Man is dressed as Green Lantern at his wake

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Cosplay AFTER death? Yes.

Puerto Rican man Renato Garcia was all with respiratory problems, and then he found a Green Lantern costume in a box of clothing. He spent his last few weeks wearing it around his hometown. When he passed away, at age 50, his sister decided to dress him in the costume for his wake.

As lugubrious as this story sounds, dressing people in unusual way from life is a Puerto Rican tradition, so it has cultural validation. And you know, a lot of people are inspired by Green Lantern.

Photo by Ricardo Arduengo for the AP

Preview: The Multiversity: Mastermen teams up Grant Morrison and Jim Lee for the second time

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The Multiversity has easily been among the best of DC Comics’ output since it debuted last August, and with each succeeding issue, it keeps getting better and better. Embracing everything that is weird and wonderful about the DC Universe has made it an utterly unique experience, with its most recent Guidebook issue even being hailed by Robot 6 as the “most DC Comic ever”.

Despite lots of critical acclaim that has it standing shoulder to shoulder with other great superhero comics like Ms. Marvel, the one thing that Morrison’s opus hasn’t quite done is rack up massive sales. They’ve been moderately successful, but slowly diminishing to where Thunderworld sold just under 48,000 copies (and the Guidebook selling under 39,000 per Comichron)

But if there’s one creator that can spike sales with some level of frequency, it’s Jim Lee. He’ll teaming up with Morrison for next week’s Mastermen, which focuses on the Nazi Justice League ruled Earth 10 and the Freedom Fighters.

Via Buzzfeed, here’s a preview of the upcoming issue:

THE MULTIVERSITY: MASTERMEN #1
Written by GRANT MORRISON
Art and cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:10 B&W Variant cover by JIM LEE
1:25 Variant cover by AARON KUDER
1:50 Variant cover by YANICK PAQUETTE
1:100 Variant cover by GRANT MORRISON
On sale FEBRUARY 18 • 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US • RATED T
Superstar writer Grant Morrison joins legendary artist Jim Lee on Earth-10 for one of the most dynamic, action-packed issues of this entire world-shattering series – THE MULTIVERSITY: MASTERMEN!
Imagine a world where the Nazis not only won World War II but went on to direct world culture for the next 60 years with the help of an orphaned, alien super-weapon known as Overman! But hope is not lost! Rising from the ashes of oppression are a diverse band of heroes raging against the fascist regime – a band of heroes known as THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS!
What nightmarish parallel worlds haunt the dreams of Overman? Who is the mysterious figure called Uncle Sam? And when the dust settles, will the actions of Phantom Lady, Black Condor, Human Bomb, Doll Man and The Ray be enough to stop Leatherwing, Blitzen and the other “heroes” of Earth-X?
Learn all this and more in this exciting issue that acts as chapter seven of the critically acclaimed MULTIVERSITY storyline

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Report: Joel Kinnaman may replace Tom Hardy in Suicide Squad

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Per The Wrap, Warner Bros may finally be on the verge of casting a new Rick Flagg for their super-villain establishing feature Suicide Squad.

According to their report, the studio is looking at Robocop remake star Joel Kinnaman to step into the role recently vacated by Tom Hardy. Hardy left the production citing scheduling concerns with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant and his upcoming promotional work for Mad Max: Fury Road. Though, there have been some reports that Hardy was also unhappy with his amount of screen-time in David Ayer‘s film.

Regardless, the studio is moving forward and it sounds like they’re on Plan C right now, as Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t pan out either.

Kinnaman is a capable enough actor and given how the role has apparently shrunk a good deal since the casting of Jared Leto as the Joker, a less big name probably makes sense here.

If he signs up for the film, he’ll be joining Leto, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevigne as Enchantress, and potentially Viola Davis as Amanda Waller.

Suicide Squad is scheduled to open on August 5, 2016.

 

Can a fan-led branding campaign save Constantine?

