Necessary Evil DC Comics Documentary

The last time Warner Bros/DC Comics released a documentary was in 2010. Ryan Reynolds narrated Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics which looked at the 75 year history of the publisher, and it was rather enjoyable, and accessible, with plenty of interviews with comic creators, and some great art. The next focus is an interesting one, as it shines the spotlight on the multitude of bad guys and gals. Most people know the heroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, etc so to look at their enemies is an interesting idea, and comes at a good time, with the cinematic Bane and Catwoman recently seen, and Zod and Faora from June’s Man of Steel film, plus next month’s release of the Injustice: Gods Among Us video game. Official details below.

Behind every great hero, there are a whole lot of villains.” – Geoff Johns

Legendary Villain Christopher Lee Narrates

The Joker, Bane, Deathstroke, Darkseid and Lex Luthor — the scariest and most menacing villains in DC Comics’ universe — take center stage in a brand new full-length documentary from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) and DC Entertainment (DCE). The joint announcement was made today by WBHE and DCE.

Christopher Lee, who has played the villain more times than almost any other actor, will provide his unique voice as narrator. His roles in more than 200 films include star turns as Dracula, the Mummy and Frankenstein’s monster in Hammer horror classics, Count Dooku in Star Wars, and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy andThe Hobbit films.

In this new documentary film, the malevolent, sometimes charismatic figures from DC Comics’ hallowed rogues’ gallery will be explored in depth, featuring interviews with the famed creators, storytellers and those who have crafted the personalities and profiles of many of the most notorious villains in comic book history.

Production begins March 30, to coincide with WonderCon at the Anaheim Convention Center March 29-31.

Noted Geoff Johns, best-selling author and DCE’s Chief Creative Officer, “DC Comics is known for many things, but chief among them is the compelling, diverse and legendary society of super-villains who populate its universe. From the monstrous Solomon Grundy to the brutal Black Adam to the charismatic Sinestro, there is no single greater collection of villainy in all of fiction. These villains are hugely popular comic book characters in their own right and, quite honestly, many are often times more popular than some of our iconic super heroes.”

Jeff Baker, WBHE’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, added “The DC brand is enjoying a huge resurgence thanks to the entire leadership team at DC Entertainment which is driving opportunities not only for new theatrical properties, but for brand extensions as well. This new documentary will reinforce this evolving strategy and leverage DC assets across the entire studio landscape.”

Johns also reiterated that this year’s initiative will be a turning point for DCE. “It’s time we deconstruct these complex and sinister antagonists and celebrate the role they play as the engine and energy of some of the greatest storytelling in comics. 2013 is the Year of the Villain at DC Comics.”

On Saturday, March 30th, fans attending WonderCon are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite DC Comics’ villain for an opportunity to be featured in the documentary. Fans can join DCE at WonderCon Booth 801 with filming to take place Saturday from 10:30 am – Noon. To find out more about where and what time to meet in the WonderCon DC Entertainment booth, keep checking the DC Comics Facebook (Facebook.com/DCComics) and Twitter sites (@DCComics).

Participation in upcoming ‘cons’ (Comic-Con International: San Diego and New York Comic Con) is anticipated, with a full release scheduled for later in the year.

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This Week’s Winners

East of West #1East of West #1. Another month, another possible hit series from Image Comics. Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta bring us this inspired Western/sci-fi tale. It begins with three naked children (with the rude bits obscured obviously) appearing in the middle of the desert through a Stonehenge-like monument, but they are missing their fourth companion.

As is the case with Hickman, this is filled with big ideas, but thankfully they remain a springboard for an interesting story. The basis for that story is that after America’s Civil War, a meteor landed, and ended the hostilities, and created the Seven Nations of America. On the same day, Prophet Longstreet, and chief Red Cloud penned some important writings and promptly died, while years later Mao Zedong finished their work with his own writings, on his deathbed. These works came to be known as the Message. Like I said – big ideas.

