|Printable Version of Topic
Click here to view this topic in its original format
|()The Mechanical Maniacs: Undernet > Undersquare > Ben's Dandy New Blog|
|Posted by: Benjamin Aug 8 2011, 10:51 PM|
| Since this place doesn't have a "Shameless Self-Promotion" sub-forum anymore, I thought will share my current activities here in the main forum. For no better reason I decided to start my own blog to bray about whatever nonsense come to my mind. Likely something inane pop culture related.
All potential converts go here:
Tell me what you guys think, and I apologize in advance if this was inappropriate.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 19 2011, 03:12 PM|
|Now that you're part of the team, you can have a thread in the general form about your blog. So I'm moving this back here.|
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 19 2011, 04:35 PM|
| Huzzah! And to celebrate I will lead your attention to this...
My top eleven Superman: the Animated Series episodes, inspired by the Nostalgia Critic's most recent "Top 11". I thought S:TAS never got much respect, despite the solid scripts and cleaner animation, so I made my own. With my commitments elsewhere I don't think I have the time to do another top (whatever) list for a while but I'm satisfies with how this turned out.
|Posted by: Byron Sep 21 2011, 01:42 AM|
| I must say that you're doing a good job on this blog thus far. Your Top 11 series was also pretty cool since you gave clear reasons for your choices and avoided giving spoilers in the process.
Also, thanks for posting about the New X-Men series. I had no idea that was a thing until seeing that...
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 21 2011, 11:22 PM|
With the closure of Blockbuster Video in Canada, there's no longer any video rental stores in my hometown. James Rolfe's reflection have me waxing the nostalgic of my own childhood memories of going to the neighborhood rental store to pick up a couple VHS tapes on a Friday or Saturday night.
What about you guys?
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 22 2011, 07:13 AM|
|I don't have Netflicks, so it's a bummer for me. I always rented videos and still have some Blockbuster cupon books which are now headed for the recycling bin. Now I gotta find a new rental place ...|
|Posted by: Byron Sep 22 2011, 11:46 AM|
| Well, look's like I have a Blockbuster Gift Card I'll never use.
That being said, if you don't want to pay for Netflicks you could always see if the local library stocks movies. I know that in my area they do, and I can find some older titles there.
For newer titles or if you don't have a library in your town, however, you may be out of luck.
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 2 2011, 06:36 PM|
Just a barely coherent rant on DC's latest attempt at a reboot, and the headache it gives me.
|Posted by: Byron Oct 2 2011, 06:53 PM|
Good article, although I'm surprised you didn't mention the shitstorm that occurred because of the blatant sexism in the Red Hood and Catwoman titles.
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 5 2011, 07:31 PM|
It really wasn't really pertinent to the gist of what I was writing. The "New 52" failed because of the rampant cherry-picking of continuity; one reason why "Man of Steel" and the Wonder Woman reboot made the post-CoIE universe more reader unfriendly than the pre-CoIE multiverse.
...and other news I picked up Aquaman #1, and I liked it.
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 15 2011, 12:27 AM|
Further proof why the mere act of thinking should be considered dangerous.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Oct 15 2011, 10:32 AM|
|Everyone has their own issues and themes. I don't see much difference between being obsessed with sports and being obsessed with comics and such.|
|Posted by: Byron Oct 15 2011, 02:23 PM|
|I have simular frustrations with the world sometimes; a general sense of everything going wrong and being screwed up beyond all reason and there being nothing one could do about it. Last time I expressed these thoughts I was warned against becoming a misanthope and throwing away the opportunities I did have to change things (voting, etc), so that may be something to keep in mind, I dunno.|
|Posted by: Big Boss Oct 15 2011, 03:40 PM|
| I think you just need to get out of the house more and converse with people more often. I've been doing that more and more and I don't feel like quite the social outcast as I used to be. Then again, I have a hobby (shooting) that has recently been an excellent jumping point to get together with friends and have a good time. I've gotten friends who would never otherwise be interested in shooting to go with me and suddenly they're talking about which caliber is better, whether they should get a revolver or semi-suto, or how fast they should get their CPL. And from there, I end up hanging out with them in other activities, which leads to even more friends. Hence, I've been a busy man as of late.
It really just depends on what you want to do. You can shut yourself in and immerse yourself in your hobbies, but as I take it you're feeling a bit hollow due to it.
As far as comics books go, there's quite a few celebrities that are open about comic book fandom. CM Punk is a notably huge comic book geek, posting his current readings on Twitter and becoming friends with the authors themselves. He also makes multiple comic book references during his wrestling segments (last Monday he made a blatant Bizarro Superman reference, and he also shouts "ITS CLOBBERIN' TIME" before each match). He's what I use as proof that the old idea of all comic book readers being fat recluses is out of date and untrue, being that's he's a very popular, successful guy.
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 16 2011, 07:28 PM|
|It feels more like a half-empty/hall-full scenario to be honest. I tend to feel more alive when I write my stories and the "hollowness" comes more from the realization that it's only real in my imagination. Some days are worse than others and the pendulum is swinging towards "Half-empty" this week.|
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 23 2011, 03:40 PM|
Wherein I rant about Brian Michael Bendis on the Avengers.
|Posted by: Byron Oct 24 2011, 02:58 PM|
Isn't he the guy behind the Spiderman one more day thing?
If he is, then this probably is a bad thing.
