Warner Bros. turns to Ben Affleck to direct ‘Justice League’ movie

justice league alex ross

Regardless of whether or not the upcoming Man of Steel film is a success or failure, Warner Bros. is moving forward with a Justice League film. According to Variety, writer/director/actor Ben Affleck is the first candidate to direct the massive super-hero script, written by Castle’s Will Beall who also wrote the upcoming Warner Bros. mobster movie, Gangster Squad.

This will not be an easy decision for Affleck, who regardless of what you think of him as an actor, can direct a film. He made his debut as a director with Gone Baby Gone in 2007, then The Town in 2010 and one of this year’s most anticipated films, Argo.

First there’s the immense pressure involved in making a Justice League film, with absolutely nothing to stand on now that Christopher Nolan has left the Batman film franchise and is now producing the Superman film, Man of Steel, directed by Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) and that may or may not be a hit with audiences. Green Lantern was a failure for Warner Bros. and  audiences, fair or unfair, will expect this to rival Marvel’s The Avengers.

Secondly, as Joss Whedon found out this week, these type of movies tend to eat up a good portion of your life. Nolan spent a seven to eight years, maybe longer with Batman. John Favreau has a similar experience with Iron Man. These are big commitments, potentially, and for an actor/director who likes to balance his career with writing, acting and directing projects, that flexibility would be gone. He’s currently working on a motion picture version of Stephen King’s The Stand, which could be in line beforehand and he is weighing the opportunity to star in Greg Berlanti’s sci-fi drama, Replay, which is based on Ken Grimwood’s 1987 time-looping novel of the same name.

EDITOR’S PICK: BuzzFocus Team Blast Off Podcast #11: Making a Justice League Movie

Next, Affleck doesn’t have much on his directing resume for a film of this magnitude. Granted, neither did Favreau when he helmed the first Iron Man, and look how that worked out. And yes, with Affleck there’s always the possibility of him wanting to be in front of the camera at some point, and that can be spotty as far as great performances go. Too many naysayers will bring up Daredevil, but I don’t think it was that bad. There are far worse comic book film adaptations since and Affleck did play George Reeves who was TV’s Superman in the 2006 indie film, Hollywoodland, which was about the mysterious death of Reeves in 1959.

But this would also be an opportunity of a lifetime and imagine if he could do the same magic he worked on his other films he’s directed, onto the Justice League and deliver? He would be worshiped by fanboys forever and be forgiven for his Matt Murdock, or at least his ill-fitting of DD’s costume and mask. What he’d make off of a successful Justice League film would allow Affleck to do any independent venture he wanted as long as he could fit it into his schedule. Chances are the film, which would be released no sooner than summer of 2015 (against Avengers 2) would partially take place in Boston, because that’s what Affleck does.

It’s a bold choice to say the least and one that could work in the end. Hopefully Beall’s script lives up to everything we dream it should be, whether or not Affleck is involved. What do you think of Affleck being a potential director for Justice League?

DC Comics Heroes Go Mano A Mano In ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ Trailer and Screenshots

DC Injustice Banner

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced yesterday that they’re launching Injustice: Gods Among Us, a cross-platform DC Comics fighting game with NetherRealm, the folks who created Mortal Kombat, BuzzFocus’ Best Fighting Game of 2011. Now we have screenshots and a trailer so you can get a close-up of the renderings and the game in motion. First check out the trailer below.

You’ll notice that there are some extremely powerful moves in the demo of Superman vs. Flash, and Batman sends Solomon Grundy into the next town with a roundhouse kick to the jaw. The action looks fast, and the animation sequences look sick. We’re not given any more characters than Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Solomon Grundy, but there’s at least one more obscured in the early half of the trailer as it looks like one character is in a battle suit. Lex Luthor perhaps? Deathstroke? Cyborg? And if there is one more character, we can assume they’ll round up to eight playable characters, right?

