Highway to the Green Lantern Zone: The Plans for the Upcoming Green Lantern Corps Movie and what it could mean for the DCCU

Highway to the Green Lantern Zone: The Plans for the Upcoming Green Lantern Corps Movie and what it could mean for the DCCU

Posted by on Mar 20, 2018 in Home, News, Opinion, Uncategorized

The DC Cinematic Universe could use a little lightening up these days. Excusing the not so subtle pun, the DCCU has invested a little too much time into two of their hallmark characters, Batman and Superman, while not expanding on their other memorable and successful characters. Batman had three fairly successful and well-received movies under Christopher Nolan’s vision and Superman got a decent re-introduction through Zack Snyder’s direction. DC Comics and Warner Bros. have continued to make both heroes household names known throughout the world but what have they done to expand that universe? Despite not wanting to follow the Marvel method, they seem to be making some of the same mistakes Marvel did when they started making superhero films back in the early 2000s. After X-Men and Spider-Man, we found Daredevil, Incredible Hulk, The Punisher, Elektra, and a few other films which had great star power and potential but managed to fall flat despite their good intentions. One could draw parallels to Jonah Hex, Green Lantern, Catwoman, Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and Suicide Squad and their mixed if not poor reactions with critics and audiences. Are these movies on the campy level of Howard the Duck or just plain bad like Steel? Absolutely not but I don’t think they had the reaction Warner Bros and DC Films wanted. After Man of Steel failed to perform as well as they anticipated, they scrapped the two planned sequels and jumped straightforward to Batman vs. Superman (I’m sorry I refuse to call it by its “proper” movie title, it sounds more like a court case than a movie) and eventually Justice League which brought together characters hinted at in the former movie. Neither made back the kind of money the companies were hoping for and honestly the DC Cinematic Universe needs a win like Wonder Woman. In other words, this lantern is in dire need of a recharge.

Like I said before, Green Lantern had his shot in 2011. Despite having a decent Hal Jordan played by Ryan Reynolds and a fantastic Sinestro played by Martin Strong, this movie just didn’t make any lingering sort of impression. Too much info dump, weak villains, cheesy special effects and other factors could have contributed to why this film under performed and any plans of a sequel were scrapped. Nobody returned to Green Lantern outside of animated shows or films until 2014 when they announced a Green Lantern film was in the works with the title Green Lantern Corps. Controversial writer David S. Goyer and writer Justin Rhodes were attached to co-write and produce the script based on a draft by Goyer and DC writer/GL guru Geoff Johns. Having Geoff Johns not involved would be a horrible idea for he has expanded the Green Lantern universe more than most writers involved with the title have. The Green Lanterns that would be portrayed in the movie would be Hal Jordan and John Stewart, two of the most well-known Green Lanterns. Recently they have considered director Christopher McQuarrie to direct the film which has lead people to speculate that they will cast veteran actor Tom Cruise, who McQuarrie worked with on at least four movies, to play Hal Jordan.

Now everything is still speculative. There are people who are making articles about who would be great choices for John Stewart, this being his first big screen appearance. Nobody has been confirmed for Hal Jordan or what story they’ll be working with. The only thing we know is the script has been described as “ Lethal Weapon in Space” which sounds pretty fricking cool to me. Whomever is cast as either Green Lanterns matters little to me ( although if it is Cruise, I never imagined Hal Jordan being that short) compared to what the story is. The reason the 2011 Green Lantern movie failed was the story seemed to care more about introducing everything about the Green Lantern Corps and trying to get new audience members instead of educating them simply with the great characters, story, and dialogue that comes with a good movie. Nobody knew who the Guardians of the Galaxy was outside of a comic con before the movie and now you can’t hum “Hooked on a Feeling” without somebody knowing what the hell you’re referencing.

