.

Sneider’s sources on this kind of information are generally pretty strong, so there’s likely something to this. Many fans had hoped/figured the new Green Lantern post-Ryan Reynolds would be Stewart given the younger audiences greater familiarity with the character over Hal Jordan thanks to the Justice League animated series.

Plus, he’s just an awesome character. Green Lantern: Mosaic anyone?

2 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Cooper cast in Preacher lead, an Oscar-winning screenwriter is developing a Marvel project, and is John Stewart your new movie Green Lantern?, last added: 4/19/2015
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7. New Green Lantern creative teams and new title announced

Recently it was announced that the landmark Geoff Johns 100+ issue Green Lantern era was over, and a whole new creative team wold be brought aboard the line. Well, the news is out, a new team of fearless creators has been announced—in brightest convention appearance, in blackest message board meltdown, no storyline will escape rewrites. In addition to the four existing books, a new one starring popular bad good guy Larfleeze has been added to the New 52 line-up. here's the roll-call:

7 Comments on New Green Lantern creative teams and new title announced, last added: 2/22/2013
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8. New Green Lantern creative teams and new title announced

Recently it was announced that the landmark Geoff Johns 100+ issue Green Lantern era was over, and a whole new creative team wold be brought aboard the line. Well, the news is out, a new team of fearless creators has been announced—in brightest convention appearance, in blackest message board meltdown, no storyline will escape rewrites. In addition to the four existing books, a new one starring popular bad good guy Larfleeze has been added to the New 52 line-up. here's the roll-call:

0 Comments on New Green Lantern creative teams and new title announced as of 2/20/2013 2:33:00 PM
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9. It’s official: John Stewart is going to live!

201303221828 Its official: John Stewart is going to live!
After a mini PR meltdown over DC editorial’s leaked plans to kill John Stewart, the long running Green Lantern character who is considered DC’s best known African American character, it is being confirmed on Twitter that he’s going to be okay after all! DC’s Executive Director of Publicity Alex Segura and Green Lantern writer Robert Venditti released the joyous news:

And Reddit went mad with relief.

14 Comments on It’s official: John Stewart is going to live!, last added: 3/25/2013
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10. Artist of the Day: Justin Sweet

Justin Sweet

Justin Sweet works as a concept artist and illustrator developing the look of CGI-heavy films with his digital paintings. His recently updated website includes his latest work.

Justin Sweet

Justin Sweet

Justin Sweet

Justin also works in traditional media like oils, watercolor and pencils that create entirely different moods, perhaps because they also appear to be personal work and sketchbook material.

Justin Sweet

Justin Sweet

Justin Sweet

The three pieces above from Justin’s work on the recent Green Lantern and Snow White and the Huntsman films have the distinct, terrifying essence of the late Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński’s work.

Justin Sweet

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11. On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid

A panel on Friday, March 29th, the first day of programming at WonderCon brought together a rather iconic cast to discuss “iconic characters” and what keeps a character “true” to their origins over long periods of time. Mark Waid opened as moderator by pointing out that the table full of seasoned pros had more than 125 years of comics experience between them and most had worked on longterm characters and newer creations alike. The essential question posed by Waid was how to “vault” characters “into the 21st century without losing what keeps them special”. The question seemed particularly pertinent to Waid, whose ongoing work on DAREDEVIL has evoked critical acclaim. Waid asked his panellists how they handle the “core elements of characters” to face this challenge.

mbrittany mwaid 1 255x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid J. M. De Matteis introduced an image that stayed with the panellists as a reference point for discussion. He felt that creators handling long-lived characters work “within a cage”, so they can’t “go wide” with the character in term of change, but they can “go deep” in terms of making new discoveries. For De Matteis, personally, it’s all about the “Big Why” of characters, figuring out what makes them tick. He prefers working with super-villains to pose questions about the formative impact of their past histories because there’s “always a little corner of the psyche to dig into”. Ann Nocenti, however, in her recent work with Catwoman found that “her archetype was pretty clear” as a troubled kid originally, “on the streets” originally, and moving through “foster homes”. Her intuitive approach is to “play with a character and see what feels right” and she doesn’t mind the fact that later creators will do the same with long-term characters. It’s “like treading water”, she said, “You give a sense of constant, dynamic action, but you’re really not moving far”, and she expects later creators to be under the same constraint.