In appropriate DC vs. Marvel comics affair, as Marvel aligned itself with Capcom and the Street Fighter franchise, DC is going to flourish with the Mortal Kombat engine and it makes sense. The most popular DC Comics-related game is the Batman: Arkham franchise, which portrays a realistic and gritty style to the Batman franchise, why not roll that look out to a fighting game? The only other thing I need to know is, are we going to have fatalities in this game? If so, gamers are going to camp out for this game.

grundy v flash
flash v grundy

Taking a look at these screenshots, it looks like Batman walked off the set of The Dark Knight Rises, Harley Quinn was borrowed from Arkham City, and Superman has some of the New 52 costume stylings. Or is Kal-El sporting his movie threads? Also whoever prepared these photos made sure that Solomon Grundy was getting his pale white ass in nearly every shot. C’mon DC, Show Grundy some love!

Flash still looks to be the character that designers had the most creative license on the look with lots of yellow trim on his once-streamlined costume. Now he’s been given heavy-duty boots, a hybrid helmet-cowl and shoulder pads? Wonder Woman has pants, but she’s ditched her tiara and wields her Amazonian shield and golden lariat. The other fun design is Solomon Grundy who wears a noose around his neck like a tie, and has several knives lodged into his back. Makes you wonder if he can throw them… if he can reach them.

supes v grundy
harley v grundy

Everyone outside of Flash and Superman has weapons at their reach. Superman has his cold breath and heat vision though. I can’t wait to see the variety of attacks Flash has at his disposal. Harley Quinn even has an arsenal of guns… and giant balls (?!) and Batman has his usual bag of tricks as shown by the screen shot below where he’s got Flash tied up and hanging upside down with his grappling gun. I’m hoping that we get full access to the utility belt?

batman v flash

harley v batman

If fighting games seem passé, tell that to thousands of people who flood Vegas at the Evolution (EVO) Championships every year. You can bet that Injustice: Gods Among Us will make next year’s schedule–if it comes out early enough next year. Right now it’s scheduled for a 2013 release for the XBox 360, Playstation 3, and the Wii U.

superman v flash

grundy v ww

Well, now that you’ve seen the trailer and the screen caps, what do you think of Injustice: Gods Among Us? Who do you think is the mystery character in the trailer is? Share your thoughts below!

Blast Off #11: Justice League of America the Movie – Learning from ‘The Avengers’

Now that Avengers 2 has been officially been announced by Disney-Marvel, it’s time to shift our gaze towards another team movie that has been long in the making.

The Justice League of America from DC Comics and Warner Bros Entertainment.

On the 11th Team Focus Blast Off, BuzzFocus Community Manager Ernie Estrella and I discuss what made The Avengers work and what DC Comics needs to do to ensure an equally successful JLA movie – which would potentially feature Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and at least four other DC Comics heroes.

We’ll dip into the importance of the upcoming Man of Steel movie from Director Zack Snyder as well as the end of Christopher Nolan’s run on the Batman movie franchise with The Dark Knight Rises. We’ll also discuss why Green Lantern failed to raise interest in a DC Comics team-up movie and what heroes would need to shine to ensure the JLA had its own Brightest Day.

Listen to the latest Team Focus Blast Off and let us know your thoughts on the Justice League of America movie:
[podcast]http://www.buzzfocus.com/nerdysecrets/Blast-off-11.mp3[/podcast]

Tune in weekly by Subscribing to our Podcast on iTunes.

‘Justice League: Doom’ DVD Release Date Announced (+Blu-ray), Starring Nathan Fillion & Michael Rosenbaum

Warner Bros has just announced that Justice League: Doom will hit DVD and Blu-ray on February 28, 2012.

The film features the voices of primetime stars Nathan Fillion (Castle), Tim Daly (Private Practice) and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville) in addition to a cavalcade of voiceover alums from the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated television series.

Justice League: Doom finds Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains discover and implement the Dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping any rogue Justice League member. The story is inspired by Mark Waid’s much-heralded “JLA: Tower of Babel.”

