JLA Fan Film Poster

Yes, it’ll be years before we ever see a Justice League of America film, but this fan made poster, starring the already seen versions of Superman, Batman and Green Lantern makes it seem tantalisingly real. Doug Jones (Abe Sapien in the 2 Hellboy films), and Justin Hartley (who played Green Arrow in Smallville, and the Atlantean king in a failed TV pilot) is a good choice. Bradley Cooper (The A-Team, Limitless) could be OK as The Flash, and apparently Bridget Regan is in TV’s Legend of the Seeker, which I’ve never watched.

See more form the artist, Daniel de Almeida e Silva here.

Paulo Siqueira’s JLA

Without Superman, but that’s cool. When the rest of the Justice League look this good, who needs him? The always worth visting Project Rooftop has a post featuring artist Paulo Siqueira’s (Amazing Spider-Man) take on a few of the classic JLA members. His redesigns are superb and include Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Batman, Aquaman and Flash.

DC’s Stars of the Screen

Bleeding Cool managed to get a draft of the back-on-again live action Wonder Woman TV show by David E. Kelley, creator of Ally McBeal. The more I read of it, the queasier I got. Please let this be a really early April Fool’s joke. See their major spoiler free analysis here and a snippet below.

Well, this Wonder Woman:

Identifies with ET the Extra Terrestrial when his movie comes on TV.

Really loves planes. Like really.

Pines for Steve like Carrie for Big.

Wants to belong and be “among” people, not just “with” them.

Sings along to the radio in multiple scenes – but nothing with a hairbrush in front of the mirror just yet.

Doesn’t like being “marketed, commercialized, merchandised”, though she is – there’s a joke about Wonder Woman tie-in dolls having their costumes redesigned that seems to reference the recent makeover for the comics.

When she’s Diana Prince she’s a mousey Miley Stewart, when she’s Diana Themiscyra she’s the Hanna Montana of businesswomen, and when she’s Wonder Woman she’s Wonder Woman – which is precisely twice in the whole episode.

Is a capitalist.

Puts on her PJs for an ice-cream filled sleepover with best friend Myndi.

CBR has an interview with Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, the producers of the new Young Justice cartoon, that I really want to be shown here in Oz. I like the choice of characters and the Teen Titans as a black ops team working for the JLA approach.

Here’s a just released video, that’s supposed to be a trailer but looks like an in-game cinematic. Not that it matters, it’s awesome, with a future Batman and Lex teaming up. Sort of. Titled In Lex We Trust it’s from the new DC Universe Online game from Sony.

Finally in DC news, the publisher is teaming up with the Hero Initiative , a great company that all us fanboys should support. Details and snazzy art of the project below.

The Hero Initiative, a charity dedicated to helping comic creators in medical or financial need, most proudly announces their new partnership in the Justice League Of America #50 project with DC Comics. This is the first collaboration with DC comics ever and Hero is chomping at the bit to pull the collection together. The call has gone out and dozens of artists are putting pen to paper. DC has generously donated 100 blank-covered cardstock copies of Justice League Of America #50 to Hero, and work is being created by well-known stars such as Jim Lee, Alex Ross, George Perez, Jason Bone, Jim Valentino, and many many more.

“It’s an honor to participate, not only because this is the first time DC Comics is collaborating with Hero Initiative, but because Hero Initiative is such an important organization to our community” said Jim Lee, artist and Co-Publisher of DC Comics.

“We’re thrilled to be working in new ways with DC Comics, and showcasing some of the greatest artists and greatest characters in the world,” said Hero Initiative President Jim McLauchlin. “And of course, sales of the covers and the collected book will go toward helping many other comic creators in need.”

All 100 original Justice League Of America covers will be published in a book slated for release in 2011, and a public viewing of all covers will be scheduled as well.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths Clip

Here is the latest glimpse into the Feb 23-releasing animated film from DC Comics and Warner Bros. The more I see of it, the more I like it. Details and clip below.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an original story from award-winning animation/comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League) rooted in DC Comics’ popular canon of “Crisis” stories depicting parallel worlds with uniquely similar super heroes and villains. Bruce Timm (Superman Doomsday, Green Lantern) is executive producer. Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) and Sam Liu (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) are co-directors.

