Godzilla Comic, Storykiller and JLA Film

Legendary Pictures turned their hand to comics a while ago, and although they don’t produce a lot of sequential art, it’s always pretty slick, such as The Tower Chronicles, and Shadow Walk.

Like they did with Pacific Rim, Legendary Comics is producing another prequel. Their latets project is a comic tieing in to the May 16th release of the Godzilla cinematic reboot, which is directed by Gareth Edwards (the excellent, low budget Monsters) and starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. The original graphic novel will hit stands a week before the film’s premiere, and is set a few decades before the events of the film. Below you can see Edwards’ announcement about the project.

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Son of Batman Animated Film Trailer

Well, this is a surprise. DC Comics/Warner Bros. release about two animated films based on classic, and new, DC series every year, but this one came from nowhere. Usually there’s a press release with a few details, but not this time. Bam! Here you go internet, thanks to TV Guide. What a nice surprise it is though.

Son of Batman is based on the awesome and highly recommended 2006 Batman and Son comic written by Grant Morrison with art by Andy Kubert. It was a great story arc, and notable for having introduced Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son with Talia al-Ghul, Ra’s al-Ghul’s daughter. Voicing Batman is Jason O’Mara, who also voices him in next month’s Justice League: War animated film. It looks to be fairly close to the comics, including Man-Bat, but also throwing in Deathstroke who was absent from the original tale, but I guess he’s popular now, thanks to TV’s Arrow.

The film will premier at California’s WonderCon in April, and then hit Blu-ray and DVD, and a new edition collecting the comics goes on sale on January 29.

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It’s All Happening With The JLA

The Justice League of America. My favourite superteam! Grant Morrison’s run in the ’90s is oen of the best superhero series I’ve read. I haven’t been reading much of the New 52 version though, but it looks like some interesting developments are happening.

Namely, bald baddie Lex Luthor is joining them! This is actually a good idea. He’s proven that he is  a resourceful genius, and after the events of Forever Evil, things are changed. He’s also bringing Flash baddie Captain Cold with him. Writer Geoff Johns is a huge fan of Cold, so that’s no surprise. He’s given him great prominence in the last few years. That means Superman and The Flash are being replaced by their own enemies which will certainly bring the friction.

“With fame and spotlight comes scrutiny and detractors,” said Johns, adding Luthor is breaking new and unfamiliar ground.

“I think the most interesting thing is that Lex doesn’t realize what it’s like to be a super hero, what the life is like. You make enemies, they attack you on a personal level. And he’s just Lex Luthor. He has no codename, no mask,” he said. “He has to deal with the ramifications of that.”

Lex Luthor's League

Look for Luthor’s JL debut in Justice League #30 on April 23.

JLA doesn’t stand for Justice League of America anymore. Well actually it still does, but now there’s a new League too – a Canadian League that is. Marvel have had a Canadian superteam for years (Alpha Flight), but I don’t believe DC ever has, until now. Members include Stargirl, Martian Manhunter and ( a now Canadian) Adam Strange, whose sci-fi travelling between worlds will figure prominently in the new series.

Justice League United, written by Jeff Lemire (Animal Man, Sweet Tooth), with art by Mike McKone (Teen Titans, Marvel’s Avengers Academy) also launches in April.

“It was really important for me to try to reflect different aspects of our country,” the writer says. “I thought it’d be great to create someone who represented that aspect of the culture.

“I’ve gotta say I’ve put more work into this book than I have for anything I’ve ever done for DC. It’s been really fulfilling, and hopefully on top of all that it’s a big fun action-adventure superhero comic that people will enjoy.”

JL United

Finally, Man of Steel 2, which features both Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman (and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman) has been delayed a whopping ten months (possibly due to Affleck’s recent leg injury), which means it will now be released on May 6th, 2016 rather than its original date of July 17, 2015. That’s okay though, as 2015 will be a stellar year for films anyway, with Star Wars: Episode VII, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Jurassic World, Terminator: Genesis, and new Fast and Furious and James Bond films.

Batman TV Show Coming To Disc

The 1966-68 Batman TV series has a love it or hate it response from a lot of people. For many years, it has understandably been mocked and reviled by comics fans as it portrayed Batman as something he wasn’t – lighthearted and family friendly. It took years for the mainstream press to take comics seriously, without putting eye-rolling exclamations such as “Bam!” or “Pow!” in the headlines. That was mainly due to the Batman TV show starring Adam West (yes, the mayor on Family Guy) and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin respectively.

