Who would’ve thought a little cable channel known for teen melodrama would one day be on the cutting edge of comic book television? I know I talk a lot about my love for their Televisual DC Universe (yes, I’m still looking for an alternative to “Arrow-verse”) but it really can’t be stressed enough just what a big deal it is. They single-handedly changed the landscape of TV with one little show about a dude in green who shoots people with arrows. Compare what most channels offered in 2012 to right now and see just how many comic-based shows cropped up in Arrow‘s wake. And, if you want to take it back even further, Arrow was ostensibly a spinoff of Smallville. And even though that show had plenty of issues, it showed that this channel (and its precursor, The WB) have seen something worthwhile in comic adaptations since 2001. Anyway, I find it appropriate to discuss the history that made Legends of Tomorrow, the newest in the CWDCU (I’ll get there eventually, I swear) since it’s a series about traveling to the past in an effort to correct the future.
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Back in the 80’s, DC Comics were going through a period of constant creative shake-ups. They re-booted their entire universe with Crisis on Infinite Earths, deconstructed what it means to be a superhero with Watchmen, And breathed dark new life into Batman with Year One and Dark Knight Returns. They also re-imagined a long stagnant character, cut away everything but the name, and turned it into one of the greatest stories to ever be committed to the page. Neil Gaiman took Sandman from a 40’s pulp-style hero and re-sculpted the title into an existential trip through human consciousness and the history of myth. It’s a series with almost no faults and stands as a classic even amongst a decade that seemed to churn out classic comics weekly. Within that series, Dream of The Endless, the protagonist, traveled to many realms of legend. Early on, he made his way through Hell and held court with its ruler, Lucifer Morningstar.
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This profile is going to be a little different than others that have been posted. Instead of focusing on one character or team, I’m going to look at a few different DC heroes who have had a limited presence in expanded media. None of them have had enough of an impact to carry their own profile, so I’m combining. Enjoy!
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punI have gone on record, time and again, defending this film. I feel it is the most true representation of The Punisher that we’ve ever had in expanded media. And, when it comes to film, this is likely the as close to the comic as we’re ever going to get. It wisely accepts his origin as read and crafts a narrative around his obsession with punishing evil-doers. Ray Stevenson’s stoicism as Frank Castle is dead-on and is a nice counter-balance to the rambunctious ridiculousness that is Dominic West’s Jigsaw. While I find that each adaptation of the character has some merit, this is the one that I consistently go to when I need a real Punisher fix. Director Lexi Alexander also ensured that the film retained the palette and many characters from the comic. In the past, Baer has been less complimentary of the film, but I think some of my enthusiasm rubbed off on him during this recording.

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Hardware (1990 film)

Posted: January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

**Author Brian (C.) Baer wrote this piece on Hardware, a little British film that was initially an unauthorized adaptation of a 2000AD comic strip. As such, it is technically the first movie to be based on a 2000AD comic. Enjoy!**

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2015 CBM Year in Review

Posted: December 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

As another year draws to a close, we here at Comic Book Media once again recount the best and worst of comic adaptations in film and television. This year, I am joined by Alasdair Stuart and Brian Baer. Big thanks to both of them for indulging me in this (truly, very important) yearly tradition. Alasdair is new to writing for the site, so please give him a big welcome! With that, we’ll get right into the categories. Enjoy!
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**It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything due to a multi-day power outage, Thanksgiving holiday and a busy work schedule. Sorry for the delay, but I finally finished this post on Marvel’s new series, Jessica Jones. Enjoy!**

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Comic-based television shows have become big business lately. As mentioned previously, more shows are pulling from comics, and this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing. With that in mind, it’s easy to dismiss any number of shows premiering this year as the also-ran cash-grab to the first wave of this new phenomenon. And while there may be some cynical viewers who do just that, I think, if anything, this second wave of series would be more likely to out-perform what came before simply because they have the gift of hindsight. And if there’s ever been a premiere that has benefitted from hindsight, it’s Supergirl.
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Wonder Woman (2011 unaired pilot)

Posted: October 29, 2015 in DC, Wonder Woman
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Why is Wonder Woman seemingly so hard to adapt? She’s one of DC’s trinity of main characters (alongside Superman and Batman) but is the only one to not have a live-action film franchise, let alone multiple which the other 2/3’s have. In fact, the last truly successful depiction of the character in expanded media (that didn’t share billing with some other hero) was way back in the 70’s with Linda Carter in the lead. Since then, there have been attempts at brining her to the big screen with Joss Whedon’s failure in 2005-06 being the most notable. A live-action television series based on the Wonder Woman comic suffered the same fate of constant re-writes and non-starts until 2010 when David E. Kelly got a pilot commissioned at NBC.
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**A few years ago, Marvel made the decision to create short films set within the MCU that would tie into previously established plotlines and flesh-out their world a bit more. The first two, The Consultant and A Funny Thing Happened on the way to Thor’s Hammer, were set between the scenes of movies. Item 47, however, is the first to create a new story that spins out of an established film. This trend would continue in the other shorts that Marvel produced and, in a way, their television series that succeeded these One-Shots. Here’s Brian Baer to talk about why Item 47 is the best of those shorts. Enjoy!**
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