Batman vs Superman in the Comics

Batman vs Superman in the Comics

Batman vs Superman Dark Knight ReturnsUnless you’ve been living under Iraq (quick, what’s the statute of limitations on making puns about Saddam in his hidey-hole?), you’ll know that Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice is hitting theatres this weekend, and it seems poised to shatter some records at the box office, to say nothing of its title characters’ bones.

Now, personally, I have pretty much the same reaction to a screening of Zack Snyder’s version of this fight as I do to a dog eating its own poop: Yes, I know it’s happening all over the world this weekend, but I don’t much feel like seeking it out and paying money to watch.

See, to me, the most appealing thing about watching Batman and Superman get into a fight is in seeing the contrast between the two characters. Every time they lock up in the comic books, those differences are always highlighted so that the reader can easily pick a side in the fight (hint: It’s Batman. It’s always Batman).

But in the movie — at least from what I’ve seen of it in the trailers, which is probably all of it, let’s be real — those differences have all but been erased thanks to the efforts of DC/WB to make Superman fit into the world of the Dark Knight.

Instead of the overly-patriotic, relentlessly optimistic “Big Blue Boy Scout,” this film seems to be giving us a militaristic, angsty, tortured soul dressed in a dark costume and forced to scowl for two and a half hours straight. Cracking a smile is this Superman’s Kryptonite. (more…)



Rated ‘D’ for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in 2016

Hello, and welcome to another installment of “Rated ‘D’ for Doom,” my annual look at the year’s upcoming superhero movies!

Now, before we move into the current year, I always like to take a moment to reflect on the prior year’s releases and see how they fared.

Last year, we only had three big releases in the genre, and boy were they all over the place in terms of success. They were all three Marvel properties, though only two were released by Marvel Studios.

I’m speaking, of course, about Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, and Fantastic Four. The first two were both critical and commercial successes, though the sequel to 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers (nobody calls it that) couldn’t help but be a bit of a let-down, considering the level of expectations surrounding it.

At the time of its release, Jim Doom and I discussed it at length, though my thoughts on it have changed a little bit over the past few months, and not in a good way. I think I’d be hard-pressed to justify ever watching it all the way through again, what with how long it is and how little happens in it.

Ant-Man was also a movie that came out last year, though I don’t know if I could tell you a single scene from it that stands out today (that I’m not simply remembering from the trailer, that is). It’s just a really forgettable movie with a formulaic ending.

And, lastly, we have Fantastic Four, the only non-Marvel Studios superhero movie that came out last year. The less we say about it, the better. I saw it. I regret seeing it. Let’s move on.

This is a new year, Jack! And if you like superhero movies, well, you’d better get ready to drop some serious coinage. In 2016, we have SEVEN new superhero movies coming out, and that’s actually down from what was originally slated, as Sony had to scrap Sinister Six after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 shit the bed and ruined that entire “shared universe” that they were hoping so hard for.

The good news out of that whole debacle is that Spider-Man will appear in one of the movies coming out this year! And it’s alongside the other Avengers! There aren’t enough exclamation points for this!

We’ll get to that soon enough, though. For now, let’s run these films down, one by one, and we’ll talk about Spider-Man when the time is right. (more…)



Ma & Pa Kent: History’s Greatest Monsters

pa kent

So, if you’ve been online today, you probably know by now that the new trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – – the most happy-go-lucky movie of all time – – has arrived, as Warner Bros and DC Comics unveiled it to attendees at the San Diego Comic Con this weekend.

If you haven’t been online today… how are you here?

Anyway, judging by the reaction, people are really excited for this movie, which is okay, I guess, though I personally think it looks like, well, it looks exactly like how I expected a sequel to Man of Steel would look.

In a word: Terrible.

But the most alarming thing to me, as a fan of comic books and storytelling IN GENERAL, is that Superman’s parents on earth are just absolute garbage people.

Remember, one of the key moments in the Man of Steel trailer saw a young Clark Kent asking his dad if he should’ve just let that school bus full of kids sink, if he should have just let all those kids drown, and Pa Kent replied, “Maybe.”

And, now, in this movie, we have a moment where he’s talking to Ma Kent, and she says, “You don’t owe this world a thing. You never did.”

Compare that with ol’ May Parker’s monologue to Peter in Spider-Man 2:

“Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them, cheer them, scream their names. And years later, they’ll tell how they stood in the rain for hours just to get a glimpse of the one who taught them how to hold on a second longer. I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.”

I dunno, I think there’s something to be said for acknowledging and encouraging heroism in superHERO movies, especially when your only job as a character is to INSPIRE THE HERO TO BE GOOD.