Green Lantern has decades of great stories about a space cop who literally has one of the best weapons in the DC Universe. A tool that lets you create anything you can think of; its limits are only defined by your own imagination and willpower. You have two of the greatest Green Lanterns that were ever written as your main characters ( I’m still hoping to see  Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, or even Simon Baz in the future). This film could open up the DC Universe beyond Earth and if this movie is good enough, it could expand on other characters and concepts from the Green Lantern universe. Will we see any of the emotional spectrum Lantern Corps? Will we get to see famous villians like Sinestro, Despero, or Parallax? Will we get to see the planet Oa, the Guardians of the Universe and other characters like Ganthet, Sayd, Arisia, or Killowog? Time will tell but the possibilities are enough to get people excited. But what DC Films needs to remember is we’ve been here before and still left the theater disappointed and sometimes shaking our heads. We’ll read these articles and watch these trailers with a healthy mix of skepticism and hope. DC Comics, you have a universe full of exciting, interesting, and creative characters which in the right context could inspire both new and old fans. You have the upcoming Aquaman, Flash(point), Shazam, and Batman solo films along with Wonder Woman 2 on your roster. There’s still the possibility of redemption with Suicide Squad 2 or with spin-off’s like Gotham City Sirens. You have this potential, please find the right creators to tell the best stories you can with these characters. If Green Lantern Corps is a step in that direction, then push back the fear of failure from your mind and go for the stars. Sometimes it’s the risks that end up paying off in the end. Until we get some concrete facts, please enjoy this clip of  Green Lanterns G’nort from Batman: Brave and the Bold attempting to remember the famous Green Lantern oath in a moment of crisis.

 

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Twelve Facts to get you hyped for Incredibles 2

Twelve Facts to get you hyped for Incredibles 2

Posted by on Mar 2, 2018 in Home, News, Opinion, Uncategorized


Back in 2004, Pixar put in their contribution to the supehero genre with their film The Incredibles. The story of a super powered family trying to adjust to a life of normalcy without their superpowers until the past catches up to them and more was a joy to anybody whether or not they had ever read a comic book. So when they announced a long desired sequel, audiences cheered and anticipated hilarity and greatness. It had been ages since I last saw the Incredibles and after watching it, I decided to do a little research into the making of the film and found these twelve awesome facts that make me look forward to June 2018 that much more.

1. The Incredibles (and Frozone’s) powers reflect their feelings on life.
Mr. Incredible is the husband and father so he does his best to be strong for everybody. Mrs. Incredible has three children and a husband who despises his job, so she does her best to stretch herself in many different directions, often at the same time. Dash is an energetic and active ten-year-old boy so he uses his superspeed to get everything done. Violet is a teenager who is insecure and body conscious, so she hides herself from the world by going invisible. Jack-Jack is a baby which is essentially a blank slate with numerous possibilities ahead of him, so he has multiple powers at his disposal. Frozone? He just wants to be cool and find his super suit.


2. The Incredibles has a few comic book references sprinkled throughout the film.
Inside Robert’s cubicle there is a danger sign in the form of a red lightning bolt, a reference to Captain Marvel and the Marvel family. When Mr. Incredible gets his new car, the hood emblem is the triangular shape of the Golden Age Superman. The dark ray-like vehicle that delivers Mr. Incredible to Syndrome’s Island is a reference to DC villain Black Manta. The hero Gazer-Beam references both Cyclops from Marvel’s X-Men and the Marvel Hero Daredevil. Did you notice any others?

3. There is an unintentional Ratatouille reference in the film.
When Dash’s school teacher Mr. Kropp finds out Dash will be avoiding trouble for his actions once again, he declares “This little rat is guilty!” Amusingly voice Actor Lou Romano would later provide the voice for Linguini in Pixar’s Ratatouille (2007), a chef who would rise to fame due to his collaboration with a rat.

4. There are a two nods to the next Pixar movie Cars in the movie.
When Frozone and Mr. Incredible break into a building, you can see Red the Fire truck amongst the cop cars that arrived at the scene. During the final battle with the Omnidroid, Doc Hudson can be seen parked alongside the street. Originally Cars was supposed to debut before the Incredibles but due the film production being ahead of schedule, the release dates were changed.

5. There is a Kevin Smith reference in the film.
When Buddy first enters Mr. Incredible’s car, the hero stutters over remembering the boy’s real name and his first guess is “ Brodie”. The character Brodie Bruce is a character Jason Lee has played in several Kevin Smith films. It was his role as Azrael in Kevin Smith’s film Dogma (1999) that got him the role as Buddy Pine/Syndrome.


6. There is an insider Star Wars reference in the film.
The character “Mr. Sansweet”, the gentleman who sues Mr. Incredible for saving his life from his suicide attempt and sets events in motion leading to the ban of Superheroics, is an insider homage to Steve Sansweet, a Lucasfilm associate who takes care of all fan club and memorabilia aspects for the company. He appeared in an uncredited cameo in Star Wars: Episode I.


