Batman and Superman Fan Films

Two different approaches, for two very different DC characters.

First up is the 30 minute short film made by Bat in the Sun Productions,who also made the Joker-centric Patient J film in 2004. Their latest endeavour, City of Scars was made on a budget of $27, 000 and looks very impressive. It’s all suitably dark, with noir overtones. Batman looks great, as do Joker, Mr. Zsasz, Harley Quinn and Ventriloquist and Scarface. The plot is appropriately low key (Joker escapes Arkham Asylum and takes a boy hostage) befitting its fan made status. The Alex Ross inspiration seems obvious too, evidenced by Bruce’s imposing yet scarred body, the all black and grey costume, and the pose below. See the whole film  right here.

Another fan driven project is this first episode of this twelve part Superman web series, utilising live action, CGI and animation. It may not be as polished as City of Scars, but it’s a lot harder to make a good Superman film on a small budget. It features the expected supporting cast, plus Metallo, Toyman and Lex Luthor in future episodes by the looks of things. For the most part, the blend of different visual imagery works rather well. Follow the rest of the series at the team’s website.

New Black Panther Cartoon on iTunes

The long talked about animated series based on the recent series that brought the classic character to the front of the Marvel U once more is out next week. Full details below and more screen shots including Captain America, Black Knight and Juggernaut fighting a rhino (yep) right here.

Marvel Announces Release of BLACK PANTHER: WHO IS THE BLACK PANTHER?

Marvel Knights Animation is proud to announce Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther?, a twelve-episode, weekly, all-new series debuting on iTunes, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Zune and PlayStation®Network on June 23rd.

Inspired by the acclaimed graphic novel from respected filmmaker/producer Reginald Hudlin and legendary comic book artist John Romita Jr, Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther? introduces viewers to the Black Panther, the warrior king of Wakanda, a technologically advanced nation in the heart of Africa . As outside forces conspire to plunder this proud nation, the Black Panther will face his greatest threats as he meets Klaw, the man who murdered his father.

“The positive responses to news of the show have been so overwhelming, it’s great to finally make the Black Panther series available to everyone,” said Hudlin. “Audiences get caught up on many levels – seeing John Romita Jr’s art come to life; the quality of the voice work by an award winning cast; the boldness of the politics, the music and humor. But see it for yourself!”

Romita Jr added, “The reaction by any person, upon viewing footage of a black panther, is universal: Awe. There is no more elegant a creature on the face of the planet. The creation of the character by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, in a turbulent political time, maintained that quality. Reggie Hudlin’s updated version follows that and adds an amazing, cinematic flair to it.  In my opinion, reading, and now viewing, the Black Panther series is much akin to witnessing a panther in person. Enjoy the elegance of the story, the elegance of the actors, their voices, their words, and….the imagery.”

This exciting series also features the voices of major celebrities including Academy Award-nominee Djimon Hounsou as Black Panther; Jill Scott as Storm, Kerry Washington as Princess Shuri; Alfre Woodard as both  Dondi Reese and Queen Mother; Carl Lumbly as Uncle S’Yan; and comics legend Stan Lee in a special role.

Learn more about Black Panther: Who Is The Black Panther? right now at www.marvel.com/blackpanther

Awesome Star Wars and Tron Game Trailers

After two successful games set thousands of years before the Star Wars films, the Knights of the Old Republic franchise, (KOTOR for those in the know) is getting a MMORPG. The SW games aren’t always the greatest, but they always have the best trailers, as this beauty unveiled at the recent E3 conference attests.

Tron Legacy, the sequel to the 1982 fan fave film, opens on December 17. The game looks set to be just as shiny with a minimalist veneer of cool. Tron Evolution is out sometime this year, and is proof that Disney can have a grand film series for adults too (Pirates of the Caribbean doesn’t count).

Also unveiled at E3 was this brutal barrage for the Metal Gear Solid line of games. Gotta love the Japanese.

Wired on the iPad

This is something Dave and I have been talking about recently, regarding our Extra Sequential mag. We love paper, to be sure, but the digital horizon sure is exciting.

Blue Boxing Beetles

This week 3 rather interesting and very different films (or rather 2 films and a TV show) unveiled a few first looks. Hugh Jackman’s latest film is called Real Steel and is directed by Shawn Levy who made Night at he Museum. Hmmm…not great so far, plus Jackman plays an ex-fighter who returns to the ring in the midst of robot boxing. This could be absurdly hilarious, or surprisingly awesome. It is based on a short story from Richard Matheson (I Am Legend) and was previously adapted in a Twilight Zone episode, so it may just be OK after all.