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When people talk about saving John Constantine, usually it’s a hopeless task, as the scouser magician’s soul has long been consigned to hell for his many sins on earth. But another campaign to save Constantine is under way—and this time it’s fans attempting to keep his TV show going past a 13 episode commitment despite middling ratings.

Arrested Development has plans for a fifth season on Netflix, Twin Peaks will see you on Showtime twenty-five years from the 1991 series finale, and Yahoo Screen will bring Community closer to its promise of #sixseasonsandamovie, airing new episodes this spring. It’s a golden age of fan campaigns with the ability to resurrect dead and mostly-dead shows with measurably vocal fan bases. It’s a golden age fans of NBC’s Constantine are counting on, as the last of the series’ 13 episode initial run airs this Friday, February 13 at 10pm. The network has halted any further production on the show, prompting fans to organize on Twitter and Facebook under the hashtag #saveconstantine in support of its renewal — whether on NBC or another network entirely.

Fan campaigns to save television shows are nothing new, with the late sixties fan campaign to save the Star Trek original series largely credited as the first of its kind. Still, there does seem to be a trend in the growing power of fan campaigns to have an impact on programming, even those who represent much smaller audience shares than the high-profile efforts of yesteryear, prompting fledgling networks to pick up where network and even cable channels have left off.

Constantine - Season 1

So what does all this mean for fans of Constantine, starring Matt Ryan as trench-coated demon hunter John Constantine? Do they feel a campaign to save the show, based on the long-running DC/Vertigo series Hellblazer, has a better chance of being saved now than it would have 10 years ago? “They definitely are more successful — especially with social networking being the way it is,” said Breanna Conklin, who has been active in the campaign to #saveconstatine since NBC confirmed in late November they would stop production on the series. “I am in a few nerd groups on facebook. You’re able to spread the word to like minded folks and your friends within a few seconds. Social media gives awareness that wasn’t available to us ten years ago.”

The #saveconstantine effort began to gain momentum when a slick-looking website, saveconstantine.com, went up in December. In addition to links to the petition and fan communities, saveconstantine.com offers a detailed description of the importance of the recently introduced Twitter TV ratings model from newly-formed group, Nielsen Social. An off-shoot of the more traditional Nielsen ratings, Nielsen Social “identifies, captures and analyzes conversation on Twitter in real time for every program aired across over 250 of the most popular U.S. television networks, including Spanish language networks, as well as over 1,500 brands” according to the company website.

The challenge for Constantine fans is to ensure that their awareness of the need to campaign for the continued life of the series is leveraged in a way that speaks both to NBC and their advertisers. It’s not enough to simply prove there’s interest in Constantine from the hallowed 18-49 age demographic; advertisers need to ensure that ad placements can actually have an impact on that demographic. As television consumption proliferates on an increasingly diverse group of content platforms, strong same-day viewing ratings don’t necessarily show advertisers that their ads will be seen instead of fast-forwarded on a DVR viewing post-broadcast.

It’s a challenge the organizers of the #saveconstantine effort hope to meet by being better educated on the increasingly complex world of network tv ad buys. “It’s a big group effort,” said Allison Gennaro, one of the campaigns many organizers. A fan of the Hellblazer comics, Gennaro became involved in the campaign upon hearing “NBC had capped the airing to just 13 [episodes],” which she took to mean the show was “in trouble” but also that the “ratings might not be meeting the NBC demo of choice.” Hoping to convince NBC not to cancel the series, the #saveconstantine organizers publicized a petition for the show to get a second season across social media platforms in late November. The petition cites a “38% bump in the ratings and an 87% viewer retention rating (after Grimm) with the introduction of The Spectre” as evidence of the viability of the series which currently boasts over 20,000 signatures.

