11 May

Page to Screen May 2015

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Here are my rankings for movies & TV based on comic books that were produced in 2015.

 

 

 

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Fans are always asking for movies that feel like watching a comic book come to life. Well, this movie provides that feeling in spades. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s the most comic book of any comic book movie, ever.

2. Daredevil (Netflix season 1)
Where AoU was a flawed but fun adaptation, Daredevil was a nearly perfect example of how to integrate comic book characters and stories into a more believable world. This series was possibly the most well-written comic book adaptation ever.

3. The Walking Dead (season 5)
The second half of season 5 saw Rick Grimes and crew return to civilization in a way that made them and us consider the possibility that living a nomadic and barbaric life might actually be the best way to survive. The show took time to breath and explore both its characters and its central themes of survival and family. It’s still the most mature comic book adaptation in many ways.

4. Agent Carter (season 1)
Benefiting from a series limited to only 8 episodes, Agent Carter was able to pour all of its writing, ideas, and fabulous 1940’s nostalgia into a neat little package. Peggy Carter is the most likable hero in the MCU other than the good Captain himself, and this series was a great vehicle for her. It wasn’t a perfect show, but it was very good and it left me wanting more.

5. Agents of Shield (season 2)
Season 2 of AoS has been much more consistent than season 1, with far fewer filler episodes, but it still falls short of other adaptations in the writing and visual departments especially when compared to its sister show, Agent Carter. Still, it gives us a weekly dose of the MCU and does so with likable characters who struggle and evolve over the course of each season. It doesn’t provide many great moments, but it does provide a heaping helping of good ones, and very few bad ones. (Edit: The season 2 finale was bonkers and provides several great moments that viewers will be talking about all summer. #Donttakefishoil, #FitzSimm….oh, #SecretAvengers)

6. Constantine (season 1)
Like many shows, Constantine got off to a slow start but was carried along by the charisma of its lead actor. In this case Matt Ryan played the smarmy, good-for-nothing, anti-hero known as John Constantine about as well as one could on network TV. This TV version is a bastard with a heart of gold, whereas the comic book version is just a bastard. Unfortunately, by the time the show caught up with the character there were already rumors that it wouldn’t be back for a season 2. Hopefully it gets renewed somewhere because it was just hitting its stride creatively near the end.

7. The Flash (season 1)
Season 1 has been a blur (boo! yes I went there!) and has included way more story and lore than any one season of a show has a right to include. So far we’ve been introduced to a cross-over with Arrow, Metahumans, FireStorm, The Atom, The Rogues, Reverse Flash, time travel, and Gorilla Grod. Even Agents of SHIELD didn’t move that fast in season 1. This fast-paced storytelling has managed to cram a lot of comic book goodness into one season, but at times I find myself needing a break and skipping an episode or two before I get back into the series. It’s the same problem I had with the first few seasons of Arrow, so it’s no surprise this show is produced by the same people. While Flash is one of the best offering from DC in 2015, it still has a ways to go before it competes with any of the Marvel shows.

8. Teen Titans Go! (Animated)
I can’t say that I watch this show very often, or that I like it as much as other Teen Titan cartoons, but it is consistently delightful and probably the best animated comic book property still being produced.

9. Gotham (season 1)
Season 1 was a real roller coaster of emotions for me as the show had the potential to be very good but consistently fell short of that mark. Gotham gave us a few strong episodes but also too many weak ones. The writing and characterization on this show fell short in many ways, particularly when compared to a show like Daredevil. Daredevil showed how to include campy and complex comic book lore into a TV show with finesse and sophistication, whereas Gotham used ham-fisted cameos and on-the-nose writing whenever faced with its own Batman lore. The worst offense for Gotham came during the season finale when I realized that after 22 episodes none of the characters actually changed or became anything more than what they were at the beginning of the show.

10. Arrow (season 3)
Hoo boy. This is the most wildly inconsistent comic book show on TV. Some episodes are good, some are bad, a few are better than good, and too many are terrible. The characters go through wild mood swings for improbable reasons and it too often resembles a daytime soap opera more than a superhero show. I like the Arrow as a character, and the actor who plays him, but the supporting cast is too inconsistently written and the plots have too many holes for me to keep watching every week.