Justice League: Doom Blu-Ray™ Combo Pack has 3 hours of exciting content, including:

• Standard and high definition versions of the feature film
• UltraViiolet™ Digital Copy,
• Sneak Peak at Superman vs. The Elite, the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie
• Featurette – “A Legion of One: The Dwayne McDuffie Story” – The skilled writer penned some of the best stories which consistently entertained fans. From his early writing career to adapting the popular work of All-Star Superman, this is the story of Dwayne McDuffie, as told by his family and friends.
• Featurette – “Guarding the Balance: Batman and the JLA” – Everyone has a weakness and so do superheroes, yet when they go rogue, their power can topple more than a few egos, they can shatter worlds. The Justice League is the most powerful organization of superheroes on the planet, but what if the Justice League went rogue, and decided to use their power for harm?
• Mini-featurette – “Their Time Has Come: Cyborg and the DC Universe’s New Diversity” – 2011 will go down in DC Comics storied history as a year when a rich diversity of characters were re-introduced into the spotlight alongside Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. One of the most celebrated of the re-imagined characters is Cyborg, who became the new Man of Steel in Geoff Johns’ altered universe storyline, Flashpoint.
• Creative team commentary
• Two bonus episodes from the Justice League animated series handpicked by Bruce Timm: Wild Cards, Part 1 and 2, written by Stan Berkowitz and Dwayne McDuffie
• Digital Comic

Syfy Banks on ‘Booster Gold’ As Its Next Super Hero Hit

booster goldMost super heroes hide from the public because they don’t wish to advertise the work that they do, wishing to do their public service in the shadows of the night or with the help of black government operations. Others wish to just save mankind and leave all the glory to the victims rescued from peril. Not Booster Gold–the only thing he wants is the fame.

Syfy and NBC Universal are looking to take the relevant DC Comics character to become the next TV hit to cross mediums, ordering a one-hour pilot to be made for the genre-centric cable network that has had other recent super-powered success with shows like Haven and Alphas. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news that Greg Berlanti’s and his company Berlanti Productions will produce the project with Warner Horizon Television.

Booster Gold is about a man from the 25th century, Michael Jon Carter who was a star quarterback in college. His sketchy father convinced Carter to throw games and once discovered, his future as a star athlete faded. Carter soon became a night watchmen at the Metropolis Space Museum, and became a student of the history of heroes and villains of the DC Universe. He stole weapons on display that belonged to the Legion of Super-Heroes and found a way to travel back in time to our present day and uses the stolen weapons to become a hero and builds an entire corporation to promote himself and become famous. He is joined by an artificial intelligence robot which has stored in it 500 years of news headlines which Booster uses to prevent. His newfound fame rubs the present day heroes the wrong way and this is just one of the many problems Booster Gold realizes that he’s created for himself.

Considering how the pursuit of celebrity and fame have preceded the means at which one gains that status, the concept of Booster Gold was ahead of its time. The comic was first published in 1986, created by Dan Jurgens. He has since been a regular fixture in many of the DC’s biggest stories including Infinite Crisis, 52, Blackest Night, Brightest Day and is currently in the new DC New 52 title, Justice League International. Booster Gold made one appearance in a Geoff Johns-written episode of Smallville in the final 10th season so it’s possible this could be a reality some day.

Berlanti was one of the many hands who handled the Green Lantern movie (story, screenplay, and producer) and he also served as executive producer on several television series including Dawson’s Creek, Everwood, Dirty Sexy Money, Eli Stone, Brothers & Sisters and most recently the super hero family drama No Ordinary Family.  Warehouse 13 co-executive producer and writer Andrew Kreisberg has been hired to write the screenplay. He worked with Berlanti on Eli Stone and has also written and co-executive produced on Fringe and The Vampire Diaries.

booster gold smallville

This marks the third DC Comics character currently in development for television. The CW and Supernatural’s Eric Kripke is trying to launch a Deadman series and Fox is working on The Spectre. Could Booster Gold be one of the chosen few super hero pilots to be made? Will it break through and become the next Smallville or Alphas? Or will it follow the same fate as IDW horror comic  Locke & Key (critically praised, but expensive pilot that Fox eventually passed on) and Wonder Woman (critically panned pilot with re-imagined concept and costume), both of which did not air. Locke & Key was shown at Comic-Con and was considered by Syfy but also deemed it too expensive.