In the future, three pale beings walk in to a bar, and seeing as two of the three are unwelcome Indians, and they’re in a bar filled with Union soldiers, a fight brews. Well, it’s a fight we don’t see until it’s over and then we see blood soaked pages, to be followed later by more of the same.

It turns out that the three warriors are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and yes, they are missing one, which I’m guessing will lead to a frenzied team-up, or cool showdown, or both.

Dragotta’s character designs are great. The three protagonists look like fighters from an unmade Street Fighter game, but with devoid eyes ready for cruelty. It makes them an interesting choice for lead characters actually, as so far, there’s nothing heroic or sympathetic about them, but we do know bad things have been done to them and they aim to seek justice. The first stop is the President, who must pay for his past crimes.

The setting is great too, and at times it merges Blade Runner with any John Wayne Western and it looks grand.

As an extra length debut, it’s very impressive and Hickman doesn’t get bogged down with huge concepts to make the tale impenetrable, and sets out the link between the kids at the start and the adults in the bulk of the issue, so we don’t feel frustrated at the lack of answers just yet. However, there are plenty of intriguing questions left.

SavageSkullkickers1Savage Skullkickers #1. Paying homage to Frank Cho’s recent Savage Wolverine #1 is this fun fantasy series by Jim Zubkavich and Edwin Huang. It’s actually issue 20, but is rebranded to have a little fun, so last month was Uncanny Skullkickers, next month it becomes Mighty Skullkickers, May sees it morph in to The All-New Secret Skullkickers and in June it becomes Dark Skullkickers. It’s hard not to love a series that takes such fun in ribbing the often frustrating reboots of Marvel and DC with such boldness.

Now, I haven’t read this series for months, and this is part two of a story entitled Eighty Eyes on an Evil Island, but it all made sense to me, and that’s a great bonus, as so few series these days are newbie friendly.

The playfulness kicks off immediately with a naked dwarf (one of the series’ heroes) landing in a pile of bones, while dialogue boxes from a narrator break the fourth wall, referring to the previous narrator, who died in issue 17.

After reading this issue I now regret not reading all the previous issues. I haven’t laughed this much from a comic since Axe Cop, and The Goon. There’s just so much to love here, from the dwarf’s ignorance of the deathly serious situation he finds himself in, to  his fellow warriors’ ape fighting in the jungle to the constant narration, and dialogue, that is just filled with superb comic timing.

There’s also a few bonus pages here, showing off the amazing fan art that shows Skullkickers has many talented fans, and after enjoying this issue, I can confidently say that it deserves even more. Well paced, funny, and two plots that both look to be heading to some far out places. Yep, Skullkickers is a fun comic. We need more of those.

It looks great too. Huang’s manga-ish art is just joyful and expressive and Misty Coast and Ross A. Campbell’s colours give the pages the vibrancy that the story and art demand. The whole package looks like an adaptation of a crazy anime that was never made, because it was too out there for any studio.

 

Iron Man’s Many Armours and Injustice Videos

Iron Man 3 opens in May and yes, there will be over 40 different suits of armour in the film. Tony’s been a busy boy, as Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige describes.

“We have what we call the prehensile suit, which allows each individual piece of the suit to fly separately and latch on to him. It doesn’t quite work perfectly, but it is a great advancement that Tony uses throughout this movie, so that wherever he is, theoretically, he can call it to him and it can arrive. It doesn’t always work, and there’s a great scene in the movie, which we gave a little taste of to fans at Comic-Con this year in a giveaway of an art poster that Ryan Meinerding had done, where the entire suit doesn’t come to him. He just gets one glove and one boot and has to fight off a battalion of bad guys with just the boot and just the glove. “It’s often the limitations of the suit that can provide the most fun-when the suit breaks, when the suit doesn’t quite work — and there’s that in spades. We also, though, hint early on in the film by mentioning that this is not the Mark 8 as you might think because the Mark 7 was the last suit revealed in “The Avengers.” It’s the Mark 42. So there are well over 40 suits that Tony has built in between the time of “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3″ because of his obsession. By the end of the film, we see each and every one of them, and you realize Tony is a mechanic and he has been tinkering. Any conceivable idea he had about the suit technology he built and stored in his Hall of Armor. Finally, after talking about it for four movies we finally see his Hall of Armor and the giant army of suits that he’s built for himself.”