7. The actress for Violet was found on the radio.
Director Brad Bird was listening to Public Radio International and he heard Sarah Vowell speak on the PRI program “ This American Life”. He felt her voice was perfect for the role of Violet although she had never acted before. After Brad reached out to her about the role, Pixar animators animated one of her segments from “ This American Life” and sent it to her as further proof that she was right for the role


8. Edna Mode was based on a real costume designer.
The costume designer Edna Mode was based on Edith Head who worked as a studio costume designer on hundreds of movies for over more than fifty years and modeled after Linda Hunt in Ready to Wear (1994). Originally actress Lily Tomlin was considered for the voice of Edna but when she heard Brad Bird’s impression of the sassy designer on a temp track, she said “What do you need me for? You got it already.”

9. The Incredibles was Brad Bird’s first choice at Pixar
Director/Producer Jon Lasseter had approached director Brad Bird to work with Pixar in 1995 and later when he left 20th Century Fox. Bird turned him down both times, the latter since he had a contract with Warner Brothers to make The Iron Giant (1999). When Warner Bros. failed to properly promote this classic animated film, Bird finally agreed to join Pixar. At that time Lasseter was overjoyed and had only one request for Bird: make the film you’ve been dying to make. As Brad Bird had been sitting on the idea of an animated film about a family of superheroes for a decade, the film originally dubbed “The Invincibles” was his obvious choice.

10. Much of Syndrome was based on director Brad Bird
Whether he wanted to make a good first impression or didn’t want to repeat mistakes of the past, director Brad Bird drove his creative teams consistently to be as inventive as possible. He wanted greater attention to detail and characters than any other previous Pixar movie. His teams responded to his vision by filling the movie full of references and inside jokes especially when it came to the villain Syndrome whose character and facial features were based on those of the director.

11. The paper in Mr. Hugh’s hand isn’t what you thought, it was much worse.
When Bob Parr is called into his supervisor’s office, Mr. Hugh places his hand on a piece of paper that Bob’s reactions make us believe is a termination notice. Fortunately, it was not but unfortunately it was a memo to all the employees at Insuricare that they are now responsible for buying all of their office supplies. Their parking will also be metered by the hour and all the electricity they use during work hours will be deducted from their paychecks from now on. But according to the company, it has “recorded its highest profits in years.” Go team, indeed.

12. Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where it left off back in 2004
Although Syndrome was close to yelling “Too late! Fifteen years too late” considering how long it’s taken to get a sequel to The Incredibles, producer Jon Lasseter has said the film “starts right as the first one finishes, so it just carries on”. Incredibles 2 is the first follow up film from Pixar to do such a thing.

Honestly I can’t wait to see where the Incredibles family will go in this film. I have a feeling that it will be, as the kid in tricycle said, totally wicked. But NO CAPES!

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Why Marvel Doesn’t Need ANOTHER relaunch

Why Marvel Doesn’t Need ANOTHER relaunch

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018 in Home, News, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

Recently Marvel Comics has announced another word synonymous with reboot in the comic book world: relaunch. Marvel has yet again announced plans to revitalize its entire publishing line in May 2018 because Marvel: Legacy in 2017 was so long ago. These announcements came with this image drawn by long time Marvel artist Jim Cheung.

Marvel currently has been on a roller coaster this last year and it appears the hits just keep coming. Marvel: Legacy wasn’t quite the revitalization that DC: Rebirth was for DC Comics. Consistent low sales had them cancel several titles such as Gwenpool, Iceman, America Chavez and others despite those titles being popular amongst fans. Their new Editor-In-Chief C.B. Cebulski ran into a little controversy shortly after accepting the position. One of their staple and best selling writers left and signed a contract with DC Comics (there appears to be no bad blood there so good luck Bendis!) These are noticeable concerns but as a fan, they are just roots tracing up to the root of the real problems plaguing Marvel’s progress. This promo art while being a beautiful piece of artwork shows me more problems than solutions and leaves me with more doubt and questions than with a feeling of peaceful resolution and excitement.


