Arrow & Flash: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
With several studios opting out of the San Diego Comic-Con International 2015 (notably Marvel, Sony, and Paramount), arguably the biggest presence was Warner Bros. who brought teams from their film, television, and animation divisions to descend upon the event. As expected, the DC Television Universe had a strong presence as details on Arrow, Flash, Vixen, and Legends of Tomorrow were revealed. Some news to emerge include John Diggle (portrayed by David Ramsey) beginning to adopt a costume (which fans speculate to be inspired by the Manhattan Guardian), a trailer for the Vixen series (featuring Megalyn Echikunwoke as the eponymous heroine), Hawkman coming to the Arrow crossover, and the casting of Michael Ironside (V, Total Recall) as the father of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Golden Glider (Peyton List). Lets take a look at some of the other announced characters for the DCTVU.
Source: Greg Finley’s Girder Attempts to Terminate The CW’s “Flash”
The next episode of The CW’s DC Comics hit is titled “The Flash Is Born,” and looking at the villain of the piece, it may be a fiery genesis.
Debuting on tonight’s installment is Girder — a villain made of steel created in the comics by the show’s executive producer Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Van Sciver. While the four-color Girder was a steel mill worker warped into metal by STAR Labs, the TV version is a former bully to Barry Allen who’s the latest metahuman to pick up a power and a taste for the dark side.
The Flash: From Page to Screen by Jerry Whitworth
With the series premier of the Arrow spin-off The Flash only weeks away, several of the upcoming guest-stars for the show have thus far been announced already. Just as one would expect, the Rogues make up a sizable chunk of the upcoming characters. In the series Arrow, we’ve thus far met Barry Allen (played by Grant Gustin of Glee fame) who already has suffered his fateful accident that leads to his becoming the Flash. Fans have also been treated to upcoming series regulars Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) who, in the comics, are fated to become the hero Vibe and villainess Killer Frost, respectively. The series will open with introducing S.T.A.R. Labs’ chief scientist Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), whose particle accelerator transformed Allen, and on-line journalist Iris West (Candice Patton), mentioned only by name previously as a love interest to Allen. A demonstration of the forward thinking of the show’s producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, West was cast with an African-American actress to align with DC Comics’ current continuity where the character’s nephew Wally was reintroduced as being African-American (Wally later becoming the Flash’s sidekick Kid Flash in the comics), paving the road for his inclusion in the series down the line. Before moving on to those others cast, it should be noted Rogues the Trickster and Pied Piper have been mentioned but yet confirmed. The former was named in an early script used for auditions and the latter as a series regular to be cast but likely was replaced by the Caitlin Snow character (though, producers have stated a desire to add Pied Piper within the first twelve to thirteen episodes). Further, Arrow villain the Clock King (Robert Knepper) is set to make an appearance on The Flash. The character of Firestorm was described in detail previously here.
Justice League by Ed Benes
Top 10: Justice League Members by Jerry Whitworth
With filming beginning already on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the announcement of a Justice League film being produced directly afterward, a lot of focus has been placed on the super group in recent memory. The premier superhero team for DC Comics, the Justice League of America was a 1960s update of the 1940s Justice Society of America. Traditionally, the group is made up of the most powerful and popular heroes for the publisher originally starting with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter (the first three commonly referred as the Trinity and the seven called the Big 7). However, within subsequent issues the cast grew to include the likes of Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Black Canary, and dozens more as years passed. With such a powerful group, the Justice League fought the worst of the worst as foes like Starro, Amazo, Despero, Doctor Destiny, Felix Faust, Lord of Time, Queen Bee, and the Crime Syndicate not only threatened the League but many times the world. Out of around two hundred members across such variations as International, Europe, Antarctica, Task Force, Unlimited, Elite, Dark, United, and more, lets examine who qualifies as the best of the best.
Make it So: DC The Manga Universe by Matt Eldridge and Jerry Whitworth
In 2000, Marvel Comics produced a manga-version of its universe called the Marvel Mangaverse. Featuring the work of various artists including Ben Dunn, founder of Antarctic Press and creator of Ninja High School and Warrior Nun Areala (manga-inspired American comics), the imprint would last for two years with a brief return some time later. However, the relationship between American and Japanese comics existed for some time before this. Osamu Tezuka, referred by Japanese as the god or godfather of manga, was inspired for his field and style by American animation thanks to characters like Felix the Cat and Betty Boop. Other mangaka, or comic creators, would be similarly inspired including Akira Toriyama (who applied several homages to Superman in his works like Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball Z), Katsuhiko Nishijima and Kazumi Shirasaka (who paid homage to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Iron Man in their work Project A-Ko), and Kazuyoshi Katayama and Keiichi Sato (whose work The Big O was inspired by Batman: The Animated Series).