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Iron Man 3 Red Snapper

You can check out 6 of those awesome suits here, but it looks like the classic Hulkbuster armour from the comics has yet to reveal itself, although the Igor suit somewhat resembles it. Oh, and if you’re in Disneyland you’ll be able to see some of those suits at a new exhibit that runs from April 13 to September.

I’ve never been a hug fan of fighting video games, although I spent many hours in my high school years playing Street Fighter 2. However, any chance to play as DC Comics characters has my interest, and Injustice: Gods Among Us continues to intrigue me, the more I see of it. Take these 3 videos for example. 240 missions? Surprise characters such as Martian Manhunter and Giganta (and possibly Lobo)! Sold! A demo for the much anticipated game will be released on April 2.

Avengers: Endless Wartime Preview

In October comes a rare OGN from Marvel, although their newbie friendly Season One series have been rather hit and miss. Their Hulk one was great, and I did read the Ant-Man one from the library, and it was pretty average. However, with the duo behind this Avengers tale, and the preview pages below, it’s a safe bet that Endless Wartime will be entertaining.

Warren Ellis & Mike McKone Assemble for Marvel’s AVENGERS: ENDLESS WARTIME Original Graphic Novel

New York Times Best-Sellers Launch Marvel’s First Major Original Graphic Novel On October 2nd, 2013

New York Times Best-Selling author Warren Ellis (Secret Avengers, Gun Machine) and chart-topping artist Mike McKone (Amazing Spider-Man) assemble the biggest heroes in the Marvel Universe—Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hawkeye, Wolverine & Captain Marvel—for Avengers: Endless Wartime, a landmark original graphic novel scheduled for release on October 2nd, 2013. This movie-length epic launches an all new original graphic novel line for Marvel Entertainment, featuring the biggest super heroes brought to life by the best creators and debuts in a high-end, oversized format featuring sophisticated packaging and design.

An abomination, long thought buried, has resurfaced in a war-torn land- but now it wears an American flag. Faced with another nightmare reborn, Captain America will not stand for yet more death at the hands of a ghost from his past. Haunted by his greatest shame, Thor must renew the hunt for a familiar beast. Side by side with the great Super Heroes the world has seen, united to end the threats no one of them could face alone, the Avengers will stare down the greatest threat the team has ever faced. But is even their combined might enough to overcome a force of pure evil?

“When Marvel asked me to help re-launch their original graphic novel line, I had to say yes,” said Ellis. “Their total commitment, from story to design, made it a project I wanted to be part of.”

In a historic first for Marvel Entertainment, Avengers: Endless Wartime will be released simultaneously worldwide in North America, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Brazil, Finland and Turkey. Every international edition of Avengers: Endless Wartime will be translated into each area’s primary language, allowing fans all over the world to effortlessly join in the global release of this graphic novel.

“The Avengers are the most popular super heroes in the world and we want to make sure this historic original graphic novel arrives in the hands of all our fans, no matter where they live,” said David Gabriel, SVP Sales, Print & Digital , Marvel Entertainment. “In collaboration with our friends at Panini, we’re able to bring Avengers: Endless Wartime to more fans around the world than any release in Marvel history!”

Avengers: Endless Wartime is bookended by an introduction from Marvel’s The Avengers star Clark Gregg (better known as “Agent Phil Coulson”) and an afterword from the legendary Stan Lee, co-creator of this blockbuster super hero team.

