It was revealed Tuesday that Geoff Johns, DC’s chief content officer, and Jon Berg, executive VP, would together be running a new arm of the company called DC Films, giving those two greater control regarding the use of DC Comics’ properties on the big screen. This is seen as the muted response to Batman v. Superman versus the recent Captain America: Civil War buzz. While this news surely sparked a large “hallelujah” amongst many fans (guilty), we’re pretty sure that Johns’ indelible influence will be stamped on the movie franchises in the following questionable ways:
Batman: Arkham Origins might be the first prequel concept to hook me in a very long time: Two years into his career as the Dark Knight, Batman is a far more brutish and unrefined crime fighter than the hero we know from the previous games. His reputation as an ominous threat to Gotham’s underbelly inspires Black Mask to put a $50 million bounty on Bats’s head one Christmas Eve, attracting the attention of eight deadly assassins. Like Arkham Asylum, Origins sounds like it could play as a self-contained comic arc, but Origins will be even larger a game than Arkham City.
Developer Warner Bros. Games Montreal has been fairly tight-lipped with its cast of characters so far, but today at their Comic-Con panel they revealed Copperhead as one of the eight main villains in the game. Copperhead is a minor character in the Batman universe who in previous iterations either wore a super-powered snake costume or inherited snake-like powers a la Spider-Man. WB Montreal decided to revitalize the character as a woman (!) who, in line with the video game series, is much more realistic in design (Thank God). Arkham Origins‘s Copperhead doesn’t appear to have any supernatural abilities, but as a contortionist she can slink around and strike quickly with what seem to be poison-coated gauntlets. Take a look at the trailer:
According to SuperHeroHype, DC’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns liked Copperhead’s re-imagining so much they’ve decided to use the likeness in their comics, sort of like how Harley Quinn became canon following her creation in Batman: The Animated Series. It’s always nice to see more women in games and comics; I just wish they hadn’t sexualized her in the process.
February 27th, 2013: the day the Arrow fandom collectively had a fangirl stroke and briefly died only to come back to life sputtering nonsense such as “River Song! Mom! Oh no! The bird! Hot Australian shirtless man!” and “he did that! His hood! Why? What does it all mean?!?!” and the ever popular “John Barrowman’s American accent is so good!” Minus that last one, I pretty much agree with everything there. This episode was insane. After last week’s somewhat ho-hum performance, I had a feeling this week would be killer, but I was unaware how good it would really be.
First off, I need to apologize to Geoff Johns because when it came to episode 7, I said that his writing style did not translate well to television. I wasn’t entirely wrong because Muse of Fire still wasn’t all that great, but Dead to Rights was exponentially better so perhaps he can write well for TV given that the story lends itself to his style. This week certainly did as it was fast paced but it didn’t feel like we were being torn in several different places just for the hell of it, rather it worked well with the frantic actions of the characters and situations.
We started off just like most other weeks with a bad guy coming to town. This time it was Guillermo Barrera, a high price hitman. At first the name didn’t set anything off in my memory but the moment those throwing knives hit the air, I remembered who he was and probably only because I’d just done some catching up on Nightwing thanks to Scott’s Bats and Birds piece over at GEEK. Guillermo Barrera is the name of Bludhaven resident and villain, Brutale. Of course we won’t be seeing any of Brutale as he was dead after the first scene, but it was a nice little shout-out to other DC Universe entities.
The whole “McKenna could have met you at the heliport” thing reminded me of something the show does that I find to be really irritating. They don’t go back and address small things. Perfect example: the bug on McKenna’s phone. Is it still there? Did Oliver take it off? Are we going to find out who the mole is? Granted there have been a few things they’ve gone back to and I appreciate that, but I wish they would address these things as it’s driving me nuts.
The island is pretty good usually at answer some of those little questions and this week it was “was Oliver always in such great shape?” Well the answer is no. Actually that’s not entirely true as apparently he was “more of a runner.” I do love little lines like that, makes the melodramatic ones much easier to take. Outside of that, the island didn’t do a whole hell of a lot this week. Oliver did show off his knowledge of The Odyssey again and fixed a radio while Slade did pullups and discussed Gilligan’s Island escape methods.
This makes two weeks in a row that there has been very little island happenings, and after the big Shado reveal I’m anxious to get back there and see how all that plays out. Of course he was on the island for five years and I suppose they can’t tell that entire story in sixteen episodes.
I’ll give the island a little leeway on not moving things along, the five years thing, but seriously there needs to be a Black Canary post-haste. I feel like I’ve been saying this for months now, just go ahead and slap some fishnets on Laurel and make it happen! All this pussyfooting around with the sushi and the martial arts, and then the picture of her sister and the black canary. Enough already. (While we are on the subject of things that need to stop, Laurel needs to go ahead and never wear that jumpsuit thing again. Might as well just go ahead and burn it.)