mbrittany nocenti slott dematteis 300x117 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid Doug Mahnke’s challenges, as an artist working on long-term heroes, is rather specific, handling costumes and their overtones. He observed that heroes, even today, often don’t look “contemporary” because their appearance has become iconic and we no longer question the anachronism, like Superman’s “underwear outside his pants”. Other features like capes and boots, Mahnke said, “made sense at the time” they were created based on a “swashbuckling” influence. In fact, he explained, an artist’s job is to “bring out the majesty in the character. It doesn’t matter so much what they’re wearing”, but you can use costume as a “tool” to use to your advantage.

mbrittany dematteis mahnke 300x145 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid Several of the panellists then commented on the fact that objectively, some of the nomenclature and costumes of characters created decades ago would seem “stupid” now. Nocenti’s example was a resurrection of a minor character, Zebra Man who was “visually fantastic” but the name and concept bizarre. Slott felt that once an icon is an icon, “the fact that it’s an icon gives it weight”, preventing further critique from readers. Even Waid’s considered opinion was that “Green Lantern” is a “stupid name for a character, but after 75 years”, it has “gravitas”.

mbrittany nocenti slott 300x161 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid The panel then tackled the question of when and how exactly a character becomes officially iconic, and they set the bar high on awarding this status. De Matteis opined that “nothing about the character idea makes it iconic. It’s the execution”, and not every character reaches this status despite reasonably strong storytelling behind them. Dan Slott interjected that it only takes “one writer and one artist to do it”, like Frank Miller on DAREDEVIL. The discussion often drifted into slap-stick commentary on the more absurd aspects of superhero lore like the possession of a super vehicle as an icon accoutrement. Nocenti provided the little known detail that Cat Woman’s car is known as a “Catillac”. Slott confessed to proposing in a “meeting with real adults” that Superman’s car should be known as “Superman’s Ford Taurus of Solitude” with disasterous results.

Waid observed that some characters are iconic in pop culture without necessarily being long-lived, like Woody Woodpecker, who’s highly recognizable, but not a currently active character. Waid commented that the tendency toward merchandizing may encourage the slow-down or freeze of new developments in a character since “every character becomes a beach towel” in the end. The entire panel segued into a long and fairly serious discussion of Wonder Woman as a character and why she has, or has not, lived up to her iconic status in terms of actual comic storytelling.

mbrittany mwaid 2 251x300 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid

Most felt, like De Matteis, that Wonder Woman comics have not always been “all that good”, nevertheless the character definitely qualifies as “iconic”. Waid had a fairly idiosyncratic theory behind why this is the case. He observed that there was a strong “sexual element” to the “first 10 years of the strip” that was later removed to render the character more “plain vanilla”, and that now, lacking that “x-factor of sexuality”, stories fail to live up to the early days (an issue, he said, he frequently discusses with Grant Morrison). Slott disagreed pointedly with Waid’s assessment. He instead blames the lack of verve in Wonder Woman comics to the fact that comics are essentially a “make dominated industry” that has not explored the “many angles of the character” sufficiently. Slott still feels that if the right team is put together, the stories can rise to iconic status again, without recourse to the “weird quirky bits”. His choice of phrase caused plenty of giggling among the panellists.

This led Waid to ask his panel how they decide what elements are most essential to a character, what continues to translate, and what can be left behind. De Matteis advised to “always approach the characters psychologically and emotionally” and not worry too much about the “other stuff”, and sometimes that psychological appeal can be found in lesser known characters. Nocenti commented that her current work on KATANA based on the strange but intriguing concept of a “girl with a sword” produced “good potential” for developing “obsessional love triangle” elements between herself, her murdered husband, and his murdering brother.“The less iconic a character, the more fun you can have!”, she enthused.