The movie features an all-star voice cast led by Mark Harmon (NCIS) as Superman, James Woods (Ghosts of Mississippi) as Owlman, Chris Noth (Sex and the City, Law & Order) as Lex Luthor, William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money) as Batman, Gina Torres (Serenity, Firefly) as Superwoman and Bruce Davison (X-Men) as the President.

Warner Home Video will distribute the full-length animated Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths on February 23 as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def, as well as single disc DVD, and On Demand and Download.

While we’re on the topic of DC, here’s a look at Series 3 of the JLA Classified Classic action figures. Yes, they all look the same, but you gotta dig those washboard abs! Looks like 6 sticks of butter. That’s courtesy of artist Ed McGuiness and his interpretations of Professor Zoom, Red Superman, Green Lantern Hal Jordan and The Atom.

Finally, it appears as though Batman Begins and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan will help Warner Bros reboot Superman. I remain cautiously optimistic. Just please don’t try and be ‘revolutionary’ WB and make Superman dark and brooding. It does not work.

Crisis On Two Earths Clip 2

Coming on Feb 23 is DC’s latest animated film, and here’s another clip from it, along with the press release below. Since it’s not up on YouTube yet, you’ll have to see it embedded on CBR. It is worth it though, as the good Lex Luthor appeals to ‘our’ JLA for help against his world’s destroyers. All signs point to this being the best DC animated film yet.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is an original story from award-winning animation/comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League) rooted in DC Comics’ popular canon of “Crisis” stories depicting parallel worlds with uniquely similar super heroes and villains. Bruce Timm (Superman Doomsday, Green Lantern) is executive producer. Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) and Sam Liu (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) are co-directors.

The full-length animated film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition 2-disc version on DVD and Blu-Ray™ Hi-Def , as well as single disc DVD, On Demand and Download.

This Week’s Ramblings

comiXology is giving away over 30 free comics for use of your iPhone, as part of its new comics by comiXology application. Go here to see what’s available.

The new Batman and Robin team continue to entertain in the DCU. Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen are also a great pair on their Streets of Gotham series. The third issue focuses on the man known as The Broker and his shady acquisitions of properties to be used as hideouts for Gotham’s criminals. This is a mature issue, as The Broker questions his morals and  mentions that the Mad Hatter is, “aside from the little girl thing, a prince.” He also shows a place to the new look Mr. Zsasz who buys the abandoned property and promptly wheels in tiny cages holding kidnapped children. All that, plus the Manhunter co-feature starring a skinless woman make this one gruesome issue. It also has a cameo by The Great White Shark bad guy seen in the excellent Batman: Arkham Asylum game.

Justice League of America #38 AdImage’s tale of eternal brothers Olympus series is finished, with #4 now out. I picked up the finally released TPB of Pax Romana this week, and the comparisons between Jonathan Hickman’s design sense and Olympus’ artist Christian Ward seem obvious to me. Go here to see some Olympus pages to know what I mean. Both men use the page as their own template for a new kind of approach to visual storytelling. They’re not afraid to be bold and use negative space to great effect. The last ish of Olympus is probably the best looking and I hope Ward has another outlet soon. Writer Nathan Edmondson is sure to be going places too.

So the new Justice League has been announced, as seen in this week’s DC releases. The roster has had more changes than ever in the last few years. Writer of the current mini-series Cry For Justice, James Robinson is teaming up with artist Mark Bagley (Trinity) but the character selection isn’t doing a lot for me. I miss the days of Grant Morrison and the Big Seven. At least, there’s still DC’s Trinity, or at least stand-ins for Superman (Mon-El while Supes is on New Krypton), Batman (Dick Grayson replacing the dead Bruce Wayne) and Wonder Woman (one-time Wonder Girl Donna Troy). Check out this informative Newsarama post that examines if the new members are worthy of being in the JLA.

The new 3 ish mini Anti-Venom: New Ways to Live is off to a rollicking start. Pure, hard-core entertainment with another ending 6 pages after the one you think it is. Focusing on the original Spider-Man foe Venom, Eddie Brock is now a good guy as the Anti-Venom and is dedicated to cleaning up the streets and the people in it. Writer Zeb Wells showed in the recent Dark Reign Elektra mini that he knows how to write full throttle action and does so again here. I’ve never seen anything by artist Paulo Siqueira but man, I’m very impressed. With superb pacing, fluid action and scenes of horror oozing darkness onto the pages I’m definitely picking up the next 2 issues.

Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths Pics

Two teaser images have been released for the next DC animated film arriving next year. The setup is this: a heroic Lex Luthor arrives from an alternate earth requesting the help of the Justice League in defeating their evil counterparts on good Lex’s home planet. Below are pics of hero Lex in gold armour surrounded by “our” Justice League, and a pic of the bad League’s version of Batman, namely Owlman.

With a story that seems to be based on 2000’s graphic novel, JLA: Earth 2 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely and the introduction of the Multiverse into the DC animated films, this will be yet another one to watch. Here’s the official skinny.

An original story from award-winning animation/comics writer Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League) rooted in DC Comics’ popular canon of “Crisis” stories.

Bruce Timm (Superman Doomsday, Green Lantern) is executive producer. Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) and Sam Liu (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies) are co-directors.

Good Lex Luthor and JLA

In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, a “good” Lex Luthor arrives from an alternate universe to recruit the Justice League to help save his Earth from the Crime Syndicate, a gang of villainous characters with virtually identical super powers to the Justice League. What ensues is the ultimate battle of good versus evil in a war that threatens both planets and, through a diabolical plan launched by Owlman, puts the balance of all existence in peril.

All-star voice cast led by Mark Harmon (NCIS) as Superman, James Woods (Ghosts of Mississippi) as Owlman, Chris Noth (Sex and the City, Law & Order) as Lex Luthor, William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money) as Batman, Gina Torres (Serenity, Firefly) as Super Woman and Bruce Davison (X-Men) as the President.

Owlman

This Week’s Winners

Sweet Tooth #1 CoverJeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth#1. Worth much more than the $1 cover price, this debut ish from Vertigo is equal amounts enchanting and intriguing. Writer/artist Lemire mentions in the On The Ledge column that a friend of his described it as “Bambi meets Mad Max.” That’s not a bad way of putting it, though it’s still too early to see those references yet. Lemire is one of the new wave of indie creators making a splash and getting noticed. His Essex County trilogy from Top Shelf chronicled various inhabitants of a small town with great realism and warmth. He brings that same edge to Sweet Tooth, but with more fantasy than his usual work. We are introduced to Gus, a boy with antlers living with his dying father. Gus has never left his home and the area around it and knows no-one but his ailing Dad. Gus is one of the last few human/animal hybrids who came into existence after a mysterious pandemic 10 years ago. This is an ongoing series and Lemire has plenty of time to build upon this premise. It hooked me more than I thought it would. Lemire’s art seems slightly more refined here. The thick, black sketchy style of his previous work is still obvious, but there are rare places where faces appear odd. Jose Villarrubia’s colours sit slightly uneasily, but maybe that’s because I’m not used to seeing Lemire’s work in colour. There’s also a 7 page preview of October’s Peter and Max Fables novel from Bill Willingham. Sweet Tooth, like The Unwritten before it is yet another bold move from Vertigo, and Lemire is conducting a unique promo for the series.

Justice League: Cry For Justice #3. There’s still a few issues with this series, namely writer James Robinson’s occasional missteps with out of character dialogue, particulary with Hal Jordan, but with the build up towards the team’s formation, and the big reveal of the baddie, ie, Prometheus, it ticks a few boxes. Prometheus was always one of the great JLA baddies when Grant Morrison reinvigorated the JLA over a decade ago. Mauro Cascioli’s art is splendid and his ferocious depictions of action, such as Starman’s and Congorilla’s aerial assault are the highlights. Robinson’s extra pages on the origin of Prometheus and why he chose the “anti-Batman” give fanboys great insights too.

Star Wars: Invasion #3 CoverStar Wars: Invasion #3. The thing that’s immediately apparent from this new SW mini-series is Colin Wilson’s art. It’s the kind that you don’t really see in mainstream American comics, and it fits with the high drama and action of Star Wars beautifully. Tom Taylor keeps things fresh, knowing that it’s probably a mix of fans of the New Jedi Order series of novels and people who want to see Luke Skywalker do his thing again that are reading this title. Anyone who has read the books in which the alien species known as Yuuzhan Vong come to conquer will be relieved that they translate so well to sequential art. Taylor gives enough info about the Vong for curious readers, and starts to make serious strides in showcasing the menace of the creepy race. Plus, in the few pages that reveal Skywalker’s relationship with the apprentice Finn Galfridian, Taylor lays hints that he’s going slightly beyond the typical SW mentor/protege arc that we’ve seen many times before. Hopefully the characters shown here will continue in some form with Dark Horse after Invasion wraps.

