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
Tags: ,

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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In 2003, when the comic series The Walking Dead began, there was little to suggest that it’d become the marketing behemoth that it is now. The book was well received and popular despite the fact that this was still the early days of the zombie/pop culture convergence that’s been going strong for the last decade. While the series was always successful, its sustained popularity and new-readership these days is largely thanks to the fact that the comic was turned into a television series by AMC in 2010. The show has been running for five seasons (with a sixth on the way as I type this) and has lead to all manor of merchandising, up to and including a spin-off series.
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It’s very hard to really appreciate what a momentous film Batman was without actually living through it. In 1989, I was in kindergarten and was completely caught up in the Batmania that was gripping the world. For the first time in my life, I could go to the store and find an entire row of toys based on Batman (and Joker and…Bob the goon?) and every kind of tie-in and cash-grab imaginable. These days, that sort of thing is common place, it’s even strange if a comic book movie doesn’t have a bunch of advertising. In that way, Batman was very ahead of its time. In many, many other ways it’s still a product of the late 80’s. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s fairly dated and not nearly as beholden to the character as modern interpretations. As such, it’s kind of fun to look at it from a historical perspective and see just how much the character has changed over the course of two and a half decades. With that, enjoy Brian and I talking through Batman. Also, don’t forget the trivia question! Or do…I’d rather not have to come up with a prize.

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Wanted (2008 film)

Posted: September 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

After recently watching The Spirit, I was ruminating on the idea of changing a piece of work so thoroughly in an adaptation that it no longer resembles the thing from which it came. That got me thinking about whether or not I’d seen a movie that changed a concept to the point of near unrecognizability but the end result actually still worked. That, of course, got me thinking of Wanted.
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Ah, The Spirit. What an odd mess of a film. On nearly every level, this movie is an absolute failure. It fluctuates wildly from cartoonish innocence to outlandish violence. That could possibly be interesting if it wasn’t so glacially paced. Frank Miller was clearly not the person to adapt Will Eisner’s titular character. In fact, even the word “adapt” is false. Miller doesn’t so much attempt to move the story to a new medium as try to take it’s name and force it onto his own creation. As such, here’s the CommentaryCast for Frank Miller’s Will Eisner’s The Spirit.

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**This Unadapted piece was written by Andrew Prenger about a 90’s comic that’s ripe for an adaption. Why hasn’t Scud made the jump from the page yet?**
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Swamp Thing (1982 film)

Posted: September 2, 2015 in DC, Swamp Thing, Vertigo
Tags: , ,

In memory of Wes Craven, who recently passed away, I decided to take a look back at Swamp Thing, an early (and DC’s only) attempt at adapting a horror comic book. It’s difficult to evaluate this film on its own merits for me. I am a big fan of the mystical universe established in DC’s Vertigo imprint, and that universe was created in the Swamp Thing comics of the time that this film was released. This movie retains very little of the flair and sophistication of those stories. Regardless, it has a definite love for the source material and despite a limited budget and an unintended tendency toward silliness. It manages to treat the story and it’s lead with seriousness.
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Much has been made about the failure and ineptitude of the recent Fantastic Four adaptation. From the public squabbling between the director and studio to the seeming lack of promotion, it sure sounded like the cards were stacked against it from the very beginning. After hearing about its disastrous opening weekend and universally negative reviews, I almost started to believe that there was no way it could be that bad. I mean, even Catwoman was fun to laugh at, right? Then I sat down in the theatre, the movie started and all hope vanished.

Coming soon: FantFourStic

Coming soon: FantFourStic

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