Slott agreed with Nocenti on  this idea, up to a point. When you’re handling an iconic character, readers lose the fear that their reckless lifestyles will do them in, whereas if a character is “unknown”, “Everyone is worried”, wondering if they will survive from issue to issue. Slott and Nocenti shared an interesting moment of commiseration, albeit brief, about their mutual killing off of Spider-based characters, and the emotional reaction of fans. “Screw letters from emotional fans”, Slott concluded, laughing, but Waid intervened by informing the audience that he’s sure Slott “weeps himself to sleep at night with 6 year olds’ fan mail” over the death of Spider-Man .

mbrittany comics 300x200 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid The panellists didn’t always find their subject matter easy to decipher, nor did they feel that there’s always an easy answer for why some characters “click” as icons and some don’t. Batman, particularly, has a mysteriously successful dynamic, they said. But some things do change. Waid observed that he “couldn’t have imagined a world where I walked down the street and everyone knew who Tony Stark was” until after the Iron Man films had been made. Waid suggested that iconic status for characters might be measured in the number of imitators who have sprung up. De Matteis returned to his general position that archetypal patterns determine iconic status, however. Slott provided examples, stating that Superman is like Hercules, Batman a being on a vengeance-quest, and Tony Stark is, too, iconic in formula, as a combination of “Man and Machine”, an icon that the world is ripe for right now.

mbrittany nocenti slott 2 300x190 On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid The panellists’ parting thoughts during the Q and A period focused on an interesting point made from the audience about the superhero/villain ratio. With so many more supervillains than superheroes in comics, “recycling” them is the norm, but at what point do they become “stale” and need to be retired, at least for awhile? De Matteis was firm about the roles of the artist and writers, insisting that there are “no stale characters but stale interpretations of characters” and that good work will prevent this problem. “Every character is great if you did into them in the right way”, he said. Waid’s closing example to support De Matteis’ point was that “20-25 years ago, no one would have thought that GREEN ARROW would become 2 times the best selling DC book, and then get his own TV show”. His bottom line: “If you dig deep enough you can find something that resonates”, and that’s the key to creating an icon, something that may not happen overnight.

 Photo Credits: All photos in this article were taken by semi-professional photographer and pop culture scholar Michele Brittany. She’s an avid photographer of pop culture events. You can learn more about her photography and pop culture scholarship here.

 

Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.

 

 

 

15 Comments on On the Scene: WonderCon 2013, ‘What Makes an Icon?” with Nocenti, De Matteis, Mahnke, Slott, Waid, last added: 3/31/2013
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12. REVIEW: Green Lantern’s ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’ Event

Geoff Johns’ final storyline as Green Lantern Chief is ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’, a storyline which will conclude with issue #20 of the main book. The event has brought in, as is always the case, the other three Lantern titles as a crossover, and tells the story of a new/old threat to the Lantern Corps. And while it’s a solid storyline, it’s also a very strange one for Johns to bring to the table at this point…

GL Cv19 5bx105yup9 REVIEW: Green Lanterns Wrath of the First Lantern Event

Wrath of the First Lantern sees the very first Green Lantern ever, Volthoom (get used to hearing some very silly names, guys), escape a prison he was put in and subsequently go on a rampage around the Universe. He moves from one lantern to another at a time, therefore creating the crossover, and goes on the offensive. The strange thing about the storyline is that each time he catches up to one –  be it John Stewart, Atrocitus, Kyle Rayner, or whoever – he effectively recaps their origin to them, making this one of the best stories to jump onto in a while.

Yes – the very last storyline from Geoff Johns is also essentially a series of origin stories for every single one of the main characters in the Green Lantern franchise. It’s rather strange. Volthoom’s power appears to be that he can rewrite timestreams, going backwards and forwards in time to change the lives of other people. So he can create a world where Hal Jordan’s father doesn’t die, or he can maintain the status quo and keep Poppa Jordan dead. For the last few weeks, Volthoom has gone over to a series of different characters, shown them alternate lives they could’ve lived, and then refused to change them – every week that’s happened. Readers get a potted history of whomever Volthoom has caught now, and by the end of the issue Volthoom has refused to change the origin, and also captured the hero.

This does allow Johns access to a reset button should he choose to take it. The last ten years have been one of change for the franchise, with grand sweeping gestures and smaller character-focused moments all built up on each other for a series of pretty successful storylines. Some of the stories have been better than others, but for the most part the Geoff Johns era of Green Lantern has been a pretty amazing success, creatively. Not only does Green Lantern now support four titles simultaneously, but it also tells stories which change the sweep of the DC Universe – from Sinestro Corps War to Blackest Night. There’s a clear vision for the characters, who have all been developed fairly well for ten consecutive years.

