Superheroes have finally transitioned from comics to screens

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Avengers Age of UltronIn the last post, I examined Marvel Comics and the refusal of the editors to bring the comic books fully into the 21st century.  At the end, I pointed out that the comic book industry is, in reality, a very small one; and that, if it dried up and blew away tomorrow, it wouldn’t exactly be mourned by the world.

That’s because superheroes are too busy working other venues, most notably the big screen and various small screens, and are demonstrating that that’s where the big money is.  And as we rapidly approach another blockbuster summer movie season, we’ll see even more examples of the real future of superheroes in the 21st century. Continue reading

Why no female superheroes? Fear.

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Wonder WomanA recent blog post by Sue Archer flags this popular issue: Thanks to years now of excellent and popular superhero movies, the fan world has been rearing up and calling out the obvious missing piece of the franchise puzzle: Why no female superhero movies yet?  Warner Brothers (who owns the DC Comics superheroes) has been held up to the light for producing Superman, Batman and Green Lantern for cinema, and a number of other male heroes for television, but not Wonder Woman.    And Marvel, seemingly doing no wrong with its superhero line-up, has so far passed on super-powered female heroes like Captain Marvel.

One begins to suspect a conspiracy… which, of course, is what the web has pounced on.  Everyone wants to know what’s going on here.

Naturally, I believe I know what’s happening.

I think they’re scared. Continue reading

The Justice League movie should be “Heaven’s Ladder”

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JLA: Heaven's LadderPresently, Warner Brothers is working on a Superman vs Batman movie, and simultaneously trying to work out a way to do a Justice League movie featuring their DC comics heavy hitters.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of questions, based on the performance of their most recent superhero movies, whether they can pull off a coup equal to that of Marvel’s Avengers.

To begin with, you need the right story to tell with these characters, and everyone doubts Warner has a story in hand, or even in mind, that will do the job.  So, in the interest of making this challenge interesting, let me suggest that all discussions about the Justice League movie should center around the story of JLA: Heaven’s Ladder. Continue reading

Doc Savage: The mold from which heroes were and are made

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Doc SavageIt was recently announced that Iron Man 3 director Shane Black is in discussion to helm a new movie for Sony, starring the pulp hero Doc Savage.  A friend of mine saw this, and correctly guessed that I would squee upon hearing the news.

Why? I grew up reading the famous “181 Supersagas” of Doc Savage—also known as the Man of Bronze—and his friends Monk Mayfair, Ham Brooks, Renny Renwick, Johnny Littlejohn and Long Tom Roberts, occasionally joined by Doc’s cousin Pat Savage, as they raced around the world, investigating scientific mysteries, righting wrongs, and punishing evil-doers wherever they were found.  Doc and his friends were among the very first “science heroes,” those who embraced the modern world of steel and wonder, and who used science and intellect to solve mysteries and save the day… but with plenty of very unscientific fisticuffs and derring-do thrown in for excitement.  Doc Savage, the leader of the group, was no less than the template that future superheroes would be based upon for the balance of the 20th century. Continue reading

Media catches up to the myths

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Thor's Chris HemsworthI just came from seeing the movie “Thor” this afternoon.  Being a superhero fan from way back, watching the characters’ transition from comic books to live action on the big screen always fascinates me.

Witness “Thor,” which featured quite a lot of action taking place in the otherworldly realms of Asgard and Jotuheim (the homes of the Norse Gods and the Frost Giants, respectively).  To say that Asgard looked like the penultimate Realm Eternal is like saying that Miss Universe is pretty… it was jaw-droppingly beautiful, went on for miles and miles, and was placed in the most incredible celestial backdrop ever conceived by man. Continue reading