While not one of DC’s top-tiered properties, Booster Gold could have a place in today’s entertainment. I do think that this hero could present something different for both Syfy and the TV medium, while being a good home for its target audience. If it can be clever and satirize how fame and infamy have dominated mainstream news, there’s something special here. The tone should be humorous at times and mine the Keith Giffen and J.J. DeMatteis Justice League stories that featured Booster Gold but be able to provide top-flight action and well-written scripts that make us believe he is worthy of having his own show.

I’m encouraged to see that Syfy, despite some of their questionable decisions in recent years, is going to be the home if the pilot is made and a series does launch. Had this landed at a major network I would have been less thrilled given their track records with genre entertainment. At Syfy, Booster Gold would have less episodes per season maximizing the impact, the creators would be given a challenge to be more creative given the limited funds, and regardless if it succeeds or fails audiences would probably see a full season in its entirety.

I do wonder how fantastical a Booster Gold show would be, especially on Syfy’s limited budget. There are some supporting characters such as Ted Kord (Blue Beetle) and Skeets, Booster’s futuristic almanac robot that are essential. Because of how unknown the character is outside of comic shop talk and DCU threads on online comic book communities, some liberties could be made and modifications would be met with open minds as long as the end product is better and more contemporary to our world.

There is a small window of opportunity for Booster Gold, yet with so many other super hero-related projects in development (Incredible Hulk, AKA Jessica Jones to name a few), I’m still scratching my head over how they’ll be made.

Does Booster Gold at Syfy interest you? What Booster Gold essential elements would you like to see that would realistically be done at Syfy? Let us hear what you are thinking below and be sure to be on the lookout this week for the latest Blast Off #4 Podcast with Bags Hooper and me as we discuss the challenges of bringing comic book adaptations (and remakes) on TV today. Look for it!

Nerdy Secrets With Mo Fathelbab – Episode 2 Podcast

BuzzFocus.com Presents NERDY SECRETS WITH MO FATHELBAB Episode 2 is up!!!! The latest show was recorded live, in front of a studio audience at The Nerdist Theatre at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, California on TUESDAY, AUG. 30TH. We dubbed it THE RAMADAN SPECTACU-ALLAH! because Danielle Kramer, Dan Curry, “Nerdy Kid” Gil, and I cooked up an honest-to-goodness end of Ramadan feast for everyone.

The always funny DC PIERSON (“Mystery Team”) returned, this time as the special guest co-host.

The show kicked off with a brilliant stand-up comedy set by DAN CURRY. Then 9-year-old “Nerdy Kid” GIL T. DOMINGUEZ-LETELIER gave us a recap of his favorite summer films in a segment he called “The Summer of Mutants”. He schooled DC and I on how to make a great comic book movie (“more action, less talking”).

Then DC and I have an incredibly funny exchange with the panel which consisted of: AZITA GHANIZADA (from SyFy’s “Alphas”), KUMAIL NANJIANI (from TNT’s “Franklin & Bash”), and MATT SELMAN (the writer/executive producer of “The Simpsons”). We discussed an array of topics, from working with “Zack Morris” to stabbing teachers with pencils (you’ll understand it when you hear).

So anyway, without further ado: Posted on Categories Alphas, Captain America: The First Avenger, Celebrity, Comedy, Cowboys & Aliens, Critic Review, DC Comics, Film & Movies, Justice League of America, Nerdy Secrets, On Location: LA, Team Focus Blast Off, The Avengers, The Simpsons, TNT, TV, X-Men: First Class1 Comment

Justice League #1 Review: The Future of the New DC Universe Starts Here

Justice League #1 CoverThe media is buzzing, the anticipation has been building and no one knows exactly what to expect. Some titles are undergoing a hard reboot, others a soft. August 31st is here and that means as the old DC Universe ends in Flashpoint #5, while the launch of the new DC Universe begins with Justice League #1. One thing is made abundantly clear: This is a young universe, a very, very young universe.

The new 52 opens in Gotham City five years prior to the present day, when super hero sightings are just whisperings by the privileged few who have seen a red and blue blur, a green construct appear out of nowhere, or a large bat in the sky. The bulk of this first issue features the first meeting between Batman and Green Lantern. He has no knowledge of the Green Lantern Corps, but we get the impression that a file will be started on Batman’s computer in the Bat-Cave. Lantern assists Batman in the pursuit of an alien goon on a suicide mission for Darkseid but Jordan is clearly cramping the Dark Knight. They bicker constantly, feeling each other out and they gossip about Superman sightings.

