Posts Tagged ‘Vertigo’

There probably isn’t another comic character who has had three fairly high profile appearances in television with such a low profile in the public consciousness. And honestly? That’s likely how Christopher Chance would want it. Created by comic legends Len Wein and Carmine Infantino for DC Comics, Chance is the man that you turn to when someone is out to get you. He assumes your identity and hides in plain sight in order to draw out your attackers. He becomes a human target.

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Preacher has spent a longer amount of time being adapted than it has as an actual, ongoing comic series. Running for 66 issues (plus a few specials) the series is a go-to for people as an example of the best of the medium. Along with Starman, it’s a seminal book of the 90’s and helped to shape and define the culture of comics at that time. Created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, it’s one of the most insanely violent, blasphemous, shocking, and funny comic series to ever exist. That’s made all the more interesting by how popular it has become. There are people of all walks of life who absolutely love this book. As such, it’s with no small amount of trepidation that many have viewed any attempt at adaptation.
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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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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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**Panel to Pixels is a new column that will examine video game adaptation of comic books. I’ve discussed a game’s take on specific characters only a couple of times in the past. And really, I had always figured this blog would focus on film and television. However, after playing this game I felt the need to share it. And once the flood gates are open, you know how it goes…**

Comic books and video games have had a long history together. Sadly, that history has largely been marred with sloppy, second-rate productions that are more about cashing in on a licensed character than they are about making a decent game (Superman 64 immediately springs to mind). That said, there have been some shining examples of how good a comic book video game can be. The Arkham series has created a bankable franchise out of Batman and his ever-expanding rogues’ gallery and a game based on X-Men Origins: Wolverine ended up being far, far better than the film of the same name. Again, those are the rarities. Whenever a comic-based game is announced it’s always met with a healthy dose of skepticism, even if the company working on it has a proven track-record in designing top-notch licensed content.

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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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