The only other part of the episode that wasn’t part of the main story was the beautiful friendship that is blossoming between Diggle and Felicity. I don’t think they could get much cuter. Working out together, cracking the arrow shot cell phones of high dollar hitmen together, dreaming of chinese food together… just adorable.
After the last scene of episode 16, it was obvious that this week would more than likely be about the plan to kill Malcolm Merlyn. I guess China White didn’t feel like she could handle the job on her own, so after Barrera was disposed of, she went and found the person I’ve been saying had to be still alive – Deadshot! Not only that but she ends up giving him his signature red-eye. It’s about time he came back and having China White in the last few episodes has given it more of an ongoing feeling than just the one bad guy per episode thing they had going for a while there.
I’ll go ahead and say it – I want to smack Tommy Merlyn and tell him to shut up. Yea yea yea Malcolm was a shit dad and he probably is still a shit dad but man up son! Either tell your dad to hit the road or take whatever likely half-assed apology he’s offering this week and move on. Man this constant whining is getting old. Of course it did lead to a nice moment between Oliver and him discussing their daddy issues.
However I think we can all agree that Oliver blinding some dude with sriracha is the highlight of that scene. Very heads up play on Ollie’s part.
The two big OMG moments were in the second part of the episode. Oliver runs into McKenna as the “Hood Guy” again but is able to avoid her recognizing him with a well placed fire extinguisher. So he makes his way upstairs to where Tommy and Malcolm are trying to escape both the Triad hitmen and Deadshot’s bullets. In a move I certainly did not expect, and that goes very much against his trying to keep the vigilante identity A SECRET, he shows Tommy who he is.
WHAT IS HE DOING?!?!?! That’s pretty much my entire reaction. Seriously Oliver, what on earth are you thinking? Not only that but hello, Malcolm was getting ready to show Tommy that he’s the Dark Archer until the grenade hits and then he’s shot and Oliver somehow knows that Tommy and Malcolm have the same blood type so let’s do an impromptu blood transfusion and I felt like throwing things at my TV for a good ten minutes. What is going on here? There’s just too much to process.
So now Tommy and Malcolm are all buddy buddy again and Tommy is pissed at Oliver for not telling him about being the vigilante. When Tommy was first introduced I thought he was basically useless. Now I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn this. Is John Barrowman on board with a long run on Arrow or was this the set up for Tommy to ultimately take on his father’s Dark Archer mantle and battle Oliver, the best friend who betrayed him? Intrigue. I like it.
The second WTF moment was the last scene. Laurel had gotten a phone call from her mother earlier, but of course ignored it. Of course like all good mothers, ignore the phone call and she’ll be at your doorstep. Even though I knew that Alex Kingston was going to play her mom and I knew that it was going to be this episode, I still had that immediate reaction of “OMG Laurel your mom, Dinah Lance, is standing right there! She’s the Black Canary and now you can too!!!”
Of course we’ll have to wait and see what all this talk of Sarah still being alive results in. I can’t imagine she really is alive. I mean come on, I saw her disappear off that yacht, we all did. It would be difficult to limp away from that.
Throughout all of this, the biggest thing I took from this episode is Moira has quite the set of steel balls. Even Frank Chan agrees. Even though there were a few moments of slight nervousness, her hand shaking and her obvious ill feelings towards Tommy being at the awards ceremony, she is cold as ice. Standing there as Malcolm declares there to be a traitor in their ranks? I’d probably have pissed myself and started crying.
Even though it lacked substantial island time, this was probably my favorite episode so far. It had pretty much everything else you could hope for. Going to have to give it a solid 4 out of 5. Add in Yao Fei and Walter (I miss you Walter) and it would have easily been a 4.5
Unfortunately we’ll have to wait awhile before we get any answers as Arrow is on break until March 20th, but I think we’ve got plenty to stew over in the meantime.
Until next time!
DC Comics and Chief Creative Officer (and Detroit native) Geoff Johns announced today that he would be leaving Green Lantern — the franchise he invigorated — with issue #20, a 64-page special coming in May.
Welcome to Comic Rack! My pick of the top five comic news stories in no particular order…
Geoff Johns Finally Spills The Beans About The New JLA
It’s been a fairly well established trope that DC likes to have multiple Justice League titles running at the same time, because let’s face it, superhero teams are money makers. It’s a pretty simple formula, you grab a couple of heroes, announce they’re on a team together or tease a new team and who the possible members could be, and rake in the cash as people buy your book to find out. Marvel did the same thing with the new Thunderbolts not too long ago. “Why is Punisher a Thunderbolt?”, isn’t damn near the same question as “Why is Catwoman in the JLA?”, and the answer to both is always, “Buy the book and see!”
Does that sound cynical? Perhaps it is, but I can’t help but feel cynical when it comes to groups of superheroes banded together eclectically for reasons X, Y and Z. Yes, Mr. Johns I’m sure you have a wonderful story to tell, and there’s a specific reason for each one of them and blah blah blah. Listen, we know you were pitched the idea by DC execs and made lemonade out of lemons for yourself. Good on you. Let’s just stop all the arbitrary team making for the sake of team making, okay Comics Industry? Thanks.