First lets address the problems one can associate with the idea of a relaunch. The problem with relaunches is they constantly erase the work of others to appease fans who cling onto memories of the past. While its important for comic characters to evolve and change, what’s the point in testing new ground and pushing characters, some of which are older than our parents, into new territory just to have it erased a year or so later? We see several classic characters returning to the mainstream Marvel universe again. Apparently, death or dishonor are nothing The Hulk or Thor can’t shrug off. Iron Man has apparently awaken from his coma. The Punisher is no longer rocking War Machine’s old duds. The original Wolverine, not Old Man Logan, is back from the dead. Loki’s time as Sorcerer Supreme will be apparently short lived. It looks like now that Fox and Disney have made up, the Fantastic Four might be back. While its nice to see the gang all back together, seeing characters like Gambit, Venom, Ghost Rider’s Robbie Reyes and even the Defenders amongst the group are clearly tie-ins to their cinematic or television universes. Sometimes it feels like while the movies and television have opened up Marvel’s characters to greater audiences, that more time is spent keeping in line with those interpretations instead of focusing on the stories and characters themselves. It is exciting that Ant Man and the Wasp might be getting their own book or that Reyes’s Ghost Rider will be on the Avengers but is it enough to get the readers back?

Second, the real problem isn’t the relaunch, its how Marvel has been telling stories in the last few years. Great titles like Spider-Man (Miles Morales) and Ms. Marvel are three dimensional characters who earned their place in the Marvel universe but their stories get interrupted by issues tying into crossover/mega event stories. The last few crossover stories have not had the same reaction and resonance that previous Marvel crossovers had. Civil War II was a little underwhelming despite a good premise, Secret Empire was met with much controversy over Captain America and his allegiance with Hydra, and Marvel: Legacy was in some way overlooked with little to no impact. Sometimes these tie-ins are great stories because you see how current events in the Marvel Universe affect the characters within that series i.e. the Ms. Marvel tie-in with Civil War II was wonderful. But sometimes these tie-ins stories are unnecessary filler issues almost saying “Hey! I was here too when this thing was happening”! What they should do is take time away from crossovers and spend a year or two building up their characters with great storylines, stellar artwork and continue strengthening these characters who become pillars in their company.

When we mentioned the other classic characters remaining, what about Riri Williams who took over as Ironheart for Iron Man? Why is Iron First missing from the Defenders roster? What about Jane Foster, is she permanently off the Thor roster? Marvel creates these characters but despite the talent behind creating them, they sometimes feel more like replacements instead of legacies. They create these characters, Invest in good storylines and characterization but the moment the original pops back into the picture, well thank you and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I believe Ironheart has found a place with the Champions alongside other Marvel young heroes and I’m sure there are plans for the other characters I’ve mentioned but it’s not the character, it’s the first impression given upon introduction. A few of these characters that have appeared in the last few years seem less like natural characters evolving from the great tapestry that is the Marvel Universe and more like figureheads simply there to keep up with modern events. What better way to show you’re more progressive than but an even bigger focus on characters of different minorities, identities, or beliefs? Naturally such a change is welcome but if the execution is forced and fails to find its audience, the book will eventually be cancelled and then what was the point? I feel its important to be aware of current day politics and issues with the world but constantly adapting and trying to please people accomplishes nothing. It’s like the person who can never say no, eventually you get burned out from being so overextended with little to nothing to gain for yourself.

Instead of constantly flooding the market with relaunched number #1 issues, Marvel should find a point to start with their characters and just tell great stories like they have done and still do to this day. As a fan, I have enjoyed many Marvel series and have had the pleasure of telling those creators how much their stories excited and stimulated my imagination. I understand that comics are an investment and the rules of the game change constantly; what was hot one year could be cold turkey the next and it’s still a business overall. My concluding point would be that this “Fresh Start” as it’s been called tells us of new storylines, new creative teams and more for Marvel in 2018. But being the seventh Marvel relaunch since 2012 compared to DC Comics three relaunches since 2011, I sincerely hope this upcoming change heralds positive results for the House of Ideas. As always, time will tell even for superheroes.

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10 Facts about Superhero Films with African American Leads that you didn’t know

10 Facts about Superhero Films with African American Leads that you didn’t know

Posted by on Feb 20, 2018 in News, Opinion, Uncategorized

Black Panther is already gaining high praise and success mere days after its release but an odd statement has somehow attached itself to the Marvel movie’s publicity. Memes have lauded it as the first movie superhero movie with a black lead ever released which most are eager to correct for there have been a small but memorable legacy of such movies in the past. Whether they were awesome or awful, here’s some trivia about other African American superhero films you might not know.