That can all be reset and cleared away if Geoff Johns wants to, via Volthoom. I’m hoping he doesn’t choose to take this route, because Volthoom hasn’t really worked as a villain so far. As a character, the villain has mainly existed as a fountain of exposition, narrating the lives of Guy Gardner or Carol Ferris like some kind of malevolent David Attenborough. He hasn’t had a particularly visible goal as a villain, and his progress has been very repetitive indeed. The saving grace has been that his powers offer artists a chance to try out some fantastically experimental page layouts, as they pull apart the lives of characters and arrange the important moments into spider-webs, and tapestries.

The story has served to underline the strength of the main characters. There are now around 20 characters in the Green Lantern franchise who could be used as the lead for one of the books, which speaks to how well the writers have managed to pick out underused, well-conceived characters already floating around in the DC Universe. There are several characters who had fallen into obscurity over the years, and writers like Peter Tomasi have done brilliant work in repurposing them. If nothing else, Wrath of the First Lantern has proven to be an excellent showcase for the franchise itself, and the directions new writers and artists could choose to take it in. Hopefully they won’t choose to, y’know, murder half of them.

Wrath of the Green Lanterns isn’t finished yet – Green Lantern #20 is the finale for the storyline, and for Geoff Johns’ run as a whole. It’s been very strange to take this moment in the run and start retelling everybody’s origin storyline – but it’s been a nice little showcase for the characters, and given the various creative teams a chance to experiment a bit with their storytelling. Fun, if a little unnecessary.

3 Comments on REVIEW: Green Lantern’s ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’ Event, last added: 4/5/2013
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13. Webcomic: alert: What goes on at a cartoon focus group

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Giancarlo Volpe, showrunner of Green Lantern the Animated Series has drawn a comic about a focus group test of the cartoon. It’s an interesting behind the scenes of how the testers said the kids wanted the opposite of what Volpe thought would work for the show. Luckily Bruce Timm comes to the rescue.

Focus groups can be pretty brutal. If you know what you’re doing, they can be a hindrance, but if you don’t…sometimes a truth is revealed. Unfortunately a lot of kids entertainment is heavily focus grouped and you can usually tell the ones that are because they are bland as hell.

Cartoon Brew has more tales of focus groups gone wrong.

2 Comments on Webcomic: alert: What goes on at a cartoon focus group, last added: 4/20/2014
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14. Report: Wonder Woman movie on tap for 2017 and more WB superhero movies

What Warner Bros/DC Comics Is Planning At Comic-Con In July | NikkiFinke.com

Showbiz reporter and scooper Nikki Finke has been languishing under a no compete since she left Penske Media’s Deadline.com, which so founded. But she’s back, and the very first scoop on her site is a purported line-up of superhero films that WB is planning for the next four years. According to Finke, this is to be announced at Comic-Con.

May 2016 – Batman v Superman

July 2016 – Shazam

Xmas 2016 – Sandman

May 2017 – Justice League

July 2017 – Wonder Woman

Xmas 2017 – Flash and Green Lantern team-up

May 2018 – Man Of Steel 2

Finke adds that Suicide Squad and Metal Men were also considered but now on the back burner. And as Batman v Superman will be a “Dawn of the Justice League” film, cameos for the actors playing the rest of the universe are being signed up, including Aquaman and Green Lantern.

Ambitious plans, and as DC has been searching for its very own Kevin Feige—Zack Snyder can’t direct everything—they had better continue to search. Without a cohesive hand to helm this, this is a LOT of movies to come out in a four year period.

BTW, for year Nikki has professed that she “doesn’t do geek.” That this is her first scoop tells you all you need to know about the power of the comic book movie in Burbank.

 

2 Comments on Report: Wonder Woman movie on tap for 2017 and more WB superhero movies, last added: 6/14/2014
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15. New Green Lantern trailer tells the whole story of the movie

Well, now we can’t say we don’t know what this movie is about!

The SFX look decent but why is everyone saying their lines like they just dropped a bottle of Soma?
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13 Comments on New Green Lantern trailer tells the whole story of the movie, last added: 5/5/2011
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16. Green Lantern exhibit at Cartoon Art Museum

It’s getting very green around here. SF’s Cartoon Art Museum has a gala opening for a Green Lantern exhibit on Thursday, June 9th — it’s a “green tie” event we’re told. We want in on that!

