Archive for September, 2014

This year sees an unprecedented amount of comic book characters being adapted to the small screen. When you add new shows to returning series like Arrow, Walking Dead and Agents of SHIELD, it sure looks like comics are primed to dominate this medium in the same way they have movie screens for the last decade or so. As such, now seems like the perfect time to launch a new column that takes a look at comic-book-based pilots. I’ve reviewed a couple so far, but they have been for shows that weren’t picked up or were never actually aired. With this column, I want to focus on shows that did go to series and see how well they establish their tone, characters and future storylines.

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Dirty Laundry (2012 short film)

Posted: September 23, 2014 in Marvel, Punisher
Tags: ,

Dirty Laundry is an unofficial continuation of…you know what, just watch it yourself.

There.

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THE UNADAPTED: X-Statix

Posted: September 17, 2014 in Doop, Marvel, Wolverine, X-Men, X-Statix

Within Marvel Comics, mutants have always reflected the society in which they are written. From the racial tensions of the 60’s, and the AIDS epidemic of the 80’s and 90’s, right up to modern gay marriage issues, those with the x-gene have always been there as a stand-in for the current oppressed minority. And while the comics have often addressed the cultural impact of a world with such strange and different individuals in it, that was never really the focus of any story. That is, until The X-Statix burst onto the scene…

…literally.

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This is a new column where I’ll look at how a single comic book character or team has been adapted throughout the years. Think of this as the opposite of The Unadapted (The Un-Unadapted, if you will) in that this will be chronicling characters who have made multiple appearances in expanded media. My first subject will be everyone’s favorite gun-for-hire: Deadshot!

Daniel LuVisi’s beautiful cover to
Secret Six, issue 15

Deadshot (AKA Floyd Lawton) first appeared in Batman’s comic way back in 1950. He was a gimmick villain who posed as a hero trying to abdicate the Dark Knight’s throne as the top crime fighter in Gotham. He was eventually found out and sent to prison. At the time, he wore a costume consisting of a top hat and domino mask. Upon being released from prison, he was rebranded as a marksman for the highest bidder. Along with the change came a new costume consisting of a targeting reticle over his right eye which has become an iconic part of the character’s attire.

Since his early days, the character has evolved into more than a run-of-the-mill villain. He is a father who is devoted to making a better life for his daughter, a nihilist who isn’t afraid to die when the time comes and a good friend to those he deems worthy. He’s also become a fixture in DC’s Suicide Squad, surviving more missions than just about anyone else. He even made the transition to the New 52 version of the team. With his devil-may-care attitude, it’s no wonder he’s been so popular outside of the printed page.

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This poster is crazy rare and worth a fortune now. I’m not joking.

Most people could be forgiven for failing to understand the concept of an ashcan copy. When it comes to film, it’s exponentially more difficult to comprehend or explain. Essentially, it’s something that’s created (usually a comic book) with the soul purpose of retaining or establishing the rights to a name or character. Ashcans are not intended for release and are typically easily tucked away. This is understandable for printed media where a writer and artist can rush something together in a few days in order to meet a contract stipulation. It’s much harder to justify when making a film. You’ve got a director, writers, producers, a dozen cast members, hundreds of crew members and a hundred or so more extras. All of which are putting their time and effort into something that will never actually get to be seen by paying audiences. Why would anyone want to be involved with a project where their talents would never be showcased? Well, if you’re the rights-holder to this film, you simply don’t tell them.
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