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 24 2011, 04:07 PM|
|Bendis only writes Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, which takes place in another universe and has nothing to do with "One More Day". OMD was the brainchild of Joe Quesada, but enough people ranted about that horrid story so I don't need to say anything.|
|Posted by: Byron Oct 24 2011, 07:25 PM|
| Ah, okay then.
I really did love the Ultimate Spider Man comics, however, so this could be a difference of opinion here?
I haven't read it that much at all since they switched to Ultimate Comics: Spider Man, though. I only know enough to have a vague idea of the general plotline and also the last story arc with Peter Parker.
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 25 2011, 04:00 PM|
Wherein I am oddly calm about Matt Smith leaving Doctor Who.
|Posted by: Benjamin Nov 26 2011, 02:30 AM|
Wherein I do my own retrospective on Dreamwave's Megaman series with the promise to compare it to Archie's series later.
And my blog is big in Bulgaria for some reason.
|Posted by: Byron Nov 26 2011, 02:59 PM|
Congratulations on becoming a minor internet celebrity, I guess?
|Posted by: Benjamin Nov 26 2011, 03:03 PM|
|It's only like twenty-five hit, and most of them are for my STAS Top 11.|
|Posted by: Benjamin Dec 4 2011, 05:33 PM|
Wherein I review the first four issues of Archie's Megaman. And bask in the glory of Gutsman's ass.
|Posted by: Benjamin Dec 18 2011, 12:13 PM|
Wherein the Magical Platypus stops for a visit the week before Platy-mus.
|Posted by: Benjamin Jan 4 2012, 11:15 PM|
Wherein I review "Time Keeps Slipping." Finally.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Jan 16 2012, 09:46 PM|
| The last post on this was made by me, BTW. The one also bemoaning DC's relaunch.
I guess you can't use your AIM name to comment on Blogger ...
|Posted by: Benjamin Jan 17 2012, 09:28 PM|
| I had a feeling it was from somebody I knew, and thanks. I might try to do some mini-reviews of the "New 52" titles I picked up and dropped.
This is a thought that has floated around in my head for a couple weeks now. Should we put the reviews of the (Archie) Mega Man series on the Mechs?
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Jan 17 2012, 10:47 PM|
|You can miorror them here if you like. After all, we do operate with a Wordpress blog.|
|Posted by: Byron Jan 18 2012, 04:36 PM|
| Out of Curiosity, why were you guys disappointed by the DC Reboot?
Are there any specific things that left a bad taste in your mouth?
|Posted by: Benjamin Jan 18 2012, 07:45 PM|
| It was the fact they sprang it without warning, and brought it in with the mostly-horrible Flashpoint. It was actually a lot like what "One More Day" was for Spider-Man. A complete ass-pull.
Though Aquaman turned out awesome. Green Lantern's still pretty good. I'm enjoying Legion of Super-Heroes and Teen Titans is a guilty pleasure.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Jan 18 2012, 08:41 PM|
| The "without warning" thing is part of it for me.
Another part is that the universe I got to know for years is, pretty much, just gone.
But a lot of it is how .... gimmicky it feels. And DC has been pulling this A LOT. Take Kid Flash. First they made him the Flash. In short order they kill him. Then they spend a while with a BIG buildup and bring him back de-aged. In short order they've killed him AGAIN. I mean ... do they even have a plan?
And Jade. They kill her. Bring her back in BD, which was not so long ago. And now ... retconend out of existence! Why even bring her back? Did they really think through BD out? I don't think so. Liek Flashpoint it was just another gimmick.
I dunno, it just sorta convinces me that it's no use following a monthly comic; at least for an extended period of time. It's really all about a run - follow a run you like for a time and then drop it.
Although I'm still more of a monthly kinda guy. Still buy GL. We'll see if I warm up to any of the new DC titles. I already didn't collect too many, though.
|Posted by: Benjamin Jan 22 2012, 05:06 PM|
Wherein I reminisce about my favorite shows from early childhood. Anyone remember their favorites?
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 4 2012, 10:25 PM|
| Decided to restart the old blog
Already posted a couple entries but the latest is on the new Green Lantern, Simon Baz, and how DC thinks I am too stupid to appreciate a character on his own merits.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 4 2012, 11:14 PM|
| Yeah, Baz is gonna get a chilly reception from me. Already there seems to be too many humans in the mainline GLC. Now there's another?
It's also sad that Johns has to make someone else a the star of the book to finally do some character writing in GL. We haven't really seen Hal's character in a long, long time. I mean ... how long ago was it since his supporting cast showed up in a regular issue?
Yeah, I'm also kinda sick of all the hype DC's doing. The Goon had it right, most of these things are just to grab headlines.
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 5 2012, 08:22 PM|
| Reviewed Green Lantern #0 and the Magical Platypus hath spoken:
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 5 2012, 08:57 PM|
| Taking him to Guantanimo Bay is pretty much hitting us over the head with what's going on, but I don't think it ruined the issue for me.
I do lament that Hal's pretty much taken a backseat to his own book for the last few years, though.
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 14 2012, 10:02 PM|
Wherein I ruminate on one of my favorite comic books of all time.
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 22 2012, 11:19 AM|
Wherein I review one of the underrated gems from the nineties, the Legionnaires. Gauntlet should like this since it involves the Emerald Eye.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 25 2012, 10:29 AM|
| I got the first arc of this for the Emerald Empress stuff. It's a shame that was left hanging due to Zero Hour.
