Archive for the ‘Flash’ Category

The 2014/15 television season has become well known as the season of the comic book television series. While we used to be content with the occasional Smallville or Birds of Prey (ok, no one was content with Birds of Prey), it’s now possible to watch comic book programming 5 nights a week (or more thanks to DVR). While most of these shows have been ratings successes, I’ve been looking at them on my own scale of general artistry and adaptation. To me, not all of them have been stellar, but it’s certainly been interesting to watch them grow, regardless.

(more…)

Advertisements

Superheroes are defined by their villains, be it directly or indirectly. This is a fundamental fact of the conflict that lies at the core of stories featuring masked men and the people who oppose them. For example, many point to the duality of Batman and Joker. It’s been said that one cannot exist without the other. When it comes to villains, the Dark Knight’s collection of foes is widely regarded as one of the best in the medium. However, there’s one other DC hero, The Flash, whose enemies are almost as well regarded.

(more…)

In part one of this look back at Justice League: Mortal, I addressed the plot without getting into a whole lot of detail. Now that you’ve had time to track down the script, I’ll be looking a bit deeper in regards to the characters and the overall story. Each section will focus on an actor and the part they were to play. Some of the casting seemed spot on while other actors seemed…less suited for their roles. Let’s begin!

DJ Cotrona as Superman

At the time, Cotrona had done very little of note. He had a few bit-parts here and there, but this would have definitely been his highest-profile role. Since then, he’s gone on to play Flint in G.I. Joe: Retaliation and star in the From Dusk Till Dawn television series. He definitely has the physique of Superman, but his youthful demeanor and look doesn’t quite fit the script’s older, more established take on the character. Overall, the character is portrayed how he should be: selfless, noble and pretty much untouchably “super”. The third act takes a page from Infinite Crisis and pits Superman against the league thanks to some mind-control. I really like this story beat, but feel that the movie screws it up a bit. It hinges on the idea that Supes thinks Lois has been killed. However, she’s not a character and has no presence in the film. It relies too much on the public’s knowledge of their relationship and history. That’s not a bad thing in some cases, but since it’s so important for the finale, she really needs to be seen and (more importantly) felt within the context of the story. She doesn’t have to be a major character, just the same level as Iris Allen or maybe a little smaller. Since her “death” is so important at the end, we need to SEE her and understand what she means to Big Blue.
(more…)

It’s been a damn good year for comic book media. Perhaps the biggest advances have been in the realm of television. Once the black sheep of the entertainment industry, TV is now the go-to for intricately plotted, nuanced and serialized drama. Add to that the continuing dominance of comic book movies and it’s no surprise that countless properties continue to be optioned and adapted.
(more…)

This television season is nearing its mid point (when did mid-season finales become a thing? Seems recent to me) and as such a lot of shows are going on winter hiatus. Thus, it feels like a good time to check in and see how everything’s progressing.

The Flash
I think this is the probably been the most consistent show in its first season. It quickly and easily established its tone in the pilot as well as the season-long storyline. There haven’t been any major revelations or changes to the status quo as of yet, and that’s fine. Arrow built up a pretty impressive world within its first couple of seasons. The Flash has taken that world and (literally) run with it. The introduction of Barry back in Arrow‘s second season kind of feels like the Nick Fury stinger scene in Iron Man, in retrospect. Now, we get to see how cool this newly expanded universe can be. The show skews a bit on the formulaic side for now, but its episodic nature only enhances the “comic-bookishness” of it for me. It’s amazing how much more natural a “villain of the week” story can feel when said villains are culled from DC’s long history of characters. Speaking of characters, the actors on this show do a hell of a job. Grant Gustin’s Barry is just idealistic enough to be loveable but doesn’t come off as naïve. Jesse L. Martin’s Det. West has become the soul of the show as his mentorly relationship with Barry has progressed. And then there’s Dr. Wells. Speculation has been rampant as to just what is motivating Tom Cavanagh’s character. I guess we’ll see.

(more…)

The League’s core, circa 2006.

Back in 2007 DC had absolutely no idea what they were doing with their film properties. Nearly all of their characters were stuck in development hell and they had a serious lack of overall vision for any of their franchises. The sole exception was Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. So, with no idea how to sell any of their singular characters, DC decided to start at the top and work down in creating their cinematic universe. They’d start with the Justice League property and then spin-off individual films based on the heroes from there. All things considered, it’s not a terrible approach. They would know what worked and what didn’t before hundreds of millions were spent on a character that no one cared about (just think, they could have avoided Green Lantern had they taken this path). So, in 2007 they commissioned a script, hired George Miller as a director and assembled a cast for Justice League: Mortal, the film that almost was. This will be an in-depth, two-part look at the plot, cast, characters and circumstances around this film’s inception and destruction. Also, I feel I need to add a spoiler warning…I guess. I dunno? Do you need spoiler warnings for unproduced screenplays?

(more…)

For better or worse, it is impossible to discuss The Flash without first addressing the series that laid the groundwork for it. In its first couple of seasons, Arrow has established a definitively serious tone for its cast of characters. I think, overall, it works for the series. It’s dealing with a younger, angrier Oliver Queen who has far more self-doubt than is typically seen in the comics (at least prior to that whole “New 52” thing). As such, the tone fits his character. In season two, when the future-Flash Barry Allen was introduced and it was announced that he would be getting his own spin-off series, I was a little hesitant due to said tone. Barry has always been a character known for being (for lack of a better term) a “good” guy. So how would his character work in a world that’s as somber and dour as Arrow’s? Well, the two-parter that introduced him answered that question partially, and it turns out it’s “pretty well, actually”. The character is still the same old Barry from the comics. He’s sincere and good-hearted, just updated to better reflect the world that we live in currently, which makes perfect sense.
(more…)

Promotional ad for Starman #0

Starman is a character that dates back to the Golden Age of Comics. For those who didn’t bother with the link, the Golden Age was a time from about 1938 to 1950 when superhero comic books were churned out like crazy and comic publishing became a big business. Many of DC’s sizeable stable of characters were created in this period. Among them was Ted Knight AKA Starman, a science-hero from the 1940’s who had a baton that enabled him to fly and shoot energy beams. It was powered by star-light, hence the name. The character was a member of JSA and All Star Squadron where he was often overshadowed by his teammates and rarely got a chance to shine (Ha! Puns). The character languished until he was revived in a post-Zero Hour series in the mid-90’s created by James Robinson and Tony Harris.

(more…)

Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? Now that I provided a helpful link, you should all be saying, “Yes! Of course! Don’t ask condescending questions!” Ok, jeeze. I have watched this pilot more times than I care to admit and one thing keeps running through my mind: what was the elevator pitch for this? I can just imagine some excited executive at CBS breathlessly explaining his grand scheme for this series, “It’s Friends but with superpowers!” And his boss, dollar signs clouding his vision responds with, “Yep. Let’s do it.”
(more…)