Green Lantern: They say he’s an alien.
Batman: He is, and he’s dangerous.

Oooh. This DC universe has just begun and Batman’s already got it out for two fellow heroes. Batman doesn’t have the influence or the presence in Gotham-yet. GCPD doesn’t hesitate to shoot at him, there is no fear of Batman or respect for anything he has done for the city. But this is not Batman: Year One.

Still, that’s not the problem of the book. What is problematic is Green Lantern, a character that writer Geoff Johns is well-trusted with, having taken the character to new heights in the last five years. In this latest DC relaunch though, he’s mannerless, conceited, reckless even and in Batman’s neighborhood of all places. Well, at least Green Lantern has more confidence in this first issue than Ryan Reynolds’ had in the entire movie.

What’s going to be excruciatingly painful for longtime readers is having that knowledge or more importantly that experience of Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s JLA run or even Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes’ year-long launch of the previous volume of the book in their memories. How can they compare those reading experiences to this story? Here’s the thing, it doesn’t. Neither of those earlier stories were used to launch an entire line of new comics but they did do this: they made me feel with one issue that this is the assemblage of the greatest of the DC heroes. This did not.

It’s transparently clear that DC is–at least with Justice League–grab the new reader, the younger reader, one who only has concepts and general ideas of who Batman, Green Lantern, Superman etc. are from a variety of places including fond memories as a child. But these new readers are probably the type that don’t care to build on the history that is supposedly intact. They don’t want to be burdened by that. Believe me, there is not a single thing wrong with that. Long-standing continuity be damned. But reading it with that frame of mind, it still feels like the butcher cut too much of the sirloin with the fat off in an effort to make it a healthier, leaner cut. When you cook that steak though, there’s not much flavor.

The first 12 pages add up to one long action sequence. Now, I’m all for seeing some great Jim Lee and Scott Williams art, but even for their long-time fans, this could be considered a sub-par effort. It’s just not dynamic enough; too many of the camera angles are overhead or too far away. If not for the last two satisfying pages, we’d be left with one ongoing argument and the start of Cyborg’s origin. Plenty of the exchanges seen in Justice League #1 were what you’d see in a video game movie sequence, but not necessarily what you would hope to read in a deep, universe-establishing comic.

It also reminded me of several things that I didn’t like about the Green Lantern movie. Is DC so bound to the idea of an origin that they can’t see beyond it now to hit a home run with the first issue? Yet here we are again with another origin. This doesn’t sour my expectations for the several new titles to come in the next four weeks, but it does temper my hopes for the flagship team book in the new DC Universe. I can’t even imagine how Lee and Johns have time to do this book with all of their other duties at DC Comics. But if Justice League becomes more of an easy entry point for new readers, that’s fine in the beginning, but it needs to be one of the very best books in the line. Johns and Lee are too good to cast aside after one issue; they do have a story they want to tell and you can see hints of one.

There is more promise along the way, like Darkseid will be the first villain up to bat for the League and he’s a major league player. We’re going to see Vic Stone from his early potential as a high school star athlete and how his transformation Cyborg as it plays out. And then there’s still the promise of Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman joining the party. I hope the second issue is more robust because Justice League #1 is not that bad, I just wanted it to be so much more.

Justice League #1
Justice League #1 Cover
Publisher: DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Jim Lee and Scott Williams
Release Date: August 31, 2011

Rating:

6.0 / 10

DC Comics Rolls Out First Wave of Creators and Digital Price Point On Reboot

On the heels of their announcement to reboot the universe, DC Comics announced the first batch of creative teams and books that will be a part of the latest DC mulligan Thursday afternoon. Also unveiled is their price structure for their day-and-date digital comics.

Basically both print and digital will be the same initial price for the first four weeks of release. $2.99 for the average comic, and $3.99 for oversized issues like Justice League #1. Then after four weeks, the digital version will drop down $1 to either $2.99 or $1.99 based on the page count. If some special cases, like Justice League #1, a consumer can buy both at an escalated price of $4.99 for a combo pack that will be polybagged with a code to download the comic. In other words, if you’re looking to go with digital comics as a cost-cutting method, expect to be behind on all of your comics by at least one month.