Edit: I don't think it's entirely fair to lay the blame on DC's continuity woes soly on Crisis ... they started the Silver Age by reinventing the Flash completely after all.
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 25 2012, 01:53 PM|
Well, there was "Flash of Two Worlds" but I still look at the Crisis as creating too many headaches for the Legion. Levitz's "pocket universe" and the Time Trapper's manipulations were good enough patch to explain Superboy's membership and Mon-El's history. However, Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) was still a member when the character was wiped from continuity after the Crisis created more continuity snarls because the Pocket Universe had no "Supergirl" until Matrix (though I have to wonder if Argo City was still floating around in the Pocket Universe.) A problem that becomes specially egregious when I consider Brainiac 5's crush on her and Kara's decisive role in the still-canon Great Darkness Saga.
Thankfully the Bierbaums fixed that with Five Years Later but... oh boy... I get a headache just thinking about it.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 25 2012, 02:07 PM|
Sure, years later they brought back their old properties in a smaller way on a whole new Earth, but the intention was clear: new, revamped heroes and continuity replaced older heroes and continuity. The Crisis was a bigger version of this mentality, which DC has always had. So it's really DC and it's treatment of continuity that gives you headaches.
I wouldn't say Crisis caused the problems as much as it was the treatment of the Superman franchise post-Crisis (which hadn't happened immediately afterwards, there were a few post-Crisis Silver Age Superman stories, as you know). As a spin-off book, and a fantastical one at that, the Legion suffered. But it was almost inevitable, considering the continuity headaches all the books went through over time. In a story that never ends with nobody getting older it'll always be a problem.
|Posted by: Benjamin Sep 28 2012, 12:15 AM|
Wherein I pay tribute to an old friend...
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Sep 28 2012, 09:15 AM|
|Touching thoughts. I miss Gary too. Can't believe it's been 6 years.|
|Posted by: Byron Sep 28 2012, 02:10 PM|
| He sounds like he was a remarkable man.
And he was in your life and helped make you into a better person.
Don't forget about him...
|Posted by: Benjamin Oct 16 2012, 12:22 AM|
Wherein I review Pokemon Black and White 2 despite fatigue and scattered thoughts. Hopefully I made my point well enough.
These games are like crack.
|Posted by: Benjamin Nov 6 2012, 09:52 PM|
Wherein I review Disney's Wreck-It Ralph and feel nostalgic.
|Posted by: Benjamin Dec 26 2012, 06:42 PM|
| Wherein I savage Green Lantern #15 because of one of my personal pet peeves.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Dec 26 2012, 07:21 PM|
| I wasn't really offended by the whole "terrorist is a white male" thing. I saw it coming a mile away. I dunno if it really reinforces that sentiment (of "us VS them"); there was a white FBI agent clearly opposed to terrorists of all stripes.
As far as the arc is going, I don't really like it. Not because I don't like the arc in and of itself, but because I'm buying the book for Hal. For THAT story. Not Simon Baz. This is a classic bait-and-switch. And it's kind of sad that Johns can't write a character driven story without getting rid of the supposed star of the franchise.
I was actually much more upset at the one-page retcon in New Guardians #15; where they changed the established origin for Kyle in NG#1. They just rebooted their entire universe, are retcons nessasary at this point? That one page is getting me to reconsider my continued suypport of the GL titles. It's just shoddy writing and it's really adding up.
|Posted by: Benjamin Dec 27 2012, 01:03 AM|
| One way or the other, I believe that the New 52 will unravel because it is so haphazardly cobbled together.
As for the "us vs them" mentality I see. Perhaps I am grasping at straw, but I saw the issue and the larger arc as subtle bit of ethnic baiting and anvil dropping whether by design or not. I do not know what Geoff Johns' politics are but he did say that he based it more or less on his experiences as growing up part-Lebanese in Michigan. Was he making a statement? I do not know, but the issue was a sloppy mess regardless.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Dec 27 2012, 12:21 PM|
| Well, the arc is definately not timely. It would have fit in better during the Bush era.
I don't think the new 52 will unavel. I don't think they can effectively reverse course at this point.
|Posted by: Benjamin Dec 27 2012, 03:46 PM|
|It will not unravel in the near future but I have little doubt that DC might have to completely tear the DCnU down in a few years. Partly because they are back to where they started now that the Marvel NOW! initiative is dominating the sales charts.|
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Dec 27 2012, 11:38 PM|
|Well, I have little doubt that they'll reboot their universe again. Either partially or totally. That's their thing. But the pre-DCNU stuff? I don't think that'll ever se in continuity again.|
|Posted by: Benjamin Dec 28 2012, 02:25 AM|
|Tell that to the Wally West fans. :P|
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Dec 28 2012, 10:40 AM|
| I feel bad for the Wally fans. He was erased just for a potential movie.
I think Wally, the character, will be back. Bus his history as the Flash? I think that's just gone.
|Posted by: Benjamin Jan 4 2013, 03:21 PM|
Wherein' I find an obscure comic book that may raise a few eyebrows.
|Posted by: Benjamin Feb 3 2013, 05:38 PM|
Wherein I look into two of my passions.