“If you’re a new fan who saw Marvel Studio’s blockbuster Avengers film last year, this is a great place for you to discover the comic book adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. And if you’re a long-time fan, you’re in for an action-packed story that shows you a new side of your favorite super heroes,” said Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “Avengers: Endless Wartime is one of our most important releases of the year, which is why we spared no expense in bringing two of the top talents in comics—Warren Ellis and Mike McKone—to make sure this was one of the biggest super hero stories you’ve ever read!”

Additionally, this original graphic novel will also include a code for a bonus digital edition of Avengers: Endless Wartime, redeemable for reading viathe Marvel Comics app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPad Touch® & Android devices) and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop. This code is included at no extra charge, allowing fans to keep their copy of Avengers: Endless Wartime safe on their bookshelves but still carry this jaw-dropping adventure with them on the go to read anytime, anywhere! Avengers: Endless Wartime features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app – including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.

Avengers: Endless Wartime will be available on October 2nd in book stores, comic shops,  the Marvel Comics app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPad Touch® & Android devices) and online in the Marvel Digital Comics Shop.

Stay tuned to www.marvel.com for more details on Avengers: Endless Wartime and join the discussion on Twitter using #AvengersOGN.

AVENGERS: ENDLESS WARTIME OGN

Written by WARREN ELLIS

Art & Cover by MIKE MCKONE

ON SALE OCTOBER 2nd, 2013

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The Wolverine Trailers

Directed by James Mangold and opening in July, and of course starring Hugh Jackman, is something fans have been waiting years for – a good, solo Wolvie film. From the two ineffective posters to these two awesome trailers is a big jump, and expectations are now high.

Below are the domestic, and international trailers and with its themes of mortality (and ninjas!), it looks pretty dark and impressive, and far superior to the last film from 2009.

I haven’t read the much-loved 1982 Chris Claremont and Frank Miller mini-series from which this story takes its inspiration, but I may just have to now.

The Massive Vol. One Review

At Broken Frontier you can now read my review of the first collection of the excellent series The Massive from Dark Horse Comics.

Read it right here.

The Massive TPB

Age Of Ultron #6 and Superior Spider-Man #8 Previews

Text-free previews of two Marvel April issues below, including Iron Man in one of his classic armours, and the return of Cardiac.

DO OR DIE! – Your First Look At AGE OF ULTRON #6!

This April, the heroes of the Marvel Universe bring the war to Ultron, in Age of Ultron #6 from the superstar creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artists Brandon Peterson and Carlos Pacheco! The surviving heroes have decided to take a stand, following the lead of Captain America! But will it be enough? Meanwhile, Wolverine makes the most controversial decision the Marvel Universe has ever seen—and when fans see who agrees with him, they’ll be chomping at the bit for more!

Earth’s Mightiest are down to their last resort as they forge the ultimate plan to finally break free from Ultron’s ferocious iron grip. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to your local comic shop and reserve a copy of Age of Ultron #6!

AGE OF ULTRON #6 (FEB130480)

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art by BRANDON PETERSON & CARLOS PACHECO

Cover by BRANDON PETERSON

FOC – 3/25/13, ON-SALE – 4/17/13

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AgeOfUltron_6_Preview3Marvel NOW! First Look – SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #8!

Marvel is pleased to present your first look at Superior Spider-Man #8 from the chart-topping creative team behind Amazing Spider-Man #700, writer Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos. This might just be the beginning of the end for Doc Ock—or is it? With Peter Parker fighting full-force to regain control over his own body, will he be able to save Cardiac and redeem himself in the eyes of the Avengers?

Each issue of Superior Spider-Man includes a code for a free digital copy on the Marvel Comics app (for iPhone®, iPad®, iPad Touch® & Android devices). Each issue of Superior Spider-Man features special augmented reality content available exclusive through the Marvel AR app – including cover recaps, behind the scenes features and more that add value to your reading experience at no additional cost.

An internal war between good and evil hangs in the balance, and it all leads up to one unbelievably heartbreaking surprise – only in Superior Spider-Man #8!

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #8 (FEB130537)

Written by DAN SLOTT

Art & Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS

FOC- 03/25/13 On-Sale – 04/17/13

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