Meteor Man (1993): The original ending of Meteor Man was intended to be a bit more optimistic and open-ended in a typical comic book fashion. Originally the depowered Jeff would find the confidence to stand up for himself and his community and use his status as a teacher to continue to better everyone’s life. Michael would approach him with the news that an even bigger piece of the meteor that gave him his powers was found in Arizona. They agree to buy plane tickets so Jeff could get his powers back and continue being Meteor Man. The film ends with Michael attempting to negotiate with Jeff into getting some powers for himself so he could be his sidekick throwing such names as Comet Boy, Chocolate Thunder and the Flying Wonder of which Jeff has no response. While I appreciated the honesty and good messages Meteor Man stood by, I don’t know if I could take a hero named Chocolate Thunder seriously in any sequel.

Blankman (1994): Although the film was very lighthearted and reminiscent of 1960s Batman, it was not received well by critics but it would receive a cult following over the years. At the time, star and co-writer Damon Wayans stated in interviews he was very proud of the film but later claimed that he should have done Handi-Man as a movie so he “would have made more than 5 million at the box office”. I still thought the clocks in the Hard Edition office set to Chicago, Hoboken NJ and Miller Time was funny.

Steel (1997): Writer/director Kenneth Johnson said in an interview that he originally wanted Wesley Snipes to play Steel, the film based on the DC Comics superhero of the same name, but Warner Brothers felt that casting Shaquille O’Neal would help sell more toys and merchandise. Considering that Steel made less in its entire theatrical run than Batman and Robin did in its opening weekend at that time shows Warner Bros still has something to learn about superhero films and their audiences. I mean they wasted Judd Nelson as the bad guy Nathaniel Burke on this one.

Spawn (1997): Michael Jai White thought the character of Al Simmons/Spawn was “the most tragic character I’ve encountered in any cinematic production” and welcomed the challenge to make the character sympathetic to audiences. He endured two to four hours of intense make up work to become Spawn which included a complete glued-on bodysuit, yellow contact lenses which consistently irritated his eyes, and a mask that restricted his breathing. He later said his martial arts experience helped him endure the painful prosthetics with “strong will and unbreakable concentration”. While the movie was decent, in my opinion they couldn’t have cast a better person to play Al Simmons/Spawn.

Blade (1998): Marvel creator and icon Stan Lee had a cameo that was unfortunately cut from the film. He had played one of the cops that had come inside the club after the blood rave aftermath and discover Quinn’s body still on fire. This of course was before Stan Lee cameo’s in Marvel movies became as common as Jon Ratzenberger’s cameos in Pixar movies. One would also remember that Wesley Snipes had become attached to the movie because he was in negotiations with Marvel to play Black Panther. As much as I would have been interested to see that, I still believe nobody could have played Blade better than Wesley Snipes.

Up, Up and Away! (2000): A lot of people grew up watching the Disney Channel and if you ask, some may even start rattling off the Disney Channel Original Movies that they remember (been there, done that). Before the Incredibles and Sky High ( which if you think about it, is the EXACT same movie just with a primarily Caucasian cast), there was the story of the Marshall’s, an African American family of famous superheroes and their son Scott who may be the only normal/depowered member of the family. Starring and directed by Meteor Man himself Robert Townsend, this coming of age and family superhero story took place in a world where all superheroes existed in the same universe and everybody’s weakness was aluminum foil. Yeah, let that sink in. Silly and predictable but it was a superhero film that anybody’s kids could enjoy.

Blade II (2002): Along with being Wesley Snipes favorite Blade movie, pop icon Michael Jackson was originally going to have a cameo in the House of Pain segment of the movie. He would have played a “Vampire Pimp” who would have been unpacking human entrails from a box in a room Nyssa walked in as she searched for Nomak and other Reapers in the upstairs hall. Unfortunately Michael had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts and the part was played by a Czech actor. The scene was cut out entirely for pacing reasons and is available as a deleted scene on the DVD.