However, as we look back on it now, it has to be said that it did at least accomplish two things for the comics medium; 1. it brought the Dynamic Duo in to the public consciousness (the show was insanely popular at the time), and also allowed colourful villains such as The Joker, Catwoman, Penguin, and Riddler to become household names, and 2. it brought awareness to comics, with its animated intro sequence and speech balloons during its fight scenes.

Also, as much as jaded comics fans may hate to admit it, the comics of the Silver Age where as whacky as the TV show. Actually much more so, really. The ’50s and ’60s Batman comics were the only time in which The Dark Knight wasn’t the brooding, serious character we all know and love.

TV show host Conan O’Brien broke the news, which seems like an odd approach, but I guess Warner Bros. just couldn’t wait to get the news out. Many people have been waiting a long time to hear this news, but it’s been held up for years due to complicated rights issues. It’s not a total surprise though, as late last year the first wave of licensed goodies tied to the show such as action figures were made, and so was a new comic from DC set in the fun filled continuity of the TV show.

All the details we know for now is that the show in its entirety (all 120 episodes) will be released on presumably Blu-ray and DVD this year. We can expect official further details from Warner Bros. soon.

Conan O'Brien tweets Batman TV Series coming via WBHE

 

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Photo by Will Becton.

Peter and Wally Return, Michael Debuts

Peter Parker is Spider-Man. “Of course he is,” you say! “Everyone knows that!”

Well, let me clarify. Peter Parker is Spider-Man – again.

For the last year, Doctor Octopus has been secretly running (and swinging) around in Peter Parker’s body, while Parker has been desperately trying to reclaim it. It was a bold and controversial move at the time, but after 25 issues of the re-named “Superior” Spider-Man, plus two spin-off titles, and a surprising amount of critical praise and fan acceptance, Peter is back in costume in April’s Amazing Spider-Man #1.

Read a great interview with the writer of all this Dan Slott right here.

Amazing Spider-Man 1

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2013’s Best Selling Comics

Here it is, courtesy of worldwide comics (and many other cool things) distributor, Diamond.

DIAMOND LOGO color

Diamond Announces Top Comic Books & Graphic Novels of 2013

Marvel Comics top publisher; Image Comics’ The Walking Dead #115 was the year’s top comic 

Image Comics’ The Walking Dead #115 was the best-selling comic book published in 2013 based on total unit sales to comic book specialty shops, according to Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels, and pop-culture merchandise.

Written by creator Robert Kirkman and illustrated by Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead #115 celebrated the zombie series’ 10th-anniversary and kicked off the “All-Out War” storyline with twelve different covers, ten of which interlocked to create one large image.

Demonstrating the strength of the comic book specialty market, comics and graphic novels had another strong year, with 2013’s annual sales increasing 9.04% over the previous year, as comic book sales were up 10.22%, while graphic novel sales were up by 6.5%.

Marvel Comics finished the year as the comic book specialty market’s top publisher, leading both Dollar and Unit Market Shares, with a 33.50% Dollar Market Share and a 36.97% Unit Market Share.  Marvel Comics had six titles in the top ten, led by Guardians of the Galaxy #1 in the third spot.

DC Entertainment was the comic book specialty market’s number two publisher in 2013 with a 30.33% Dollar Market Share and a 33.35% Unit Market Share. DC Entertainment published three of the year’s top ten comic books and thirteen of the top twenty, with Justice League of America #1 charting as 2013’s second best-selling comic book title.

The first volume of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga from Image Comics was the year’s top-selling graphic novel and helped propel Image Comics to be the third largest comic book publisher, with a with a 8.00% Dollar Market Share and a 8.49% Unit Market Share. A science-fiction epic of love and family in a time of interstellar war, Saga received the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story from the wider science-fiction community in September. Image Comics had seven of the top ten graphic novels, including five volumes of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead.

IDW Publishing’s mix of licensed comic books, creator-owned titles and groundbreaking art books fortified the company as the comic book specialty market’s fourth largest publisher. The company’s market share rose .90% in 2013, up to 6.47% dollar market share. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Volume 1 based on the fan-favorite animated series was IDW’s top-selling graphic novel for the year.

