Batman: Under the Red Hood Trailer and Pics

They keep cranking them out, but they keep getting better. Thanks DC! Details below about July’s animated film based on the resurrection of Jason Todd, the second Robin.

GOTHAM CITY MEETS A NEW VIGILANTE WITH A MYSTERIOUS, VIOLENT TWIST IN

BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD STELLAR VOICE CAST FEATURES BRUCE GREENWOOD, JENSEN ACKLES & NEIL PATRICK HARRIS IN

ALL-NEW DC UNIVERSE ANIMATED ORIGINAL MOVIE FROM WARNER HOME VIDEO ON JULY 27, 2010

SPECIAL EDITION BLU-RAY AND 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION DVD INCLUDE DC SHOWCASE SHORT, JONAH HEX

Batman confronts new enemies, old foes and painful memories when a powerful vigilante with a penchant for violence comes to Gotham City in the intense graphic-novel-come-to-life Batman: Under the Red Hood, the next entry in the popular ongoing series of DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming July 27, 2010 from Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. The full-length film will be distributed by Warner Home Video as a Special Edition version on Blu-Ray™ and 2 disc DVD for $29.99 (SRP) and $24.98 (SRP), respectively, as well as single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP). The film will also be available On Demand and for Download.

The stellar voice cast has Bruce Greenwood (Captain Pike in the 2009 blockbuster Star Trek) donning the famed cowl as the voice of BatmanSupernatural star Jensen Ackles is Red Hood, and Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) voices Nightwing. John DiMaggio (Futurama) and Jason Issacs (the Harry Potterfilms) round out the main cast as The Joker and Ra’s Al Ghul, respectively.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is scripted by award-winning comics writer Judd Winick and based on his popular 2005 comics storyline and subsequent comics graphic novel of the same name. Animation guru Bruce Timm returns as executive producer, as he has for all eight DC Universe animated original movies. Director is Brandon Vietti, who served as co-director of Superman Doomsday and was responsible for the first one-third of that film, including the fatal battle between the two title characters.

In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Fans will be treated to an incredible package of DC Universe storytelling as the Special Edition Blu-Ray and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD include the second animated short in the all-new DC Showcase series – which features the popular DC Comics character, Jonah Hex. The short is scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale and stars the voices of Thomas Jane (Hung), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder).

Batman: Under the Red Hood – 2 Disc Special Edition DVD will have more than two hours of fascinating bonus features, including:

  • Featurette – Robin’s Story – It was decided it was time to add a fresh face into the story mix, which turned out to be Dick Grayson, aka Robin. This is the story of Dick Grayson and how he transformed into Robin, with Batman as his father-figure role model.
  • Extended Sneak Peek at the next DC UNIVERSE Animated Original PG-13 Movie.
  • Widescreen (1.78:1)
  • Two title-themed episodes from of Warner Bros. Animation’s 20-year history of Batman television series, hand-picked by animation legend Bruce Timm.

Batman: Under the Red Hood Special Edition Blu-Ray will have more than three hours of bonus materials, including all the great extras from the 2-disc Special Edition DVD as well as:

  • Featurette: Death in the House of Batman – The story of how DC Comics heard the fans’ cry that the new Robin was not going to fit the cape, and how the Boy Wonder was scheduled to die.
  • Two additional bonus Batman-themed episodes personally selected by Bruce Timm
  • Digital copy

Batman: Under the Red Hood is another terrific entry in the groundbreaking series of DC Universe animated movies, a shining representation of the adult storytelling that comics-turned-to-film has to offer, and further evidence of the combined creative power within the collaboration of DC Entertainment, Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video,” said Matt Bierman, Senior Vice President Production, Warner Premiere.

“Judd Winick’s and Doug Mahnke’s story of a Robin gone wrong introduced Batman’s most personal enemy to date.  It’s unbelievably cool to see it brought to life like this,” said Geoff Johns, Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment.

“With each exciting new chapter of the DC UNIVERSE films, fans have come to expect more – and Batman: Under the Red Hood delivers with an action-packed tale of mystery and emotional struggle brought to animated life by an outstanding filmmaking crew and voiced by the all-star talents of Bruce Greenwood, Jensen Ackles, Neil Patrick Harris and John Dimaggio,” said Amit Desai, WHV Vice President of Family, Animation & Partner Brand Marketing.

“In his feature length solo directorial debut, Brandon Vietti has brought this dark, psychological thriller to the screen with all the action and emotion of a great Batman story,” said Sam Register, Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Animation.”