(Dis) Honorable Mention- Catwoman (2004): They used a Bengal Cat in the film and Halle Berry loved it so much that she announced she was going to adopt it. Some media sources reported this but inaccurately described the 13 pound mixed breed as a tiger which caused the Fund for Animals to send the actress a nasty worded letter. Considering Halle Berry spent about ninety minutes daily for an entire week just to learn how to properly crack a whip, I’m sure they realized their mistake and let her keep the precious feline.

Blade Trinity (2004): An early idea by writer/director David S. Goyer had the final entry in the Blade Trilogy set many years after the events of Blade II where the vampires had achieved world domination and enslaved all of humanity. Blade would be the last hope of humanity having his vampire DNA helping to slow his aging and keeping him a legitimate threat to vampirekind. However the storyline was deemed too dark and dropped from consideration. Another moment to note that when Hannibal King tells Blade about the return of Dracula, he shows Blade an issue of Tomb of Dracula #55. The Tomb of Dracula was the 1970s series which introduced Blade and Hannibal King, both of those issues written by Marv Wolfman.

Hancock (2008): The original screenplay for Hancock was much darker than the final script. In addition to being a drunk and disorderly low-life, Hancock was supposed to be sexually frustrated because he couldn’t have sex with any woman without killing her during the process. A scene was approved detailing the… effects of his explosive orgasm but it was removed from the final cut because one of the test audiences did not find it funny. Imagine if they had kept that and if Dave Chappelle, who had been seriously considered for the role, had been Hancock instead.


Well that’s a wrap. Hopefully you enjoyed it, had a laugh or two, learned something and that there are more entries to add for this legacy in the near future. And on my closing note, this scene came to mind from Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy.

 

 

 

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10 Interesting Facts You Should Know about Black Panther (before or after seeing the movie)

10 Interesting Facts You Should Know about Black Panther (before or after seeing the movie)

Posted by on Feb 17, 2018 in News, Opinion, Uncategorized

Black Panther is finally in theaters and from what I’ve seen on my newsfeed and the internet, it is a gamechanger for Marvel and superhero movies in general. Admittedly I’ve never read much of the character but I love a good movie and Black Panther looks amazing just from the trailers alone. So I started doing research into Black Panther aka T’Challa, the King and protector of the fictional African nation Wakanda and here are ten things I came across that caught my attention, some of which really got me even more hyped for when I see the movie myself.

1. Before he was a Panther, he was a Tiger.
Before he debuted in Fantastic Four #52, co-creators Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were still figuring out the details for the character. This was Kirby’s original artwork for the character dubbed “ Coal Tiger”.

 

2. While undergoing a rite of passage, he met and fell in love with a future superhero
In Marvel Team-Up #100, T’Challa was undergoing a Wakandian rite of passage necessary to becoming the Black Panther when he came across men who sought to capture him and return him to South Africa. He was saved by a teenage orphan named Ororo Monroe who used her elemental powers to save him. They would reconnect years later when he was the Black Panther and she was Storm of the Uncanny X-Men. While they admitted feelings for each other but the opportunity had passed, their relationship would grow throughout the years.

3. Black Panther invited the Fantastic Four to Wakanda just to fight them as a test for himself.
In T’Challa’s first published appearance in Fantastic Four #52-53, the king invited the famous super family to Wakanda and then decided to engage them in combat. Although he was outnumbered, he successfully managed to neutralize them individually. The entire ordeal was a test for himself to see if he was ready to face his enemy Ulysses Klaw, a physicist and adventurer who had murdered T’Challa’s father in cold blood. He would later make up with the team and become a valued ally to the Fantastic Four.

4. A Black Panther story was Marvel’s first graphic novel.
In Jungle Action #6- 18, the story arc titled “Panther’s Rage” which detailed Wakanda during a revolution against T’Challa who left his self-imposed exile in the United States to return to his home country was the first comic at that time that had a beginning, middle and end. Writer Don McGregor and artists Rich Buckler, Gil Kane, and Billy Graham helped to pioneer something that would become common in the comic book industry: The self-contained, multi-issue story arc.

5. The controversial story where Black Panther fought the Klu Klux Klan was (technically) never finished.
In Jungle Action #19-24, writer Don McGregor and his artistic team had T’Challa travel to Southern America where he battles racism and prejudice in the form of the infamous Klu Klux Klan. It was a ballsy storyline and the subject was controversial for the 1970s America which was still wrestling with such issues. The series itself was cancelled with issue #24 and the storyline was abandoned mid-story. Fortunately, Black Panther was relaunched with Jack Kirby and “Panther vs. The Klan” was picked up as a subplot in Black Panther #14-15 and eventually concluded in Marvel Premiere #51-53. However, the conclusion was not written by McGregor but by writer Ed Hannigan. The original conclusion of “Panther vs. The Klan” was never completed although layouts had been completed for the issue.