Geoff Johns’ new position as Chief Creative Officer isn’t slowing down his great writing of Green Lantern and Brightest Day. He’s also making fans happy with his tidbits of the Ryan Reynolds-starring GL film and this little peek at a possible live action Blue Beetle TV series. The latest incarnation is teenager Jaime Reyes and he’s the version that will be the focus of the show, if it happens. More of the screen test photos and details here.

Next year is the CGI/live action/3D Smurfs film. It looks to be yet another bland attempt to bring a beloved franchise screaming and kicking into today’s world. See the trailer below. Yes, it has an “epic” intro, “tantalsing” shots of the Smurfs loose in a big city and a “hip” re-imagining of the original TV show theme tune. How original. OK, that’s enough sarcasm for one day.

On a related note, here’s a cringe inducing piece on Dark Horizons about the upcoming Fraggle Rock movie and how the screen writer’s vision was rejected from the studio. The reason? It wasn’t edgy enough. I fear for today’s kids.

Peter Milligan Interview

Over at Broken Frontier is my interview with British writer Peter Milligan, who has written everything from X-Force (during it’s controversial phase), Human Target and now Hellblazer and Greek Street for Vertigo. We mainly chatted about his new mini-series with Radical, After Dark and working on it with Hollywood bigwigs Antoine Fuqua and Wesley Snipes.

While you’re at BF, check out the latest issue of the weekly mag, The Frontiersman. Scott Pilgrim, Jonah Hex, Webcomic Factory and more. Download the PDF for free. Yay!

Science Dog and $1 Comics

Thanks to Image, here’s 2 good news press releases!

FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE. FIGHT EVIL WITH SCIENCE!

SCIENCE DOG gets his first collection from Image Comics

Half man, half dog and all hero, Science Dog gets his first collection in SCIENCE DOG SPECIAL #1, coming this September from Image Comics. He’s INVINCIBLE’S favorite comic book character. Soon, he’ll be yours as well!

“In the INVINCIBLE universe, Science Dog is a superstar — comic books, movies, action figures — the works,” says writer Robert Kirkman. “This is a step toward making him the superstar he should be in our universe!”

“It’s exciting to finally see Science Dog in his own book,” adds artist Cory Walker. “The character is front and center in SCIENCE DOG SPECIAL #1, where he belongs.”

SCIENCE DOG SPECIAL #1 collects the never before reprinted Science Dog back-up stories from INVINCIBLE #25 and #50. This story leads right into the senses-shattering back-up story contained within INVINCIBLE #75. If you’re only reading INVINCIBLE in collected form, this is what you’ve been missing! Don’t miss out a second time!

SCIENCE DOG SPECIAL #1, a 32-page full-color comic book collecting the Science Dog backup stories from INVINCIBLE #25 and #50, will be available for $3.50 on September 1, 2010.

TRY SOME, BUY SOME

Image Comics reprints the first issue of classic series in IMAGE FIRSTS: WAVE TWO

This Fall, Image Comics is re-presenting 10 first issues as an introduction to some of its most acclaimed titles. Each debut acts as a perfect primer to its corresponding ongoing series and collected editions. Starting September 1, 2010, and continuing through November, each reprinted first issue will be available for only $1.

“Response to Image Firsts has been phenomenal,” exclaims Image Publisher Eric Stephenson. “So, we are expanding the line with a second wave of IMAGE FIRSTS. Image Firsts is a fantastic way for readers to discover new titles and for retailers to introduce customers to Image’s unsurpassed backlist.”

IMAGE FIRSTS: WAVE 2 shipping this September include:

IMAGE FIRSTS: THE DARKNESS #1

story GARTH ENNIS

art & cover MARC SILVESTRI

SEPTEMBER 1

IMAGE FIRSTS: LIBERTY MEADOWS #1

story FRANK CHO

art & cover FRANK CHO

SEPTEMBER 8

IMAGE FIRSTS: WANTED #1

story MARK MILLAR

art & cover J.G. JONES

SEPTEMBER 15

IMAGE FIRSTS: I KILL GIANTS #1

story JOE KELLY

art & cover J.M. KEN NIIMURA

SEPTEMBER 22

IMAGE FIRSTS: MAGE #1

story MATT WAGNER

art & cover MATT WAGNER

SEPTEMBER 29

Discover some of Image Comics’ best series in September with IMAGE FIRSTS: WAVE TWO, re-releasing the first issue of THE DARKNESS, LIBERTY MEADOWS, WANTED, I KILL GIANTS and MAGE for only $1.

Be on the lookout for more IMAGE FIRSTS in October and November!