“In brightest day, in darkest night, no evil shall escape my sight!  Let those who worship evil’s might beware my power—Green Lantern’s light!”

Just in time for Green Lantern’s theatrical debut, the Cartoon Art Museum is presenting the first museum exhibition celebrating 70 years of DC Comics’ Emerald Knight!  Over 60 pieces of original artwork will be on display, featuring highlights from some of the most celebrated artists in Green Lantern’s publishing history  Iconic works by Silver Age artists Gil Kane and Neal Adams will be exhibited, along with classic stories and covers by Joe Staton, Mike Mignola, George Perez, Brian Bolland, Brent Anderson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Golden Age Greats Irwin Hasen and Green Lantern co-creator Martin Nodell.  

To celebrate the exhibition, the Cartoon Art Museum is hosting a once-in-a-lifetime “Green Tie” gala with original artwork and popular Green Lantern creators.  This celebration takes place Thursday, June 9, 2011 starting at 7:00 pm at San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum at 655 Mission Street.  Tickets to The Green Tie Event are only $30, or $15 for current Cartoon Art Museum members.  Each purchased ticket includes an optional guest ticket.

At this special event, visitors will be treated to a private viewing of the exhibition with the Cartoon Art Museum’s curatorial staff while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres.  Best of all, you will mingle with some of the most talented Green Lantern writers from the past four decades, along with other comic book creators.  Tickets for this fundraising event can be purchased through Guestlist Ticketing:  http://guestlistapp.com/events/55929

Guests of Honor for the Green Tie event include: 

• Steve Englehart (Green Lantern Corps, Detective Comics)
• Mike Friedrich (Green Lantern, Justice League of America)
• Gerard Jones (Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn, Justice League International)
• Judd Winick (Green Lantern, Batman)

Additional programming for this exhibition will be announced throughout the summer.

2 Comments on Green Lantern exhibit at Cartoon Art Museum, last added: 5/20/2011
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17. New Books you should know about* (*if you don’t already)

Here are several new publications that were sent my way during the past month that I think Cartoon Brew readers will like, or love, or at worst you should be aware they exist:

100 Animated Feature Films by Andrew Osmond (BFI/Palgrave Macmillan) is a great read. The animated feature is just coming into its own after decades of following one vision – that of the Walt Disney studio. Now that there are several strong voices to emerge in this medium, British film journalist Osmond has rounded up one hundred notable international animated features, studio and independent, to discuss, compare and contrast. This isn’t a “best-of” list, but a representative selection of worthwhile films culled from the first ninety five years of full-length animated movies. An important book for students of animation history – and anyone wanting to read intelligent commentary on where the field has come, and where its headed.


The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2 by Tracey Miller-Zarneke (Insight Editions). Whatever your opinion of Kung Fu Panda 2, one thing is undeniable: the artwork, art direction, character designs, color keys and all things visual are simply superb. Just based on “looks” this may be the best animated film of the year. We’ll see, but in the meantime Tracey Miller-Zarneke’s book lays it all out and gives credit where credit is due. Raymond Zibach, Nicholas Marlet, and Bill Kaufman are among the dozens of artists work given the lavish “art-book” treatment here – and their work deserves it. And you deserve to own this souvenir of Dreamworks’ summer blockbuster.
Archie: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Teenagers by Craig Yoe, designed by Clizia Gussoni (IDW Publishing). Do we really need another book about Archie? The answer is YES, if Yoe and his wife Clizia are behind it. There’s been several recent compilation volumes devoted to Archie comics, from Dark Horse, IDW and Archie Publications itself, but this is THE BEST one. This is actually the only book about Archie you really need, as it covers everything about the Riverdale characters, their origins, the artists, writers, the nooks and crannies, including the coolest, rarest art, promotional pieces, photographs… the whole shebang! Yoe has a great chapter about Archie on radio, TV and animated cartoons, another highlighting oddball Archie merchandising – and in another part of the book, he offers a rare printing, off the original art, of the unpublished 1952 Andy Andrews, a serious detective story featuring Archie’s previously unknown cousin! It’s one of those books (like my Hanna Barbera Treasury) that you need to see – and when you see it, you’ll buy it. I love this book – take it from me, it’s really great. Highly Recommended!
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18. Win Green Lantern tickets and a Green Lantern Hex watch band

201106141900 Win Green Lantern tickets and a Green Lantern Hex watch band
There are a lot of Green Lantern merch tie-ins out there, and here’s a cool one, a Hex sport watch band suitable for ipod Nano. It isn’t actually a Green Lantern licensed product…but it’s the right color. You can win this or a pair of tickets to see Green Lantern by going to the ShopHex Facebook page and answering some questions. Today’s quiz: “IF YOUR HEX WATCH COULD GIVE YOU ANY SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE?”