How I Would Have Done It: New 52 Justice League by Jerry Whitworth
Previously on “How I Would Have Done It,” we discussed new 52 Superman and Batman and now it’s time for the rest of the Justice League of America. The Justice League dropped the America from its title for the new 52 and subbed out Martian Manhunter (often referred as the heart, or rock, of the Justice League) with Cyborg (former teenage superhero who formed arguably the most well-known iteration of the Teen Titans, which was largely a group of Justice League sidekicks originally). Aquaman obtained a big push as Geoff Johns continued work on the character from his Brightest Day event as Green Lantern largely went untouched and the Flash continued on from Flashpoint (seemingly with Wally West phased out). Lets examine how the new 52 could have been done differently.
Make It So: Justice League the Movie by Jerry Whitworth
Most of my Make It So articles have been about projects that make sense to me to be produced but have yet to be realized. For this installment, I’m going to break tradition and discuss a movie recently announced to be in development. The Justice League of America is DC Comics’ premier super hero team generally featuring their biggest icons like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (of these, the final film in the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy will be in theaters next month, the first in a new Superman film series begins the summer of next year, and Wonder Woman has also been recently announced to be developed for film which was previously featured in Make It So). Developing the Justice League in a live action format is nothing new.
Through the Ages: Transition in Comics – Part Four by Jerry Whitworth
(see Part One , Part Two , and Part Three here if you haven’t already)
While Grant Morrison and Alex Ross helped nudge a new direction in the comics industry, they certainly didn’t get there alone. Two men who helped push this new direction to what it is today are Geoff Johns and Dan DiDio. Johns was an up-and-comer in the film industry mentored by legendary director Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon series) when he met DC Comics editor Eddie Berganza who offered Johns the opportunity to pitch ideas. One of those ideas reached fruition with Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., an update on the DC property Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy. However, his next two projects at the publisher would provide much more fanfare. The Flash, coming off a longtime critically-received run under scribe Mark Waid, needed a fill-in team to cover the book while an ongoing team could be established. Johns came aboard with the storyline Wonderland and fans enjoyed it so much, DC found their new ongoing writer. When James Robinson moved on to work on projects in Hollywood, Johns would replace his position as co-writer on JSA with David S. Goyer and he struck gold again. Meanwhile, Dan DiDio, who was a writer and story editor for Mainframe Entertainment (ReBoot, Beast Wars: Transformers), was hired as an administrator at DC, first as vice president of editorial in 2002 and two years later as executive editor for the DC Universe. It was around this time DC Comics vigorously pursued exclusive contracts for work at the publisher, including luring talent from Marvel.
Make It So: DC vs SJ Heroes by Jerry Whitworth
East vs Western Comics
2D fighting games are big business. In a growing market of highly sophisticated video games with cutting edge graphics, many fans will still buy from traditional franchises like Super Smash Bros, Street Fighter, Tekken, and King of Fighters. Versus franchise games, be it inter-fighters like Tekken X Street Fighter and Capcom vs SNK or mingling external media like Marvel vs Capcom, Tatsunoko vs Capcom, and Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, look to dwarf their predecessors in popularity. While fighting games improve in graphics, they generally use the same engine meaning with some slight tweaks, you can just continuously update content. Pull in extra fans by adding the Versus franchise aspect and offer pay-for downloadable characters (DLC) and it’s like printing your own money. Imagine, now, mashing up two of some of the biggest media franchises on earth: Warner Bros’ DC Comics and Shueisha’s Shonen Jump. Home to some of the most popular characters in fiction, both companies have previously graced the fighting game genre. DC had Justice League Task Force and the aforementioned Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe while SJ has had Jump Super Stars, Jump Ultimate Stars, Battle Stadium D.O.N., and the wildly popular fighting game series of Dragon Ball and Naruto, a fighting game seeing these companies clash would be titanic (not to mention, imagine accompanying comic book, action figure, collectible card game, table top role-playing games, and cartoon series to exploit the monumental smack down). Lets take a look at some of the possibilities.
Top 10: Rogues Galleries by Jerry Whitworth
For the American comic book, superheroes reign supreme. It doesn’t matter if it’s DC, Marvel, Image, or any of the indies. Throw a cape or mask on someone and you got a much better shot than virtually anything else. But, superheroes are useless without another key component: supervillains. Alien invasions and gangsters are great padding, but we read comics to see colorful characters knocking down buildings or placing loved ones in perilous death traps. Imagine a comic book without a Dr. Doom, Joker, or Lex Luthor or a superhero without some Rogues Gallery, Sinister Six, or Monster Society of Evil to battle him or her. It’s a rather depressing notion because what’s the point of dashing off of rooftops or barreling out of a exploding building if there’s no one to legitimately challenge our hero when they survive? Lets see what villains stand atop all others. Though, before we begin, a little disclaimer: I’m purposely sticking to superheroes. With villains for heroes like James Bond, Doctor Who, and Dick Tracy, the list would be too challenging for me to cut to ten.