11. iZombie (Season 1)
It seems like a nice show, but honestly I haven’t given it much of a chance. The first problem with it is that it’s not a comic that I’m familiar with. Secondly, it’s on at the exact same time as AoS and I typically watch my shows in real-time. Finally, and this may be the most petty complaint, I don’t like seeing the main character eat brains. No matter how she tries to dress them up with real food, it still turns my stomach.

12. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015, animated)
I was not impressed by this animated offering in the slightest. The animation was fine, but not great, and same can be said for the voice acting, but the dialog and characterizations were incredibly disappointing. The versions of the DC characters in this adaptation were all of the worst versions of the characters. I actually got so frustrated with them that I cut this movie off after about 30 minutes.

13. Powers (PSN season 1)
I only watched the pilot episode, but was so disappointed in what I saw that I didn’t bother exploring how to find the other episodes. The writing, acting, and overall look of the show was not very good and I was particularly disappointed in the production values of the sets. The leading man, played by Sharlto Copley, seemed compelling, but he just couldn’t prop up the entire production.

 

Properties I did not watch in 2015:
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Ultimate Spider-Man (Animated)
Avengers Assemble (Animated)
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (Animated)

20 Oct

C.C. Show Notes Ep. 9

community

For the week of October 20th 2014.

 

Podcast RSS

 

· This Week’s Comic News:

-Marvel’s Civil War
(Variety.com)
It’s been confirmed that Robert Downey Jr. is going to have a large role in Captain America 3. This is fueling speculation that Marvel will bring their infamous Civil War storyline to the big screen.

Also fueling the Civil War speculation was an announcement on Monday Oct 13th from Marvel that they have plans to reboot the Civil War comic book miniseries in 2015, which, if true, will help introduce the story to new readers leading up to “Captain America 3.”

The original Civil War series was published in 2006, so it seems a bit soon to me, but if Marvel reboots their whole universe as is also speculated, then they can re-do any stories they want.

-DC Film Slate Released:
(deadline.com 10/15/2014)
On Weds Oct 15th, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed that there are “at least” 10 DC comic films planned through the year 2020.

Here’s the rundown:
The releases will kick off with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” in 2016 as expected, but it was also confirmed that a “Suicide Squad” film will be released in 2016 as well.

2017 brings “Wonder Woman” — with Gal Gadot reprising her “Batman v Superman” role — and also in 2017 is a standalone “Justice League” film, Starring Gadot, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill.

In 2018, the studio plans to two individual films, “The Flash” starring Ezra Miller (Not Grant Gustin from TV’s Flash) and also an “Aquaman,” film with Jason Momoa who was officially confirmed to star.

2019 slates the previously reported “Shazam” film and a “Justice League” sequel.

2020 will consist of “Cyborg” and a new “Green Lantern” film.

Finally, a tweet from Warner Bros. on the 15th stated that more Superman and Batman movies are on the way outside of the plan revealed by Tsujihara.

· Comics Worth Reading:

Death of Wolverine #4 (Marvel)
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Steve McNiven
We finally find out how Wolverine dies, and he dies from whiplash because the story moves so fast it kills him. I seriously felt like I missed an issue between #3 & #4, and that’s exactly what happened. Except, I didn’t miss it, Marvel just forgot to write, draw and publish the issue.

The “death” is certainly unfulfilling as I was unclear on who this mysterious doctor was that wanted so badly to kill Wolverine. Ok, so he “created” wolverine by giving him his adamantium skeleton and now he wants a do-over with all new Weapon X’s.

Fine. I do understand that much, but this whole story arc left me with one big question. Why do I care? Wolverine didn’t die doing something important. he died basically trying to save his own skin. Sure, made a tiny heroic sacrifice at the end, but it wasn’t enough for me to care.

Anyway, it’ll all be moot in 6 months when he’s back and it felt like he never actually left. On a final note, I will say that the art by Steve McNiven is some of the best that Marvel has to offer. So, there was that to care about.