Using Ma and Pa Kent to teach Superman not to trust humans is a very weird, very unnecessary decision on the part of the screenwriters. The Kents are supposed to tie him to humanity. No wonder the guy levels half of a city without so much as a second thought – – his parents are the worst.

Anyway, Jim Doom is going to pop in here soon with his thoughts on the trailer, so I don’t want to say much more. It is just a trailer, and things could be completely different by the time it hits screens, but I don’t hold out a lot of “S” for this movie.



Doom & Doomer: Avengers: Age of Ultron

SPOILER ALERT: THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON. DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU HAVE YET TO SEE THE MOVIE.

avengers age of ultron posterJIM DOOM: So I remember being in the parking lot outside the theater in Bellevue after seeing the Hulk, or Incredible Hulk — whichever one was part of Phase 1 — thinking, “This is going to build up to an Avengers movie someday, but that is so far away.”

And now not only did that happen — they’ve done it again.

So now that we’re at the conclusion of Phase 2, I’d like to ask you this question kind of in two ways — how are they doing in terms of the movies, as in, what are your top-level thoughts on Avengers 2, and how are they doing in terms of the long-form universe-building?

DOOM DELUISE: It’s interesting that you put it that way, and I want to get back to making a point about the phrasing of that question, but, to just go ahead and answer it, I think they’re doing a pretty great job on both fronts. When it tips too strongly toward ignoring the long-form storytelling (Iron Man 3), it’s obviously not a very good thing (though I personally loved that movie), but the same can be said for when it goes the other way (Iron Man 2).

But the Avengers movies are in a really weird, never-before-seen-in-movies spot, in that they have to blow off an entire “Phase” of movies, but they also have to lay the groundwork for not only the next “Phase,” but also the next chapter of Avengers movies themselves.

That’s not much of an answer. I think Avengers 2 struggles with this problem, and it probably is the number one strike it has against it, as I feel it sometimes spends too much time trying to shoehorn in stuff for what’s coming next.

That said, it still delivers a really great movie, and I loved it. (more…)



The Amazing Leaked E-mail

I just came across this on Twitter, from user @TylerHuckabee.

It’s a leaked e-mail from one producer at Sony to another, and it’s an incredible insight into what was going on behind-the-scenes at Sony while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was in development.

Date: 2013-11-07 17:08:49
From: nick.shore@[redacted]
To: amy_pascal@[redacted]

Subject: Spidey thought

Hey Amy – just a couple of rando thoughts from 35,000 LAX-JFK:

– A rising trend we see with Millennials are the really extreme forms of experiential exercise like Tough Mudder (a sort of filthy triathalon), the Color Run and even things like Hot Power Yoga, veganism etc. Millennials will often post “N.B.D.” on their social media after doing it , as in No Big Deal, also known as the “humble brag”…..wondering if Spidey could get into that in some way….he’s super athletic, bendy, strong, intense….and it’s all NBD to him, of course.

– EDM (electronic dance music) is the defining music for Millennials. Wondering if there’s an EDM angle somewhere with Spidey? His movements are beautiful, would be awesome with a killer DJ behind it

– Snapchat just launched a “story” functionality, which is sort of “day in the life of me” told in a series of snapchats that expire after 24 hours. It has a very VIP quality about it, since invitation only. Getting invited into Spidey’s Snapchat circle would be huge, and very buzzworthy and cool.

Very VIP.

This guy knows what he’s talking about. As my brother said when I showed him this, “He’s clearly read all of the reports.”



Rated ‘D’ for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in 2015

Welcome to my annual blog round-up discussion thing for all the upcoming superhero movies of the coming year!

This last year (2014, duh) was a pretty big one for superhero movies, with two of the top three grossing movies at the box office featuring men in tights battling the forces of evil.

Predictably, those were a couple of Marvel Studios products: Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy. And not only were they wildly successful money-wise, but they were also really cool movies, to boot!

Sure, they both ended with giant spaceships or helicarriers hovering in the skies above a couple of major cities, raining hellfire down upon the innocent people below, but only one of them threatened the entire world with destruction. The other just sort of threatened the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

Now that’s what I call restraint! And I applaud Marvel for changing up the formula from time-to-time.

The only other big superhero movie from last year that managed to be a heck of a lot of fun was X-Men: Days of Future Past. Surprisingly, it’s not a Marvel Studios property (it’s one of two Marvel franchises still produced by 20th Century Fox – – the other one I’ll get to in a minute), yet it still managed the feat of not being bowling-shoe ugly.

As a matter of fact, now that it’s all said and done, I think it was my favorite of the three good superhero movies of 2014, though it’s a very close call.

Of course, before we move on, I would first like to point out that X-Men 7 was the only surprise of the year. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Transformers 4 were predictably terrible, though they somehow were even worse than I expected they’d be.

