Archive for the ‘Vertigo’ Category

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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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.

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It could be argued (correctly) that this shouldn’t count as a DC comics film. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was originally published by ABC Comics in 1997. The first two volumes have recently been acquired by DC’s mature imprint Vertigo. So it’s not really a DC comic, but we really wanted to watch it next…so there. This movie has some degree of infamy and not just because it’s a fairly crappy adaptation of the source material. It had an incredibly troubled production involving natural disasters and cast/crew in-fighting which lead to both the director and star retiring from film-making and citing this film as the reason. Add to it a complicated legal battle involving plagiarism and it’s a wonder it even got released. It’d been a while since I had seen this movie and my strong negative sentiment toward it has definitely chilled a bit. For your listening/viewing pleasure, here’s our discussion of LXG (don’t call it that -Brian)…
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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.

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I am easily the biggest Hellblazer fan that I know. This isn’t intended to sound like a boast, but I own John Constantine’s first appearance in Swamp Thing, all 300 issues of the ongoing title and every single crossover, special, miniseries, guest-spot and novel that the Vertigo character has been featured in. Again, I’m not trying to brag (well, maybe a little), I just want you to understand the respect and reverence I have for this character.
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