We already know that Justice League#1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee will kick everything off on August 31st as the only new title out that week (the end of Flashpoint will be released that week as well). Here are ten more titles and their creative teams.

Descriptions, images and copy were taken from DC’s blog, The Source.

wonder woman reboot

Wonder Woman
New York Times bestselling writer Brian Azzarello, author of The Joker and 100 Bullets, teams up with the immensely talented artist Cliff Chiang (Neil Young’s Greendale) for WONDER WOMAN #1, an exciting new series starring the DC Universe’s greatest superheroine. The cover to issue #1 is by Cliff Chiang.

This is probably the most intriguing title of this first bunch. Azzarello and Chiang reunite (Doctor 13) for what should be a most unique take on the undersung member of the Trinity. This is the first female character that Azzarello has worked on a regular basis since Dizzy Cordova and Megan Dietrich in 100 Bullets. Oh, I could care less about a costume, Cliff Chiang is doing the art, she’ll look good with a cardboard box as a costume.

aquaman reboot

Aquaman
Geoff Johns, one of comics’ greatest storytellers, reunites with GREEN LANTERN and BRIGHTEST DAY collaborator Ivan Reis to bring you a thrilling new take on the fan-favorite hero of the sea in AQUAMAN #1. The cover to issue #1 is by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado.

How do you get people to read Aquaman? Get Geoff Johns to write it.

Flash
Rising superstar Francis Manapul, fresh off his acclaimed run on THE FLASH with Geoff Johns, makes his comics writing debut in THE FLASH #1, sharing both scripting and art duties with Brian Buccellato. The Flash knows he can’t be everywhere at once, but what happens when he faces an all-new villain who can? The cover to issue #1 is by Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato.

I’m really enjoying Manapul’s work on Flash, but we’ll see if his stories are as good as his art. Following Johns won’t be an easy task and is not fair to place that high a bar for someone making their writing debut on such a major character. So the best thing to do is walk in with an open mind and see what Manapul has up his sleeve.

firestorm reboot

The Fury of Firestorm
Welcome to a major new vision of the Nuclear Man as writers Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone team up with artist Yildiray Cinar to deliver THE FURY OF FIRESTORM #1. Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond are two high school students, worlds apart – and now they’re drawn into a conspiracy of super science that bonds them forever in a way they can’t explain or control. The cover to issue #1 is by Ethan Van Sciver.

This team-up is just brilliant. I’ve never cared about Firestorm before but with Simone and Van Sciver co-writing it could be worth a try.

hawkman reboot

The Savage Hawkman
Batman writer Tony Daniel will team up with artist Philip Tan (GREEN LANTERN: AGENT ORANGE, THE OUTSIDERS) for THE SAVAGE HAWKMAN #1. Carter Hall’s skill at deciphering lost languages has led him to a job with an archeologist who specializes in alien ruins – but will the doctor’s latest discovery spread an alien plague through New York City? No matter the personal cost, Carter Hall must don his cowl and wings and become the new, savage Hawkman to survive. The cover to issue #1 is by Philip Tan.

I haven’t read Hawkman in years but this is scariest he’s looked in years. The gauntlet/shield is an interesting design element.

green arrow reboot

Green Arrow
Oliver Queen is an orphan who grew up to fight crime as the Green Arrow, a billionaire playboy who uses his fortune to become a superhero – able to fight the most powerful super-villains in the universe with nothing but a bow and arrow. JT Krul will write GREEN ARROW #1 with art by superstar artist Dan Jurgens. The cover to issue #1 is by Brett Booth.

Another character who’s been written very well in the past is Oliver and I’d hate to see some of those stories wiped clean to start anew, but hopefully they retain his connection to Black Canary. What piques my interest is Dan Jurgens doing the art.

justice league international reboot

Justice League International
A team of internationally-drafted superheroes fight each other and their bureaucratic supervisors as much as they do global crime in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #1 from writer Dan Jurgens and artist Aaron Lopresti. The cover to issue #1 is by Aaron Lopresti.