6. Everett K. Ross was one of the main reasons Christopher Priest wrote Black Panther in 2008
Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira’s run on Black Panther is considered one of the best and in the series, State Department attorney Evert Ross, played by actor Martin Freeman on the big screen, is an important character throughout Priest’s run. He felt that Black Panther had been misused since his creation and “ I realized I could use Ross to bridge the gap between the African culture that the Black Panther mythos is steeped in and the predominantly white readership Marvel sells to”, clarifying that “ his stream of conscious narrative is a window into things I imagine many whites say or at least think when no blacks are around; myths about black culture and behavior.”

7. T’Challa is not the only person to have worn the Black Panther mantle.
At one point, T’Challa met a future version of himself who was stricken with a terminal brain aneurysm to the point where he was placed in cryogenic stasis. When T’Challa in the present discovers he now has a brain aneurysm, he succumbed to bouts of instability and insanity. When his condition almost instigated tribal warfare, he relinquished his power to his council and disappeared to later end up in New York. In New York, he would eventually mentor multiracial police officer Kasper Cole who used a spare Black Panther costume to continue his legacy. His role of a mentor gave T’Challa the strength to overcome his illness, reclaim the title of Black Panther and even return as an active member of the Avengers. Kasper would eventually take on another legacy as the White Tiger before working with T’Challa on his own individual hero identity. T’Challa’s sister Shuri would also be trained and earned the mantle of the Black Panther while T’Challa was left comatose and attempted to recover from his injuries and the eventual loss of his powers. When his powers returned, he would return as the Black Panther.
  

8. At one point, Marvel tried changing his name to Black Leopard
Marvel wanted to distance the character of Black Panther from the Black Panther Party which gained prominence in the 1970s and beginning with his guest appearance in Fantastic Four #119, they tried to change his name to Black Leopard. When asked about it in the comics, T’Challa said “I contemplate a return to your country, Ben Grimm, where the latter term has political connotations. I neither condemn nor condone those who have take up the name, but T’Challa is a law unto himself. Hence, the new name- a minor point, at best, since the panther is a leopard.” However, this change did not last long.


9. T’Challa and Storm eventually married but their marriage has been annulled.
After years of occasionally working together, T’Challa proposed to Ororo Monroe after helping her reunite with her surviving family in the United States and Africa. They were married in Black Panther #18 in an enormous Wakandan ceremony attended by many of Marvel’s superheroes. Together the couple would embark on a less-than-stellar diplomatic tour, fight alongside Captain America in Civil War, temporarily fill in for Reed Richards and Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four and supported each other in their individual struggles as Black Panther and in the X-Men. Unfortunately, during the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, Storm chose to side with the X-Men instead of alongside the Avengers with her husband. The city of Wakanda would be destroyed by a Phoenix-powered Namor and when Storm returned to help, T’Challa sternly informed her that their marriage had been annulled. They have remained separated despite T’Challa stating that he still thinks of her as his Queen.

10. T’Challa’s role in Captain America: Civil War was supposed to be much smaller
Originally T’Challa wasn’t even supposed to appear in costume as the writers had intended for more of the focus to be on Spider-Man and save Black Panther’s origin for an solo movie. But when it looked like Marvel wouldn’t get the permission from Sony to use the character, Black Panther’s role was increased significantly. Eventually they found out they could use Spider-Man but by then T’Challa and Black Panther had become so integral to the movie’s plot that the writers decided to leave it and give Spider-Man the smaller role that would be expanded in future movies.

Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article and enjoyed seeing the film in theaters whenever you got/get the chance. I’ll make sure to send you the link to my upcoming mixtape later.