EDIT: I am looking to see if I can get this published on another blog or I reverted it to draft.
|Posted by: Benjamin Feb 9 2013, 02:20 PM|
| Wherein I express my exasperation at Mark Millar.
|Posted by: Sheriff Magnetman Feb 9 2013, 05:48 PM|
| Well, Millar has a point regardless. Until DC takes a page out of Marvel's book and builds up anticipation for a JLA movie over a series of films, its not going to be able to touch Avengers, either in terms of nerdgasm anticipation, casual movie goer interest, and finally, and most importantly of all, the final box office tally.
They'd have to rely on mostly Superman and Batman in their imagery to build up anticipation. As far as most people are concerned, Batman's latest movie arc is finished, so it may confuse people as to what Bats is doing in a new movie, which could work against the JLA film without an appropriate standalone Batman movie to reboot the franchise to fit in with the new JLA. Like him or not, you can't do a JLA movie without Batman, so the JLA movie is already in limbo until they figure out what to do with Bats next. And no, just having Joseph Gordon-Levitt don the batsuit for the JLA wouldn't work- people want to see Bruce Wayne as Batman when it comes time to do a JLA film proper. Oddly enough, Christian Bale originally wanted to make two Batman movies, one of them a PG, more kid friendly film, and the other a rated R, deep and dark psychological examination of the character. We got sort of a mixture of those ideas, leaning more towards dark examination.
And Superman, arguably the main star of the show, may not fit in depending on what Nolan and Snyder have in store for him. They're promising a darker, more serious look at him with Man of Steel, and that goes against the idea of a fantastical big team up movie. You may have gotten away with it had they stuck with the tone of Superman Returns, but that movie sucked.
So, who is left? Green Lantern? Doesn't have a whole lot of equity with casual movie goers, as demonstrated with his own film, despite the charming Ryan Reynolds in the green and black (CGI) suit. GL remains a semi-cult favorite until they figure out how to translate him for the silver screen properly. Sorry Ben (and Gauntlet); I know you're a big GL fan, but most people, well, aren't. The guy may have been around for decades, but he's still not thought of as a top guy. He's like DC's Dare Devil, and look how that turned out for Marvel. It also doesn't help that I heard people confused him with Green Hornet and that awful movie. Ugh.
Wonder Woman? I'd be curious to see how a modern WW film would work. She may have the best prospect of re-establishing a good tone for a JLA film. People know who she is, so that's a plus. You'd really have to lay the ground work for a JLA film with Wonder Woman, Batman, or Superman. Bats and Supes are probably off the table for a few years, so it defaults to Diana.
The Flash? He may be in the same boat as GL. I'm not sure he can pull off a solo movie these days. On one hand he's more recognizable than GL to the average movie goer, but on the other he's mainly seen as a lame version of Superman, who can apparently run as fast as him. And if you do a dark version of The Flash, which I don't think would work well at all, then that seals the JLA film's fate. And I'm sorry, but Flash does look like a dork. There's a reason why they didn't put Wolverine in yellow spandex for any of the X-Men films- it wouldn't work. That Flash live action series didn't help at all, either, because it really doesn't look good at all outside of the comics. Try to explain the mythological significance of the wings, and the audience will either shut down or break out in laughter. He'd need some tweaking for the big screen, to say the least. You'd also have to settle on who is going to be the Flash, Barry or Wally? And stick with it whoever you do put in there, god dammit.
Aquaman? Fucking Aquaman? Do you really think people will pay to see a movie about a guy whose power is that he can breathe (and maybe even talk) underwater and use fish to fight? Dude is lame. Period. Only the nerdiest of nerds are going to see that flop. You thought GL flopped bad? Make an Aquaman movie and watch people run away from the theater instead of to it. He has to be one of the most hated semi-mainstream superheroes ever. And if you try to make it an intellectual film, you'll have people attempting to drown themselves in the theater.
Martian Manhunter? Green Arrow? Cyborg? Hawkman? WHO? These guys would have even less credibility with the average, non-comic book buying crowd. You'll note that even with huge stars like Scarlet Johansson and Jeremy Renner as Black Widow and Hawkeye respectively, the majority of advertising for Avengers focused on the other four, far more recognizable characters. They were cool characters in the own right, but Marvel knew a solo movie for either one wouldn't work, so they built up Widow using Iron Man 2 as her vehicle, and Thor for Hawkeye. The same would have to go to Manhunter and whatever other guys fill out the JLA's roster for the film.
Thor could have been a deal breaker for Avengers depending on how his movie was received. However, by that time people knew an Avengers movie was coming, and they knew Thor fit into it, so it worked out well. I don't think it would have worked out so well for Thor if Avengers wasn't a well-known fact by then. He's just not a huge player on his own, at least before Avengers. He was handled well, and I think Thor 2 could make a lot of money now that people know who he is. It also doesn't hurt that Avengers 2 is all but certain, and you know Thor 2 will help set it up. DC would have to do something similar with Arrow and Manhunter, but that assumes a JLA is a certainty by the time their movies are released. Huge gamble.
Marvel was brilliant in how they interpreted and updated their characters for Avengers and its related films. They managed to make everyone fresh again without getting too dark and serious, which would have made Avengers an awkward film. A dark Superman and a different Batman from an even darker Dark Knight trilogy just won't work. I also think its way too soon to reboot Batman so soon after Dark Knight Rises. Not unless DC makes the JLA movie REALLY dark, and that is a huge gamble. It could either be brilliant or a massive flop. I agree with Millar when it comes that.