This is a strange team that includes Guy Gardner, Batman, Vixen, and Booster Gold to name just a few. These are good characters on their own, but working together?

mr. terrific reboot

Mister Terrific
The world’s third-smartest man – and one of its most eligible bachelors – uses his brains and fists against science gone mad in MISTER TERRIFIC #1, the new series from writer Eric Wallace and artist Roger Robinson. The cover to issue #1 is by J.G. Jones.

Here’s another supporting character (from the JSA) who finally gets to step into the spotlight in his own. Finally we get to see a brother with some soul to get his own title in the DCU. It’s too bad that JG Jones isn’t doing the interior art as well.

atom reboot

Captain Atom
Captain Atom has all the power in the world, but no hope of saving himself. Charged by nuclear energy, possessing vast molecular powers, he has the potential to be a god among men – a hero without limits. But the question is this: Will he lose himself in the process? JT Krul and artist Freddie Williams II take the character in a bold new direction in CAPTAIN ATOM #1. The cover to issue #1 is by Stanley “Artgem” Lau.

I don’t have much to say about Atom except that he’s always been a cool-looking character. I am sad that he won’t be written by Jeff Lemire, but just check out his work on Sweet Tooth.

DC presents reboot

DC Universe Presents
The anthology series gets a new look in DC Universe Presents, a new series that will focus on multi-issue story arcs each featuring a different superhero from the DC Universe’s rich cast of characters, told by some of comics’ most exciting writers and artists. DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #1 kicks off the first arc of the series: a Deadman story by Paul Jenkins and Bernard Chang. The cover to issue #1 is by Ryan Sook.

I love anthologies, and I really wish they’d be more widely accepted. Some creators just know how to do a short, serialized story. Also some characters can’t sustain a regular monthly. Here’s hoping this one catches on where others have fell short. I’d like to see this mirror what’s currently being done with the Jonah Hex comic.

At first I scoffed at the idea of a complete universe reboot. I understood why they were doing it, but considered that going younger and contemporary felt too much like Marvel’s Ultimate line and slaps the long-time DCU reader in the face for sitting through all of the endless Crisis storylines and giant-sized year long events. But then, that’s part of the problem isn’t it?

The bottom line is that these books have to be written and drawn well so that they’re bought and celebrated, period, print or digital. Make them so good that everyone has to try them, and they will come as I’ve always said. But 52? The title count is a bit daunting, ambitious even, and I really wish they rolled out with a more organic approach of launching new titles, like an initial 25 titles and grow from there based on what the stories and demand dictates. At 52 titles, that’s a monstrous $156 per month if you’re a diehard DC fan, and that’s assuming your don’t read any other comics.

I’m going to cherry pick based on creative teams and characters. And yes, I’ll still be buying print versions, but that’s only because I don’t already have an iPad or am in the practice of reading comics on my computer. How many are you going to try? How will you be buying your DC Comics? Is digital an option for you? Let’s hear what you have to say.

DC First of ‘Big Two’ to Digitally Publish Day-And-Date Comics

There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’
- Bob Dylan

DC Comics made the first move for the future of digital comics distribution by announcing this afternoon on their official blog that beginning on Wednesday, August 31, they will release just two books that entire week. The finale to DC’s Flashpoint summer event series and the Justice League #1 that will be written by Geoff Johns and feature art by Jim Lee, their first collaboration.

If that wasn’t news enough, both titles will kick off DC’s day-and-date digital publication, which will make their books available on the same date whether it is the print version or the digital download.

justice league geoff johns jim lee

In September, DC will re-number their entire line of comics with the launch of 52 (you read that right) first issues that will again, be available in print and digital on the same date. Lee personally led the redesign of more than 50 costumes to increase the accessibility for readers old and new. DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said in USA Today,

“We looked at what was going on in the marketplace and felt we really want to inject new life in our characters and line. This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

This is the first aggressive move by either DC Comics or Marvel Comics to deliver on the demands of digital comics readers. What has been done in the past is to honor the direct market, those wanting digital comics of newly released print comics would have to wait at least a few weeks to be able to purchase them, if at all. There was no word on what the price will be the digital versions of these books but stay tuned for more news in coming weeks about the other titles. Earlier this year DC Comics was the first to announce to charge more than $2.99 for the floppy print version of any comic they publish. Another reason for the move to day-and-date publishing is to hopefully squash the demand for digital piracy that has also stifled the development of digital comics.