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19. Green Lantern returns in cartoon form


The film may be this summer’s biggest evidence for Superhero Fatigue, but Green Lantern isn’t going away, oh no. He’ll star, as planned, in GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES on the Cartoon Network this fall. A new trailer was just released and you can download some wallpaper. The show is produced by Bruce Timm in a 3D animated style much influenced by THE INCREDIBLES, and features Hal (Josh Keaton), Killowog (Michael Clarke Duncan) and others going up against Red Lanterns.
Green WP 1024x768 2 Green Lantern returns in cartoon form
Just as a follow-up to yesterday’s look at DC Entertainment, while live-action has been hit or (very) miss for WB, DC characters continue to do well in animated form, both on cable and direct-to-dvd movies. These are still valuable franchises.

18 Comments on Green Lantern returns in cartoon form, last added: 6/21/2011
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20. More finger pointing emerges in Green Lantern fail

201106241435 More finger pointing emerges in Green Lantern fail

Comics-savvy (aren’t they all?) movie beat reporter Borys Kit has a succinct wrap-up, of lessons to be learned from the Green Lantern experience — one that seems to have been a harsh one for DC execs. Barely a word about the movie has been tweeted or blogged since the opening — an exception being Jim Lee who tweeted a contest to win this sweet Kilowog sketch — And they are many; a sequel–already in the writing stages — was supposed to have been greenlit if the film did over $60 million, but the $53 opening and bad word of mouth may have stopped that.

Kit suggests that comic book movies based on a singular vision tend to do better — something GL did not have:

In contrast, critics pounced on the generic, paint-by-numbers feel of the Lantern movie, which played like dozens of people were in control. And they were. In addition to director Martin Campbell, producer Donald De Line and DC executive Johns, four separate screenwriters were credited, and insiders say that even Warners execs Jeff Robinov, Greg Silverman and Lynn Harris were heavily involved, especially in the editing stage.


Another problem for the movie was the decision to put in more special effects:

Plus, Warners underestimated the scope of the special effects, whose costs began to skyrocket when it was decided that the Green Lantern suit would be created digitally. The complex effects work, combined with the decision to convert the film to 3D, added months to the production schedule, preventing early marketing and test screenings, which could have helped to hone the film. 


There’s also the entire Warners culture as it related to DC movies:

At Warners, it’s the studio division that says yes or no to DC projects, and it can change them up however it sees fit. Last summer’s Jonah Hex was a box-office disaster, and even Warners’ quasi-DC movies Watchmen and V for Vendetta failed to lure more than hard-core fanboys. You don’t have to be a geek to make these movies, but you need to know what geeks like and, more importantly, how to translate that into accessible themes.


While the Christopher Nolan Batman movies remain one of Warner’s biggest triumphs, they’re still casting around for a way to expand that franchise. Luckily, the Bruce Timm empire in animation has been quietly keeping these characters alive on the small screen for decades. What that still going strong, there’s hope for the DC heroes yet.

17 Comments on More finger pointing emerges in Green Lantern fail, last added: 6/24/2011
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21. Warners won’t give up on Green Lantern movie franchise

gl2013 Warners wont give up on Green Lantern movie franchise
It seems that the underwhelming reception for the Green Lantern movie hasn’t dissuaded Warner Bros. from taking another shot at it, Ben Fritz reports.

“We had a decent opening so we learned there is an audience,” said Warner Bros. film group President Jeff Robinov, pointing to the film’s box office debut of $53 million. “To go forward we need to make it a little edgier and darker with more emphasis on action…. And we have to find a way to balance the time the movie spends in space versus on Earth.”

[snip] Warner Bros. already has an outline for a sequel on hand written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim, who all worked on the script for the original. However, several people familiar with the thinking of executives there who were not authorized to speak on the record say Warner will likely make significant changes to the outline, if not start over from scratch, in developing a sequel.