DC is in a tough spot when it comes to a JLA movie. While the Dark Knight trilogy was a critical and commercial success, its tone and story telling methods work against a JLA movie. I also get the feeling Man of Steel may do the same thing, and that immediately capsizes a JLA movie. With two of the biggest characters' own series working against a JLA movie, your chances of a grand live action adaption are nil.
Your best bet for a JLA film? A CGI film that clearly separates itself from the dark Superman and Batman films and the huge flop that was Green Lantern. Something that goes more in the way of fantastical adventure than grim scenario. That would probably let a lot of people down, since CGI movies tend to dissuade adult movie goers and would piss off a lot of hardcore DC fans who want their own version of Avengers, but it could make a lot of money and appeal to kids and parents.
The bottom line is that studios make these movies to make more money than they put into them, and they know they won't make a huge amount of money by catering to a hardcore, but relatively small, group of nerds. Green Lantern definitively underscored this point. You say that Green Lantern has the potential to be an epic on the scale of Star Wars? Perhaps creatively, yeah...But I severely doubt that will ever happen on the big screen. Most people either don't know who he is or don't give a fuck about him enough to see his movie. People like Ryan Reynolds. They like seeing things explode. They like big super hero vs super villain brawls. They just don't like Green Lantern. Sorry, bro.
Part of that problem is that his powers. Its kind of stupid when you try to explain it to average people. I did so when the GL movie was incoming and people at work wanted to know what it was all about (they assumed I knew all about him for some reason). I said he was a dude with an alien ring that let him imagine all kinds of weapons to fight bad guys. One guy asked why he couldn't just imagine an unbeatable death trap to kill his foes with, and I said he has limits to his powers. And he's weak to the color yellow. At that exact moment, I got a look like I was making it up, and just as quickly Green Lantern was dismissed. I imagine similar conversations occurring all over the US at that time, probably with even less success if it was being spear-headed by a hardcore GL fan that goes too far into a mouth-breathing lecture while explaining what to expect from a two hour movie.
When you boil it down like that, its really fucking hard to try and explain his powers in a way that doesn't seem like the lamest thing ever. Granted, I'm not a GL fan so I didn't really get too in depth or defensive at that point, but that's the basic premise. And while you may try to rationalize GL as being a good fit for the big screen because of these powers, and because you say that the Marvel guys also fight at a distance despite Millar's assertion, its a lot easier to believe in an Iron Man or Thor fight because they use weapons and powers that are more accessible and easily understood by people who don't spend more than a few minutes a week reading comic books. Iron Man fights with missiles and laser beams because he's a smart billionaire who made his own suit of armor. Thor uses lightning because he's the god of lightning visiting Earth. See? Easy to explain and get into. Dude that uses the power of will to form green plasma forms using his imagination that was gifted to him by a dying alien who was part of an intergalactic police organization all outfitted with the same powers? Forget about it.
But even the ranged fight theory falls apart, because in both Iron Man movies we see Iron Man get into a number of up close battles. Thor does as well in his film. Hell, Thor and Hulk have a rather heavy-handed fight of their own in Avengers. Captain America primarily used a Thompson SMG and his shield in his movie. And yet, the idea of a fist-fighting Green Lantern seems to fall a little short, because that's not really his bag. GL fans want him to come up with some clever apparition to fight his foes. On the screen, its a dude using CGI green light to beat people up. Apples to oranges, I say.
I suppose it all boils down to how you present the material, but some are more challenging than others. Thor was probably something of a challenge because he's a little more obscure than the rest of the Avengers, but I'd say Marvel did well with him. It could be done with Green Lantern, but I'd say that's going to be an even stiffer challenge than making Thor accessible to the average Joe. Even Captain America could have been super, super lame given his outdated mythology and appearance, but they figured out how to make him work.
The other big problem with a JLA movie? Avengers beat them to the punch with a good introductory story that ends up with a big superhuman showdown versus an army of generic badguys from another world. How would JLA establish itself? Have them fight Darkseid and his army in New York? Washington DC? L.A.? Or in any big city on Earth? That immediately makes the JLA look like its ripping off Avengers. Move the action off the Earth for the first movie and nobody is going to care about the big fight at the end. It raises a very valid point; what exactly can you have the JLA do for their movie that doesn't make them look like a rip off of Avengers? Avengers took a lot of wind out JLA's sails by going with a common super team story that covers so much ground it really painted DC into a corner. This forces DC to come up with a completely different scenario for JLA that simply has to culminate in a team up against a big bad enemy that wants to destroy Earth. It has to be done in a way that is different from what Avengers did, but still has to be accessible for a broad range of people. On top of that, it has to be such a dire situation that Superman (a guy that could beat the Avengers single-handed) all by himself cannot handle, so he needs help. That is a very tall order.
So...Millar has a point. There's a lot working against the JLA movie at the moment. Some of it is Marvel's doing, but a lot of it has to do with the direction DC has gone with some of their franchises. It's not necessarily a bad route for DC, but it doesn't bode well for a JLA film. At least a JLA film that would appeal to as broad an audience as Avengers.