Original Sin Annual #1 (Marvel)
STORY BY: Jason Latour (Winter Soldier 2013, Wolverine & the X-Men 2014)
ART BY: Enis Cisic (Newcomer)
This is an interesting story that stretches the limits of Marvel’s continuity by showing us that the 616 Earth has had powerful defenders dating back before Captain America or any other superhero that we know of.

Known as “The Men on the Wall” these heroes inexplicably had advanced technology such as rocket ships, laser guns, and moon bases, going back as far as the early 1900’s. There job was to be a secret force protecting Earth from hostile aliens.They did tis job well, but eventually they were killed off by alien agents one by one until there was only one man left.

If you’ve been reading the entire Original Sin storyline then you know who the last Man on the Wall eventually is, but this is more the story of the people who came before him.

Overall, I liked this comic. It was a fun stand-alone story, as any good Annual issue should be, and because of that I could figure out what was going on even though I only had a vague idea about what’s happening in the rest of Original Sin.

Wild’s End #2 (Boom!)
Writer: Abnett, Dan
Artist: Culbard, I. N. J.
Cover Artist: Culbard, I. N. J.
The cuteness and charm of the characters in this story makes for real fear in the reader when those same characters are faced with danger and  death posed by mechanical alien invaders.

Doomboy Vol. 1 HC (Magnetic Press)
Writer: Sandoval, Tony (Illustrator)
Artist: Sandoval, Tony
Cover Artist: Sandoval, Tony
This is a heartfelt story about love and loneliness, with a bit of mysticism thrown in to serve as a metaphor for things that people feel but can’t quite describe.
More on Doomboy next week!

·Topic of the Week:

Concerning Digital Comics:

Questions are:

• Do you read them? Why or why not?
Yes. I just recently started reading them because of Randy, actually. When I saw all the comics he had on his tablet and how convenient it was for him to just pull up any old issue from his collection, I wanted to get in on that.

• Are they good or bad for comics?
I think they’re good for comics. They give people another way to read them and can serve as advertising for the medium as a whole. I know several people who came back to comics because of the APPS installed on their phones and tablets allowed them to collect comics without the need for long boxes or trips to the book store.

• How do you acquire them/read them?
I buy DRM free through Humble Bundle & download my copies from Marvel to read on my Samsung Galaxy 10 tablet.

• How could the industry do them better?
I think more companies could do what Marvel does and put “free” digital copies in their floppies. This gets people used to the idea of digital and also helps them send free copies to a friend to get them interested.

• Should the price be same or less than print?
It seems like it should be less, because the price of printing seems higher than digital, but maybe all the fees to apple and the cost of the technology is as much as print. But it would be nice and I think more effective at gaining a larger audience if the price of all digital comics was the same as digital music. ($0.99- $1.99)

· This Week’s Highlights:

Goners #1 (Image)
Writer: Semahn, Jacob
Artist: Corona, Jorge
Cover Artist: Corona, Jorge
‘WE ALL FALL DOWN,’ Part One From the colonization of Roanoke to the Cold War, the world famous Latimer Family has been humanity’s lone defense against paranormal horrors for centuries…until tonight. A deadly assault on the lineage forces an unprepared brother and sister to solve their parents’ murder while trying to escape the grim landscape of horrors that stalk the children themselves.
TMNT Ghostbusters #1 (IDW)
Writer: Burnham, Erik
Artist: Schoening, Dan
Cover Artist: Schoening, Dan
When a new invention goes haywire, the Turtles are sent to a whole new type of New York City. One with a whole lot more ghosts… and Ghostbusters! The two teams will have to learn to get along quickly, because a new foe from the Turtles past has followed them and aims to conquer NYC!
Predator Fire and Stone #1 (Dark Horse)
Writer: Williamson, Joshua
Artist: Mooneyham, Chris
Cover Artist: Brown, Dan
As the Perses begins her long journey home, a deadly stowaway forces the crew into a savage conflict! While the crew defend themselves against this unseen predator, the hunter itself stalks a much more substantial game!

· Panelist Goodbye:

You can find me at zebunation.com. Also at Trollthedice.com for everyone’s favorite Dungeons & Dragon’s podcast.