Darker and edgier! Like that time Green Lantern’s spine got ripped out. It seems that director Martin Campbell is not favored to return — given that he seemed to want nothing to do with the movie in interviews, he’ll probably be happy to oblige — after he gets a payout. Campbell, a talented but not notable journeyman, was an odd choice to direct, anyway – we’d suggest a younger, peppier director who actually likes Green Lantern ourselves. (Zack Snyder would be good but he’s already tied up on Superman, obviously.)

While given everything that went on, having another go at Green Lantern seems like a surprising move, Warners really has no choice. They’ve made a huge investment in their superhero franchises, and with Harry Potter gone, they need another tentpole franchise. Batman gets rebooted after next year and Superman is a big question mark at this point, so throwing money and marketing partnerships at it until the Happy Meals stick seems to be the only way to go.

Robinov is still interested in a Flash movie (which has a solid script, he says) and a JLA film.

BTW, we were reading one of the the addictive sex diaries over at Daily Intel when we found out at least one person thought GL was a big turn-on.

We see Green Lantern. I’m not interested but I go because he really wants to see it. I try to xxx his xxxxx outside his xxxxx during the movie but the theatre is too crowded for any naughty business.


See? At least two people will be happy about a GL sequel.

15 Comments on Warners won’t give up on Green Lantern movie franchise, last added: 8/2/2011
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22. Nice art: Kyle Baker’s Green Lantern

gl6a Nice art: Kyle Bakers Green Lantern
Some old art on Kyle Baker’s hard drive, probably for licensing.
gl3 Nice art: Kyle Bakers Green Lantern
More intensity in the link.

3 Comments on Nice art: Kyle Baker’s Green Lantern, last added: 3/27/2012
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23. DC confirms that Alan Scott is their “outed” gay character

Ever since Dan DiDio said off-handedly that a DC character would be gay upon their return to the New 52, the internet was rife with discussion about who it might be. Bulleteer? Ambush Bug?  Bat-Mite? Were three people who nobody thought it might be.

But then MTV Geek suggested that the character would be original Green Lantern Alan Scott. Which, officially, DC have now confirmed to be the case. So insecure Batman fans can breathe a sigh of relief, while Wonder Woman fans will look glumly at their feet. Maybe next reboot, you guys.

In interviews published in seemingly every newspaper in Americatoday, EARTH 2 writer James Robinson discusses his decision to change the sexuality of the character upon his reintroduction to the DC Universe:

What I really want to do with this character is make the fact that he’s gay to be a part of who he is and not to be the one identifying aspect of him…  have his humor and his bravery be as much or more a part of him as his sexuality.

And what you can grab from most of the interviews is that this does seem to be a storyline Robinson organically planned, which was simply hijacked by publicists to try and steal some of the limelight from Marvel’s gay marriage. Aware that de-aging Scott would mean Obsidian, Scott’s homosexual son in the previous continuity, would be magically erased from existence, Robinson simply decided that Scott would make a strong gay character instead. Here he is in the next issue of EARTH 2:

 DC confirms that Alan Scott is their outed gay character

Tall, isn’t he? And finally, a last quote from Robinson.

Quite honestly, it was an offhand comment that Dan made at a panel in England that got everybody suddenly aware and excited. I’m as surprised by it as you are. This was not ever meant to be sensational. It’s meant to be about a team that’s well-rounded, that shows the diversity of the world around us.

15 Comments on DC confirms that Alan Scott is their “outed” gay character, last added: 6/1/2012
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24. Review: Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps #16

TweetThis week saw the release of Green Lantern #16 by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke, as well as Green Lantern Corps #16, by Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin. The Green Lantern books are some of DC’s most popular, but recently seem to have fallen out of the spotlight, off doing their own thing while the [...]

1 Comments on Review: Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps #16, last added: 1/27/2013
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25. Geoff Johns to Conclude His Green Lantern Run with issue #20

TweetAfter ten years working on the character, and reigniting one of DC’s struggling titles into one of their most popular franchises, Geoff Johns has announced that he will be leaving the world of Green Lantern with the giant-sized issue #20 in May. Johns’ posted a farewell note on DC’ Source blog today, to confirm the [...]

7 Comments on Geoff Johns to Conclude His Green Lantern Run with issue #20, last added: 2/12/2013
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