The commitment by DC Comics to release their entire DCU line re-launch day-and-date is sure to spark debate into how this will affect the sales of digital comics, as well as the future of direct market stores. One has to wonder when or whether Marvel will follow suit. Big splashes make big waves whenever the first of the Big Two makes a change of this magnitude–this was like an elephant taking cannonball dive off the high platform.

Do you have an iPad, iPhone, or Android Comixology app? If not, does this move make you want to get into the digital age of comics distribution? Does this move make you more excited to use those applications and read comics digitally? Sound off below!

Justice League Film is Imminent in 2013

There are a few interesting articles at the LA Times featuring top Warner Brothers exec Jeff Robinov that are must reads. First is Hero Complex report about the future of DC Comics film properties. Robinov told the paper that his sights reach far beyond Green Lantern due out in June, next year’s Superman: Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises films.

Robinov is targeting 2013 as the year to collect DC Comics’ best and brightest together on the big screen. A Justice League film was as close as going into production as early as late 2007 but cited a Writers Guild of America strike, tax credits in Australia and conflicting versions of big screen Batman as reasons why it was stopped. Robinov said that a script is currently being worked on for a new Justice League movie as well as scripts for Flash and Wonder Woman which could be featured in their own films should their appearances in the Justice League be met with positive fanfare. A conflict with the potential NBC version of Wonder Woman is not a concern for Robinov who brought up the co-existence of Smallville and Superman Returns.

He added however, that a “reinvented” Batman will be needed after The Dark Knight Rises since it will be Nolan’s last Batman film. “We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman…Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.”

So hold out hope that a global apocalypse doesn’t arrive in 2012 and at least waits until the Justice League film becomes a reality. Surely DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers will do everything it can to rival Marvel Entertainment’s plans for an Avengers movie due out in May 2012.

The second is a profile piece on Robinov who will step into the role of Warner Bros. President by the end of this week after Alan Horn will be forced to retire at 68. Warner Brothers is undergoing a facelift and the 52-year old Robinov will have the power to give the official green light on movie projects as well as manage the $2 billion to $3 billion marketing budget each year.

Robinov is banking the future of Warner Brothers on the event movies rather than sum of multiple parts. He closed Warner’s specialty labels in 2008 and passed on Oscar-winner, Slumdog Millionaire. He plans to use the DC Comics platform to help fill the void of the Harry Potter franchise that will come to an end this summer. Robinov was credited by director Christopher Nolan for putting a Batmobile into Batman Begins.”I feel like I can be honest about the film I am trying to make, and Jeff is honest about what the studio needs to make it happen,” said Nolan.

Well-known for his loyalty to filmmakers, Robinov stands behind Zack Snyder for Superman:Man of Steel despite three straight box office flops in Watchmen, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and last week’s Sucker Punch. “If it’s a swing and a miss, you’ve got to take pride in the fact that we backed the level of vision,” he said.

The piece goes on to say that Robinov was key in signing the Wachowski Brothers (Matrix and Speed Racer) and the Hughes Brothers (Book of Eli) to film deals but has also clashed with David Fincher. Needless to say Robinov is an interesting character and there are lots of opinions about how he conducts business. Again, check out the profile piece at the LA Times, because this is the man that’s going to be in charge of one of the biggest film studios if not arguably, the most powerful. At one end you have to like some of the relationships and films he’s been a part of, but he’s also made some questionable decisions as well. Fans of DC Comics should be encouraged over Robinov’s enthusiasm for a Justice League film and subsequent spinoffs, but it remains to be seen if the execution of any of them outside what Christopher Nolan has done will be of high quality.

What do you think about a Justice League movie? Which do you think will do better, The Avengers or Justice League? And what do you think about Jeff Robinov and his future role as Warner Brothers President?