Faces of Evil Overview

Faces of Evil is DC Comics’ attempt to put the spotlight on a few of their villains this month. With several one-shots and a few villain-centric issues in some of their regular titles, it’s  a mixed bag. Here are my faves.

detective852coverDetective Comics #852

For my money this series has been far more entertaining than Morrison’s now complete R.I.P. With Batman and Hush battling with fists and wits in equal measure, with the life of Catwoman hanging in the balance, Paul Dini has crafted a taut adventure in the recent Hearts of Hush arc. This issue, aptly titled Reconstruction has Tommy Elliott, Bruce Wayne’s childhood friend, and now mad and envious adult enemy Hush, as he begins to rebuild his life. As we saw recently Selina Kyle, AKA Catwoman, has exacted her revenge for being put at death’s door, by taking Hush’s vast wealth and scattering it across the globe. Here, Hush discovers though he’s penniless for the first time in his life, his operation to look like Bruce Wayne has immediate benefits and its not long before he starts the climb to the top. With art by Dustin Nguyen this is an ish worth grabbing.

I reviewed Faces of Evil: Prometheus here, but I will say that I adored this issue. Prometheus was a great villain when Grant Morrison brought him in as the anti-Batman to the DCU back in 1998. He hasn’t been seen much as of late but this tale tells you all you need to know and actually has a ret-con that makes sense. It’s written by Supergirl’s Sterling Gates, with moody art by Federico Dallocchio.

action-comics-20090113044633005-000Action Comics #873. I always liked Lex Luthor. In this issue by Geoff Johns, with great art by Pete Woods and Renato Guedes, he’s able to put his scientific awareness and keen manipulation to good use, despite his current prisoner status. Working with, or rather for, General Lane (Lois’ father) to battle the 100, 000 Kryptonians that have now “invaded” earth, Luthor has found a renewed purpose. When I first heard the idea behind Johns’ latest arc (the introduction of a city of Kryptonians) I wasn’t impressed. However, Johns has used this tale of family bickering gone to the next level, it shows in a new light how unique Superman truly is. With Supergirl starting to make tough choices and become a hero Johns has proved once more that he knows what he’s doing. Superman’s titles haven’t been this exciting for years.

On a similar note, not a Faces of Evil issue, but one focused on a DC villain. This month’s issue of Batman Confidential (number 25) continues the look at Joker’s early days. I like Scott McDaniel’s pencils, but Joker doesn’t seem as menacing as Andrew Kreisberg’s script would have us believe. Despite Riddler being on the cover, he only shows up in the last few pages and doesn’t do much. It also doesn’t sit right with current continuity, but I guess it’s passable since it’s a Batman satellite tale. Here it’s revealed that Joker is the first patient in the refurbished Arkham Asylum, which just doesn’t sound right. Also, he mentions Grey’s Anatomy. The problem with that is that the unwritten rule of DC (and comics in general) is that stories are always told with a beginning point of about 10 years ago. So Bruce Wayne became Batman 10 years ago, Peter Parker was bitten by that radioactive spider 10 years ago, and so on. Since Grey’s Anatomy only debuted in 2005 that reference just seems out of synch. Maybe it’s just me being too geeky, but these missteps are noticeable.

Comic Previews

Not previews of comics, but if you want some, here you go.

As promised, after looking at all the cool novelties and assorted strangeness that the monthly catalogue Previews offers up, now we’ll have a look at comics. Comics make up the bulk of the roughly 500-600 glorious pages of each edition of Previews. These are broken down into the main publishers, such as Dark Horse and DC, while Marvel get their own because their books are so awesome that they need a separate tome so as not to be infected by the sub-par efforts of their competition. By the way, what you just read was a sweet use of sarcasm. Let’s look at some new books perfect for new readers.

Well, first up, I must get my hands on the Joker HC. Timed well to coincide with The Dark Knight, this 128 pager won’t come out until October, but the movie publicity will surely get many people ordering it. This hardcover book by writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo is a thematic follow-up to their previous mini-series, Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, that gave readers a Lex-perspective on the Last Son of Krypton. Now, it’s Joker’s turn. With Gotham being shared by a range of mob guys and costumed freaks, the Joker gets jealous. He wants his city back, and he’s not willing to share. With Azzarello’s gritty story telling and Bermejo’s creepily realistic visuals, this should be a very good tale.

Image Comics have really expanded their publishing scope over the last few years, going beyond just superheroes and giving us every genre imaginable. Four Eyes is a good example. It’s a new on-going series set in 1930s Brooklyn where a desperate boy wants to aid his mother during the Great Depression. But no! This is not some hard-luck story (well , maybe it is) but it also involves well-trained dragons fighting each other. Sounds like an interesting combo. I’ve been a fan of writer Joe Kelly since his days on Action Comics scribing Superman and Max Fiumara’s art as seen in the sample pages in Previews looks action packed and intense.

Finally (though I’ve actually ordered much more than these 3 books) is Ursa Minors! Volume 1:The Collected, Wait-For-The-Trade Edition from Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics. With a nifty name that long it’s got my attention. I have heard of this series before however and thought I’d do what the title suggested, and wait for the Trade, which collects the black and white four issue mini-series in 112 pages. It’s about three bears with hi-tech suits who aren’t really interested in being heroic, but would rather  focus on, “comics, beer and comics about beer.” By Neil Kleid, Paul Cote and Fernando Pinto. I hope it makes me laugh.

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