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SOURCE MATERIAL – The Justice League Movie

SOURCE MATERIAL – The Justice League Movie

Posted by on Nov 27, 2017 in Home, News, Opinion, Source Material

By Drew Mollo

SPOILER ALERT  (Fair warning if you haven’t watched the movie)

I just saw Justice League recently and honestly I enjoyed most of it. Sure there were certain things about it I wasn’t fond of or things that are more results of the well-publicized re-shoots but that’s not what this article is about. This was a comic book movie and upon watching the film I could see elements that were inspired by DC Comics story arcs about the famous superteam. So if you enjoyed the film and you’d like to read stories to give you an idea of what happened or who the heck Steppenwolf was, I recommend you checking these out.

1. Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee: The comic series that basically ushered in the New 52 in 2011 tells a new origin story of how the team got together set five years in the past. Batman is chasing a Parademon and runs into Green Lantern. After the creature explodes, they decide to ask Superman before they all realize these creatures are merely scouts for a bigger invasion. Meanwhile, a Mother Box provided by the Flash decides to go haywire in S.T.A.R. Labs around the same time Silas Stone is having an argument with his son Victor. When the Mother Box opens a Boom Tube full of Parademons, the explosion mutilates Victor’s body while fusing it with all sorts of alien technology (thus eventually making him into Cyborg). The appearance of Parademons attracts the attention of Wonder Woman and later Aquaman as well. The heroes battle back the Parademons and eventually their master, the Lord of Apokolips known as Darkseid. The film had many references to this storyline especially with the use of Parademons, Mother Box’s, and even a direct reference to the evil God himself but its primary influence was that the upcoming invasion was catalyst for getting the Justice League together.

2. Jack Kirby’s the Fourth World: Created by legendary writer/artist Jack Kirby in the 1970s, Kirby imagined a group of entities he called the New Gods who lived on two separate planets. The Gods in New Genesis lived in an idyllic paradise ruled by the Highfather and the Gods in Apokolips suffered in a mechanical polluted dystopia ruled by the tyrant Darkseid. Once beings of a single world, these two worlds were constantly in conflict over Darkseid’s quest to find the Anti-Life Equation which would gain him complete control of all living beings thoughts which was opposed by Highfather and his forces. Although it was intended to be limited series, Kirby’s characters were so successful that DC Comic’s eventually had them interact with other well-known superheroes. Darkseid and his forces including his son Kalibak and his uncle Steppenwolf would become foes of Superman and the Justice League and other New Gods like Orion or Mister Miracle would become allies and eventually members of the Justice League. Characters like Steppenwolf, Parademons, Darkseid and others would not exist if not for the incredible imagination of Jack Kirby. Although Steppenwolf was the main villain and Darkseid was only mentioned in Justice League, the fact that Steppenwolf and his ravenous Parademons were teleported away instead of destroyed suggest this war is far from over.

3. The Return of Superman by Gerard Jones, Dan Jurgens, Karl Kesel, Jerry Ordway, Louise Simonson and Roger Stern : After Superman was killed by Doomsday, the world mourned their loss and eventually four new characters appeared all claiming to be Superman. As the multiple Superman comics explored and played with the idea that one of them could be a new Superman, it was revealed that Superman’s body was taken by the Kryptonian robot called The Eradicator and placed in a regeneration matrix. While the four Supermen’s identities were revealed, the original Superman emerged alive although greatly depowered. When he revealed his presence and helped the other Supermen fight Cyborg Superman and Mongul who destroyed Coast City, he revealed his true identity to Lois Lane by referencing something only the true Clark Kent would know. After they defeated the villains, Superman’s powers had returned and he used the black Kryptonian battlesuit that had earlier protected him to fashion a new take on Superman’s traditional costume. While some of his powers were the same or stronger than before, Return of Superman is also famously known for giving Superman the mullet that he was portrayed with for most of the 1990s until his wedding to Lois Lane in 1996. Its central influence to Justice League was the idea of using Kryptonian technology among General Zod’s ship along with the Mother Box to revive Superman body to help unite the League and give them an advantage against Steppenwolf and his forces. Thankfully Superman’s mullet did not translate over to the big screen and remained an unfortunate comic book footnote.

Considering DC Comic’s track record over the last few years, I can more than understand everyone’s skepticism and debate over this film. While it’s not fair to compare it to other comic book team films like Marvel’s The Avengers, I thought the film established these characters and had them work together against a common enemy. Hopefully plot threads and questions for some of these characters can be answered in any of the upcoming solo films so I hope you enjoyed the film and if you didn’t, hey at least it wasn’t as bad as Batman vs. Superman, right?

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