SW: Invasion #3

Cry For Batman’s Justice

I haven’t been this excited about the Justice League for literally, years. I have virtually every issue of JLA since Grant Morrison and Howard Porter breathed new life in to the characters back in 1996. Morrison got the JLA. He brought brash, epic storytelling that matched the heroic icons represented by the League. After he left, it was OK, with a few high notes thanks to Mark Waid, Joe Kelly and Brad Meltzer, but the last 2 or 3 years I’ve really only been buying the title because the completist inside me feels compelled to do so.

Cry For Justice #1

However, James Robinson is now writing the League and it’s time to get excited once more. This is the best League since Morrison. Cry For Justice is a 7 issue mini-series that effectively stars a new JLA. Headlined by a disenchanted Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and a mish-mash of DC superheroes, this is no longer the JLA-lite we’ve had in the last year or two. This is the JLA with espresso in their veins. What’s most intriguing is the line-up. When it was first revealed it was somewhat perplexing. Hal and Green Arrow make sense, as does Ray Palmer (The Atom), but Batwoman, Congorilla and Mikaal Tomas (Starman)? They’re odd choices, but as Robinson describes in the 5 page regular feature, that’s what he wanted. The mix of new and old, or old made new, heroes, such as Freddy Freeman as the new Captain Marvel means that the interplay will be as exciting as the villain bashing. Robinson also uses the extra pages to give brief backgrounds for the roster and his buddy Len Wein writes a 2 page Congorilla origin (a hunter who had his mind transferred to a golden gorilla-that’s either cool or laughable).

Being a first issue, it’s all set up, with the opening pages dedicated to a fed up Hal confronting his JLA team-mates in the orbital Watchtower, while his pal Ollie also tags along for the justice serving adventures. The rest of the story shows glimpses of the rest of the new team as they cope with recent losses and find a burning desire for proactive justice. Robinson’s comfort with these characters is superb. Hal and Ollie’s dialogue is just like two old friends, and having written Starman for years, he knows the blue-hued alien Mikaal Tomas well too.

Batman and Robin #2Mauro Cascioli wowed many with his painted art on the Trials of Shazam mini that moved Freddy Freeman to drop the Junior from his Captain Marvel moniker. These pages are lush and realistic, not in an Alex Ross way, but with texture and tone and superb backgrounds. These characters look foreboding and heroic and scary. Thank you Robinson and Cascioli for giving the JLA CPR. It is for DC fans, but Robinson also knows that some of these heroes are more familiar than others and doesn’t act on assumed knowledge. This is going to be an exciting series and thankfully, once it’s over Robinson will be taking his skills, and possibly his new crew, on to the ongoing JLA series.

Batman and Robin #2 is just as good as the first issue. Some may find the circus talk frustrating, but Morrison shows Alfred’s concern for Dick, Dick’s frustration with Damian as his new Robin, and his weariness about being the new Batman very well. He also wisely brings up the idea of the Gotham cops, including Commissioner Gordon, knowing that this Dynamic Duo is not the old Dynamic Duo. Frank Quitely draws action scenes of such fluid motion you’ll feel like you’re watching a John Woo film. Little touches like Dick hating the cape as it makes him “way off balance,” and Alfred encouraging Dick to treat his new cowled role as exactly that, like a part in a play remind us that Morrison knows how to handle realism just as well as freaky villains and life and death scenarios.

Cry For Justice #1 p1

Cry For Justice #1 p2

JLA Go Islamic

I was actually thinking of that mini-series Marvel did with Gotham Entertainment Group in 2004 called Spider-Man: India, where the Spidey mythos was re-imagined for Indian audiences. I don’t know how successful that was, but it appears DC are broadening their reach too. As announced on DC’s blog the Justice League of Amercia will be teaming up with The 99, an Islamic group of superheroes from Teshkeel Comics. The writer will be Fabian Nicieza who is no stranger to either universe. No artist or any other details have been announced as yet, but I’m sure once it hits stands, it’ll grab a few headlines. It’s actually a good idea. I don’t know if Gotham continues to translate superhero comics for the overseas market (their web-site is “under construction” which is rarely a good sign) but I’d safely assume Eastern readers aren’t as familiar with spandex wearers as English speaking readers are, so there’s definite potential.

The 99

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