Dark Horse Comics was the fifth leading comic book publisher to the comic book specialty market in 2013 with a 5.17% retail dollar market share, gaining .36% over its 2012 total. Coupled with the year’s top-selling book, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, Dark Horse solidified its position as a top seller in both the comic book specialty and book markets worldwide.

TOP COMIC BOOK PUBLISHERS

PUBLISHER

DOLLAR

SHARE

UNIT

SHARE

MARVEL COMICS

33.50%

36.97%

DC ENTERTAINMENT

30.33%

33.35%

IMAGE COMICS

8.00%

8.49%

IDW PUBLISHING

6.47%

5.10%

DARK HORSE COMICS

5.17%

4.50%

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

2.72%

2.59%

BOOM! STUDIOS

1.99%

1.92%

EAGLEMOSS PUBLICATIONS

1.25%

0.26%

VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT

0.98%

1.06%

AVATAR PRESS

0.89%

0.74%

OTHER NON-TOP 10

8.70%

5.02%

TOP 10 COMIC BOOKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

THE WALKING DEAD #115 (MR)

$2.99

AUG130518-M IMAGE COMICS

2

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #1

$3.99

DEC120237-M DC ENTERTAINMENT

3

SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #1

$4.99

APR130107-M DC ENTERTAINMENT

4

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1

$3.99

JAN130642-M MARVEL COMICS

5

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1

$3.99

FEB138598-M MARVEL COMICS

6

INFINITY #1

$4.99

JUL138068-M MARVEL COMICS

7

X-MEN #1

$3.99

FEB130497-M MARVEL COMICS

8

AGE OF ULTRON #1

$3.99

JAN130627-M MARVEL COMICS

9

UNCANNY X-MEN #1

$3.99

DEC120608-M MARVEL COMICS

10

SUPERMAN UNCHAINED #2

$3.99

MAY130128-M DC ENTERTAINMENT

TOP 10 GRAPHIC NOVELS & TRADE PAPERBACKS

RANK

DESCRIPTION

PRICE

ITEM CODE

VENDOR

1

SAGA VOLUME 1 TP (MR)

$9.99

AUG120491 IMAGE COMICS

2

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 1: DAYS GONE BYE TP

$14.99

NOV128157 IMAGE COMICS

3

SAGA VOLUME 2 TP (MR)

$14.99

APR130443 IMAGE COMICS

4

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 18: WHAT COMES AFTER TP

$14.99

APR130482 IMAGE COMICS

5

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 2: MILES BEHIND US TP

$14.99

SEP088204 IMAGE COMICS

6

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 19: MARCH TO WAR TP

$14.99

SEP130566 IMAGE COMICS

7

HAWKEYE VOLUME 1: MY LIFE AS WEAPON TP

$16.99

DEC120744 MARVEL COMICS

8

BATMAN VOLUME 1: THE COURT OF OWLS TP

$16.99

DEC120323 DC ENTERTAINMENT

9

BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE SPECIAL EDITION HC

$17.99

NOV070226 DC ENTERTAINMENT

10

THE WALKING DEAD VOLUME 3: SAFETY BEHIND BARS TP

$14.99

NOV082245 IMAGE COMICS

dollar-share

unit-share

Walking Dead #115

Justice League of America #1

Superman Unchained #1

Saga Volume 1

 Saga Volume 2Walking Dead Volume 1

 

 

Justice League: War Clip

DC Comics/ Warner Bros. have been making great animated films for the last few years, at the rate of about two a year it seems. These are always accessible to those new to comics, and are always based on some classic and recent tales, and come with entertaining and informative bonus features. Since DC have a hit (Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) and miss (quickly cancelled Beware the Batman!) ratio when it comes to their cartoons on TV, these animated films are a much safer bet.

Their next one is called Justice League: War and is based on the first few issues of the 2011 comics tale told by writer Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee about how the League first met. Below is the first official clip, which seems to follow the comic pretty closely, and a description.

When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. Based on the 2012 graphic novel, “Justice League: Origin,” by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee, Justice League: War provides a glance into the world before the Justice League was created, and offers the initial animated incarnation of DC Entertainment’s “The New 52.”

“Justice League: War” arrives via Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digitial HD on February 4, 2014from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

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