Don't get me wrong- I'd love to see a proper JLA movie, but only if its done correctly. You need to have Superman flying around beating the shit out of invincible enemies. You need to have Batman figuring out how to do stuff and throwing batarangs. You need to have Wonder Woman...Doing pretty much what Superman is doing. And you need a few other guys also fighting and maybe having a moment of glory. I'm by no means a Marvel or DC fanboy; I haven't picked up a comic book since the last Mechs Meet I went to and bought a few Punisher MAX books and a couple of indy books Top recommended, and before that I couldn't tell you. I'm more of a film buff than a comic book nerd. It just so happens that many of my favorite movies as of late happen to be based on comic books. I'll be seeing both Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel when they come out this year. I'll even see The Wolverine, despite being burnt out on Wolverine and really hating X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I'm viewing things as a casual movie goer who is somewhat familiar with the base material. And that's the way you approach a JLA movie.
|Posted by: Benjamin Feb 9 2013, 07:12 PM|
| I need to make this short because I have somewhere to go in about five minutes but I wanted to bring up two quick points.
I could argue that barely anyone knew who Iron Man was up until 2008 because he barely had any media presence save for his relatively obscure animated series from 1994-96 and his handful of appearances in the 90s Spider-Man animated series. Whereas Green Lantern, or at least the John Stewart version, was in Justice League (Unlimited) from 2001 to 2006. (Though that does not discount anything you have said.)
As for Wonder Woman, I suppose she is doable if they play up the fantasy (i.e. classical Greek myth) element of her history and play to another different demographic. Notably a female audience after the success of Twilight (despite it being a horrible series) and The Hunger Games.
As for Millar, while he has a point, he has little credibility with me since most of his work is incredibly juvenile. Plus, like I said I believe he carries a personal grudge against DC.
|Posted by: Sheriff Magnetman Feb 9 2013, 09:32 PM|
| You could try to argue that Iron Man was as obscure as Green Lantern prior to his 2008 film...But you'd look foolish.
Iron Man has always been a pretty popular character. Maybe not on the same level as Superman or Spider-Man, but I'd say he was far more recognizable than Green Lantern. That "obscure cartoon" of his from the '90s went on for three seasons. Someone had to have been watching it for it to go on that long. He also had his own series back in the '60s, and cameos in the Fantastic Four series of the '90s prior to his own show. He's also been in most of the Marvel/Capcom games.
You've also had outside artists referencing him, such as Black Sabbath in the '70s (which has remained a pretty damned popular song. I learned how to play bass guitar with that one). You even had Paul McCartney and Wu Tang Clan reference him in their songs. If two acts as far apart as that and as popular as that are referencing a character, I would guess he isn't that obscure. This all predates the 2008 film, for the record.
He was even a hidden character in a Tony Hawk game. Seriously.
Meanwhile, GL was featured in, but not a primary character of, a successful JLA cartoon. If I remember correctly, the title sequence ended with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman standing next to each other as silhouettes of other heroes fly in the background. Sends a pretty clear message as to who the focus of the show was on. Also doesn't hurt that this show was a continuation of two widely loved, long running animated series, namely Batman and Superman.
That said, I liked that show.
Now, let's use my dad as an example of an average movie goer. He was never a big comic book reader in his youth, but he enjoys a good super hero flick. He even took me to see Spawn back in 1997, and it was on his suggestion at that (I wasn't too big into Spawn before seeing the movie). When he saw TV spots for Iron Man, he proclaimed we were going to see it, and we did. He never read Iron Man as a kid and knew nothing about his mythology, but he knew who he was because Iron Man isn't all that obscure. He loved the movie even more than he liked Spider-Man. Keep in mind that he usually prefers James Bond films or movies directed by Stanley Kubrik when he's in the mood to really analyze something.
On the other hand, he still has no idea who Green Lantern is. I know because I just asked him during dinner, which happened after my last response. I explained to him the general premise and he didn't seem the slightest bit interested. The subject changed to whether or not I was going to watch Skyfall when it came out on DVD.
It was much the same with my co-workers, who I tend to use as a gauge for basic public perception since they're pretty plain, unremarkable people that seem to like going to the movies pretty frequently. They were really excited about Iron Man, and I doubt they knew much about him beyond him being a rich guy in a suit of armor.
Green Lantern received no such fanfare. Nobody gave a shit. Worse yet, if you took the time to explain more of Green Lantern's story as to not make it seem as dumb as it sounds, you wind up looking like a complete dork. He has that effect. Apparently the film makers were wary of the inherent nerdiness of the character and cast a guy who is decidedly not a nerd to try and offset it. It didn't work out.
Simply put, there's a few comic book characters who are everyday discussion pieces for people who don't necessarily read comic books. Spider-Man, Superman, Captain America, Batman...Everybody knows who they are. I'd say before 2008 Iron Man was pretty close to being one of those characters. Even Flash benefits from the common question "who would win in a foot race? Flash or Superman?" Green Lantern never has been on the same level.
I'm not trying to run down the Lantern, but I am trying to put it into perspective. Lantern just isn't a super-popular character. DC's attempt to put him on the big screen was an attempt to catch up to Iron Man using dazzling effects and a well-liked actor in the role while they worked on the next Superman and Batman films. But, it fell apart mainly because he's not a character that is easily accessible to a huge audience. The power ring just seems a bit too out there for many people. Sorry, but that's just how it is.
The worst part is that DC seems to think this is true as well. How else do you explain why so many characters have been Green Lantern? Same goes for Flash. You don't see Superman or Batman exchanging identities on a permanent basis (stories like Death of Superman and Knight Fall are exceptions rather than the rule). Typically, when comic book companies do this with a character, its because readership is down and they're desperate to keep a title going, so they kill off a character and give the mantle to a new character, even if the end result is basically the same. Its going on with Spider-Man right now, and it got people talking about him again (even though he had a new movie on the way, so what the hell).