We haven’t written reviews of either of them on Doomkopf yet, but real quick, I’d like to make it absolutely, 100% clear: Those movies were two of the worst movies ever made, superhero or otherwise. I can’t simply mention them, say they were bad, and then magically move on. I need you to understand this: Those movies were offensively awful.

Hopefully nothing that bad will come out in 2015, right?

Now, you may remember at the end of last year that all the Marvel and DC properties in production were given release dates, so that their schedules are now meticulously plotted out until the year 2072.

Of course, those release dates are subject to change, I’m sure, as nobody really believes we’ll ever see a Cyborg movie, because obviously. And the way the Suicide Squad production has been moving, it might have to be pushed back (apparently, nobody wants to star in what will inevitably be a depressing, angsty piece of over-crowded trash – – who knew?).

But, for the most part, we have things mapped out. We will be getting about a dozen superhero movies per year, from now until the end of time. It’s the way things are now. It’s what we do.

The question, however, is whether or not they’ll be any good.

And that’s where I come in. Now, for your reading pleasure, a chilling vision of things to come: (more…)



Comic Book Movies We Would Actually Like to See

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written before Marvel announced their plans for Phase Three of their Cinematic Universe]

With the upcoming slate of DC/WB superhero movies recently announced through the next twenty-five years, we started to talk amongst ourselves about how none of it really interests us all that much. I mean, we can only see the same couple of formulas play out on the big screen so many times before we start itching for something better.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy repeatedly watching the same climactic sequence involving a giant alien warship hovering over a city-in-peril, but that’s not to say it wouldn’t be nice to have a bit more variety.

So Doominator and I decided to cook up a list each of comics movies we’d actually be pumped to see come soon to a theatre near us.

Feel free to comment with your own ideas of stuff you’d like to see, but, in the meantime, here’s what we’ve got:

Doominator

Dredd 2

Dredd (more…)



UPDATED: Comprehensive Schedule of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Logo

Yesterday morning, Warner Bros. issued a press-release with the upcoming dates for all of its big DC Comics movie properties through 2020.

If you’ve been paying attention, though, you’re no doubt aware that there are also a lot of upcoming Marvel Studios properties with release dates set for roughly the same time frame. UPDATE: A week after publishing this list, Marvel announced their Phase 3 plans, with release dates up through 2019. These have been added below.

That’s not to mention the upcoming schedules for the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters still controlled by Fox, as well as the Spider-Man characters still held by Sony.

All told, there are so many upcoming superhero movies with release dates in place that it’s hard to keep track of when what is coming where.

Not anymore. I’ve scoured the Internet for press releases (and Wikipedia pages) to compile, for your reading pleasure, a complete list of every superhero property currently scheduled for an upcoming release. I’ve color-coded them so you’ll know which properties have the potential to cross over with one another, based on which studio owns the rights to the characters. Enjoy. (more…)



And Your Upcoming Villains in Superhero Movies Are…

darkseid thanos apocalypse



Rated ‘D’ for Doom: A Look at Superhero Movies in 2014

Welcome to my semi-annual blog round-up discussion thing for all the upcoming superhero movies in the coming year!

I haven’t done one of these in the past couple of years, mostly because these round-ups are pretty much all about hype, and, these days, I try to avoid hype as much as possible.

For instance, as some of you may remember, I tried to go into the last Batman movie without seeing a single thing about the movie beforehand.

The main reason for this is because I know I’m in the target demographic for these movies, and I know that I’ll inevitably see almost all of them, whether I want to or not (I see lots of movies), so I may as well let myself be as surprised as I can be, right?

This past year of superhero movies proved a couple of things:

    1. After nearly a decade of these things bombarding movie-going audiences, there’s still no let-up in sight.

    2. More and more, you can tell the difference between a good superhero movie and a bad superhero movie based solely on what studio is making it. Marvel Studios? Good. Any Other Studio on the Planet? Terrible.

We don’t need to spend too much time living in the past, but it’s simple science.

Good movies from last year: Iron Man 3, Thor 2.

God-awful, rotten movies from last year: Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Kick-Ass 2.

Let’s see if this pattern holds through 2014.

captain america 2The first big superhero movie of the year comes in a mere two weeks, on 4 April, when Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theatres across the world.

If you want, you can already go online and watch this movie in its entirety, so long as you have a lot of patience and a decent imagination.

As of posting, there are now three trailers, over ten :30 spots, six clips, multiple reviews, and the directors – – Joe and Anthony Russo – – recently held a Q&A discussing post-credit scenes and the ending.

I just wonder who they’re trying to sell on this, at this point.

If you don’t know what to expect from a Captain America movie by now, I’m not sure what to think of you, as a person. (more…)