Find out more here.
Francesco Francavilla Joins Fraction’s Hawkeye
Easily one of the best new series Marvel is putting out right now, Matt Fraction and David Aja’s
Hawkguy Hawkeye has continued to wow me since the first issue with its enjoyable and down to earth look at the mainstay Avenger. Not to be forgotten is Javier Pulido’s issues that contribute greatly to the overall aesthetic of the series that follows Clint Barton when he’s not being the superhero Avenger everyone is used to. Francavilla joins as Hawkeye embarks on a brand new story line, which serves as a great jumping on point for readers, and faces Hakeye against his deadliest opponent yet.
[box_light]“On Hawkeye we’ve been blessed with not only one of the biggest writers in comics with Matt Fraction, but also some of the best artists like David Aja, Javier Pulido and now Francesco Francavilla,” said Stephen Wacker, Senior Editor, Marvel Entertainment. “Though he’s only on the series for issues #10 & #12, Francesco is going to leave his mark on Clint with some of the most beautiful art you’ll see all year!”[/box_light]
The story starts in April with Hawkeye #10!
Thanos Rising Will Be Jason Aaron’s Next Big Book
Mark my words, in the next coming years, Thanos is gonna get huge. The guy’s long been held back by the stigma of being a thinly veiled rip-off of Darkseid, but let’s face the facts: The guy showed up in the movies first. Nowadays, that’s all that really matters with major audiences. The movies are almost more canon than the comics for the average fan, and the introduction of Thanos at the (post credits) end of last years The Avengers, is gonna cement him as the go-to face of evil for future comics movie watchers. In a way this could be construed as a pre-emptive strike to get existing and new Marvel readers re-acquainted with Thanos. In the movies we know all about the Cosmic Cube but the Infinity Gauntlet was only hinted at, and understood by those already in the know. This new series by Jason Aaron (whose work on Scalped I really need to catch up on) will introduce everyone who’s unfamiliar to Thanos in a way that will get them pumped to see him depicted as the Big Bad on the silver screen. When The Avengers 2 ( or Guardians of the Galaxy depending on where he appears) c firstomes out in theaters, trust me, you’ll be hearing about Thanos everywhere.
Find out more here.
Constantine’s Death Teased In The Second To Last Hellblazer Ever
Hellblazer is a book near and dear to my heart. It’s one of the earliest series I ever remember buying, as many trades I could find, and reading in a flurry. Constantine is a fascinating character in every conceivable way, and my love for him knows no bounds. It saddened me pretty greatly to find out that Hellblazer will be ending soon, and while I’m wary of the New 52’s Constantine title starting relatively soon, I’m at least thankful I’ll still get to enjoy a title with my favorite con artist/magician in it as lead. The thing here is, what if John Constantine dies? What if somehow, someway, the New 52 Constantine isn’t actually Constantine? I’m not saying they’re going off on a ridiculous Superior Spider-Man style death switch… Although I suppose that would be technically interesting.
Anyhow, I’m getting ahead of myself. What I mean to say is that this is probably like any other comics death in that it’s more metaphorical than literal. Sure the cover of this penultimate issue shows Constantine leaning up against a grave that may or may not be his, and if the log line for the issue is to be believed then it is, but this is the comics world. We all know he’s not staying dead. I’m hoping that what they’ll do is have this be his actual, final, meaningful death, and have this New 52 Constantine comic retroactively take place loosely within the timeline of his Hellblazer run. In between fighting off lonely ghosts and The Devil and lung cancer. Somewhere in there.
Find out more here.
Kirkman & Ottley Celebrate Invincible #100
Oh, Invincible. You’re a book that just won’t quit. From being a great mash up of Spider-Man and Superman, to becoming a genuinely awesome superhero comic on its own, to launching an entirely new superhero universe, you’re the little book that could. I’d say that of the big Kirkman two, while The Walking Dead is consistently the most gripping, Invincible is by far more entertaining. I’m a sucker for big bloody action set pieces, and ginormous feats of ridiculous strength, and will generally take that over intense, seething, paranoid human drama any day of the week. While all the mainstream attention has been on The Walking Dead lately, I feel that Invincible has gone by the wayside a bit. It makes sense, Kirkman is focusing on his cash cow, and If I was in the same place I would probably do the same. I can’t blame him for putting more focus into TWD when it’s clearly made him a very rich, famous man. Which is great, because any guy who can make a comic like Battle Pope and still have a successful career just proves what a great country America is.
So if you’re over in the Sherman Oaks area of California on February 2nd, I highly implore you to grab a copy of Battle Pope, stroll on over to Earth-2 Comics and get it signed by Kirkman. Hopefully he’ll chuckle and be reminded of his roots, rather than have you dragged away by his money dogs who live and breath money and eat money, and kill you with money poisoning. Which is a real disease I just made up.
Find out more here.