But Lantern and Flash are really odd cases because so many characters have filled those shoes. They're starting to catch up with Doctor Who with the number of deaths and reincarnations. That fucking sucks because the more you try to get into a character, the worse it is because you have not only the current character's history to look into, but everyone else before him. Next thing you know you're dealing with stupid story mechanics like Speed Force instead of a guy that's really fast due to a freak accident. Or trying to figure out which GL guy did what at what time. Fuck that crap says I.
On the other hand, if they ever make a Captain Planet movie, he'd fit right in.
"Earth!" "Fire!" "Wind!" "Water!" "Heart!"
As far as Wonder Woman's movie is concerned, I'm not sure playing up Greek mythology would work. We're talking about a primarily North American audience, and Greek mythology isn't typically big block buster material. I don't even think you'd have to pander to a female audience. Fuck, don't play up or pander to anything or anyone! Just do a simple, accessible origin story. Everybody knows who Wonder Woman is. People still remember the Lynda Carter show from the '70s, even. Plenty of women saw Avengers, though they were either dragged there by their boyfriends or they heard Mark Ruffalo was naked at some point. Or, it could be that good movies appeal to everyone, and word gets around. Nah.
Make it too obscure or bog it down with a shitload of mythology right off the bat and people will hate it. Try to turn it into Twilight and the core audience will reject it. Instead, tell the story of a super-strong Amazonian woman introduced to modern society and suddenly thrust into some battle with, say, Cheetah. Or Nazis. Whatever. This ain't Shakespeare. Keep it simple. Maybe have her attain her full suite of powers and identity towards the end of the movie.
Some super heroes work well on the big screen. Others...Not so much. I dread what I hear about sometimes, like an Ant-Man movie, or that most recent Spider-Man reboot. I'd probably say that they need to wait a few more years before trying to put GL back up there. Maybe by then DC will have staged the JLA film. Maybe.
|Posted by: Benjamin Feb 9 2013, 10:17 PM|
Hoo boy. Maybe I should not tell you about the Guardians of the Galaxy film Marvel is convinced will be a blockbuster.
Then again, you would probably ask, "Who?"
|Posted by: Sheriff Magnetman Feb 9 2013, 10:27 PM|
| Yeah, I heard about that one. I have no idea as to why they're making it, save to establish Thanos as a serious threat to the Avengers. I had a few issues of that title from the '80s, but it doesn't exactly fill me with a warm sense of nostalgia.
I also hear they're trying to make another Dare Devil film. Jesus, no.
|Posted by: Benjamin Feb 9 2013, 10:31 PM|
| Kevin Feige also mentioned a Dr. Strange film in development.
The more I give it though, maybe it is better that DC does not press ahead with further Green Lantern or Flash films because it looks like Marvel stands a good chance of imploding if they press their luck (and the fans' wallets.)
|Posted by: Benjamin Feb 19 2013, 05:53 PM|
Huzzah! I got on article published on another blog. The editor of said blog tells me it's doing well on Reddit.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Feb 21 2013, 10:47 PM|
| Nice entry. I agree that alternate histories are also quite facinating.
My favorite actually has to be Justice League: the Nail. Where the Kents get a nail in their truck that prevents them from finding baby Superman. There's a whole LOT of continuity nods to Superman that you may not get if you're not into the post-Crisis man of steel, but it was a really great story.
|Posted by: Benjamin Apr 21 2013, 06:50 PM|
Wherein I argue against bringing back the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths multiverse and lament DC's inability to fully commit to a reboot.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Apr 21 2013, 08:50 PM|
| Can't say I entirely agree. The partial reboot on GL and Bats could have worked if the writers didn't shine a flashlight on problems and if everything were actually thought out and problems addressed. Preferrably in one of their old Secret Files and Origins books.
GL isn't really a nightmare. Geoff Johns already cleared away a lot of continuity in his run, they just needed to do their reaserch and address any akward questuions instead of barrelling ahead and deciding things on the fly (like they did).
|Posted by: Benjamin Apr 21 2013, 09:04 PM|
| I just pretend that Rebirth, Sinestro Corps, Blackest Night, and Brightest did not happen because, well, many integral characters did not exist. I mean, how could there have been a Black Lantern Firestorm when there was not even a Firestorm to seek of? Same applies to Superboy-Prime, The Cyborg Superman, and Anti-Monitor though that their fates are more ambiguous. I will reiterate that reboots only work it they completely reset the series ala the Legion of Super-Heroes after Zero Hour. That is one reason why I have a dim view of the Post-Crisis, it was going to collapse on itself due to the retcons but it was like watch a train de-rail in slow motion.
What really irritates me is how the New 52 was essentially for nothing as Marvel is back to dominating the sales charts.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Apr 21 2013, 11:19 PM|
| I'll grant that the New 52 is pretty irritating.
Brightest Day is not a GL event. It hardly has anything to do with GL outside of the first couple of issues.
It's taking continuity too seriously when you say these stories can't happen in GL because the specifics no longer make sense. If there's not a spotlight shone on them the broad strokes still work out. I'd say 80% of those stories are still good. Gl-wise, I mean. It's a waste to just chuck it all and start from scratch. I'm glad they didn't. Even if it'll cause a headache later; it's only a headache if they look backward and not forward.
|Posted by: Sheriff Magnetman Apr 22 2013, 05:37 AM|
Not too hard to imagine why. I don't even read comic books anymore, but just hearing about the clusterfuck that is New 52 makes me want to never pick up a DC comic book again. At least when Marvel does a continuity reboot they usually don't cherry pick stories from the past continuity just for laughs.
Ultimate Marvel universe is a pretty good example of a good reboot (or alternate universe or what the hell ever). It wasn't always perfect, but at least you knew what they were going for. References to old stories were primarily re-imaginings of them, rather than weird reaches into a past that technically didn't happen in the Ultimate reality. I haven't read a lot of the Ultimate books, but I did spend some time reading plot summaries a while back. When I tried that with DC's latest reboot, I didn't make it very far.
That's really reaching.
Say I try to get into GL now, as a blank slate. In order to fully comprehend what's going on, I'm gonna have to read some pre-Crisis back issues. If the story starts to fall apart right then and there, before I even get too deep into the new editions, why in the world would I invest too much time into a comic that can't keep what's canon or not straight? This especially when I can look across the street at Marvel and witness a proper reboot. It seems like its a lot easier to keep up with Ultimate Spider-Man than it is post-Crisis Green Lantern.
Its just lame that DC tried to have its cake and eat it too by cherry picking successful stories but doing it in a lazy, half-assed way. That's just shitty story telling, and comic books are just that- story telling. Fail that and expect people to seek out proper story telling elsewhere. Hence, the swing towards Marvel.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Apr 22 2013, 07:53 AM|
| You mean pre-Flashpoint, don't you? Because Pre-Crisis stuff hasn't mattered for a VERY long time.
Comparing New 52 or Mavel as a whole to the Ultimate Universe is apples to oranges. Marvel NOW is Mavel's own attempt to do a "new 52", but it's loaded with continuity. As I understand it Marvel doesn't reboot as much as it refurbishes their old continuity. Mavel's Ultimates line is TOTALLY different and not the entirety of Marvel's enterprise. Plus, the Ultimate line didn't replace mainstream Marvel, so they could do whatever the liked there. It's completely different. DC's answer to that is their Earth 1 series, not the New 52.
I can't fault DC at all for keeping GL's older volume. It was in the middle of an ongoing storyline. To chuck it is to turn away everyone who'se been following along up until that point. If they had ended the GL series similar to how they ended the Silver Age Superman with Alan Moore's story then I can see the point in rebooting completely. Then I'd be on board with the idea. But that's not what happened. If you were following along with GL maybe you'd have more appreciation for how frustrating that would be. It'd probably be enough to get me off the GL bandwagon.
|Posted by: Benjamin Apr 22 2013, 11:37 AM|
That pretty much affirms my suspicions that Flashpoint was not intended to reboot the DC universe and that DC editorial probably slapped the New 52 together in a month or maybe even less. As critical as I am of Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC had planned it for three years ahead of time (or so I hear.) Perhaps the powers that be at DC should have considered that before making their universe a near-unreadable train wreck.
|Posted by: Sheriff Magnetman Apr 22 2013, 11:40 AM|
| Alls I know for sure is that as an outsider looking in, New 52 is a complete mess. It only takes a quick glance to see how fucked up everything is, and imagine it only gets worse the deeper into the rabbit hole you go. No thank you. I do feel bad for the long term fans because it seems like you're getting the shaft. Its probably close to how I felt about the Spider-Man Clone Saga debacle of the mid-90s.
Overnight we were told that the guy whom I had been reading about for all of my young life wasn't the real Spidey but rather a clone. Then they tried to go and correct that, but it was too late- the damage had been done. It was a mess and a huge disappointment. Its ultimately what pushed me out of comic books. New 52 reminds me of that in that it seems like a shitty attempt to spice things up without thinking things through long term. It just comes off as lame and terrible.
Yes, I know Clone Saga was just a storyline and New 52 is a reboot (a half-assed one, but a reboot nevertheless), but that's the vibe I've gotten from it. Instead of drawing me towards it, its making me stay way the fuck away. I suspect I'm not the only one, judging by sales figures.
|Posted by: Benjamin Apr 22 2013, 11:53 AM|
Both are examples of why you never let people with business degrees write or edit comic books.
|Posted by: Gauntlet101010 Apr 22 2013, 12:00 PM|
| I'm only taking issue with the idea that GL (and probably Batman since it's some of Grant Morrison's best stuff from what I hear) should have been rebooted along with the other titles. The New 52 sucks ass, IMHO. It seems like a sudden whim from editorial that everyone was forced to go along with. And it doesn't help that it was marked as "not a reboot" at first. They had no idea how far they wanted to go with in.
There's a theory that it's an overblown Flash event, like Blackest Night was an overblown GL event. If they kept it to the Flash it would have worked well enough. But as an event and a relaunch it fails on every level for me. As a longtime DC fan I feel pretty burned by it. And, really, the way they're handling the past in GL is pretty grating to me as it is; I wish they wouldn't shine a flashlight on inconsistencies because the broad strokes really do work well enough if you don't analyze them too closely.
They should have given everyone some time to do their finales to give the old 52 a proper sendoff. Then, by all means, reboot everything cleanly. But, as a longtime GL subscriber, I would have felt slighted if they had just left it all in the air to do "Hal Jordan's modern origin take 3".