The description on saveconstantine.com explains the impact live tweeting Constantine episodes can have on the Twitter TV ratings. The site believes the live tweets “denote that a show has a consistent and loyal audience,” and may show advertisers they “are being rewarded for their investment in the network…so if you want to save Constantine, please watch, tell your friends, and tweet.” Gennaro cultivated a group of Constantine fans through a mailing list to help push the #saveconstantine hashtag and live tweet campaign. “We even threw Friday night twitter parties before the show to trend and gain attention,” she said.

Fan campaigns of the past relied on letter writing, placing ads in trade magazines like Variety, even buying billboards to plead for their respective shows. While Constantine fans have also employed letter writing and email to NBC executives in this campaign, their informed approach in targeting advertisers and leveraging their consumer power is in step with more recently successful ‘save our show’ campaigns. In 2009, Wendy Farrington began a campaign to save another NBC series with supernatural overtones: Chuck. Her game-changing approach acknowledged the fact that the show enjoyed better ratings on off-network viewing platforms and galvanized fans of the series to support a major advertiser of the show, Subway.

According to a 2014 article by Christina Savage for Transformative Works and Cultures, which examined fan-run ‘save our show’ campaigns, on the day of Chuck’s season finale hundreds of fans went to their local Subway and bought a $5 foot-long sandwich featured on the series via product placement. They then left behind comment cards explaining their purchase was in support of Chuck. Savage explained that by “focusing on Chuck as a business transaction, fans used their knowledge of the industry” to support their effort. Shortly thereafter, NBC ordered 13 more episodes of the series. Savage wrote: “co-chairman of NBC Ben Silverman said that this campaign was one of the most creative he had seen, and as a result, Subway would increase its presence within the show.”

John Constantine may not eat at Subway, but fans of the demon exorcist are invoking similar brand marketing powers with their #saveconstantine efforts. Only this time, the fans themselves are the product. By targeting Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings specifically, Constantine fans “become valuable social ambassadors for programmers and advertisers alike as they amplify content and messaging through their social spheres,” Nielsen Social wrote in a an article posted in September. But will it be enough to push NBC to order another season of Constantine? Could it make the show attractive enough to warrant a rumored move to sister-network Syfy, which has released several high-profile interviews with network executives seeking to return the channel to it’s Sci-fi/fantasy genre roots? NBC president Jennifer Salke told IGN in January that “we wish the show [Constantine] had done better live. It has a big viewership after [it airs] in all kinds of ways and it has a younger audience, but the live number is challenging.”

We spoke with Dr. Balaka Basu, a professor specializing in pop culture and fan studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte about the viability of the type of campaign #saveconstantine is waging. “Campaigns helped to save Chuck and Roswell, and gave Firefly fans closure in the less-than-successful Serenity,” she said. “ I think the key was demonstrating an understanding of how television economy works. With Chuck, for instance, fans literally gave their monetary support to the chain sandwich shop Subway…this demonstrates a comprehension of the relationship between advertisers and television producers.”

Fans like Miguel Gonzalez Cabañas, who lives in Madrid, show the global reach of the #saveconstantine fan efforts. He calls Constantine “the best series with a paranormal plot” on television. He, along with Allison, Breanna and the thousands of other fans who make up the campaign to #saveconstantine will be redoubling their efforts tonight: tweeting their support for the show before, during and after the season finale. But beyond the comic book fanbase, beyond charismatic lead Matt Ryan or the show’s arcane mythology: what is it about Constantine, or any other fan-campaigned series, that produces this kind of fan advocacy? “Whether it’s a show like Constantine, where many fans came into the show already in love with the character,” says Dr. Basu, “or shows like Buffy and Angel, where they were allowed to fall in love over the duration of the show, it’s really when the characters feel like real people that you don’t want your relationship with them to end, ever. And that’s been true since the days of Star Trek.”

 

Entertainment Round-Up: Suicide Squad, Deadpool, and Sam Hamm Returns!

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It’s almost the end of the week, so let’s gather up a few more of today’s entertainment headlines:

– While on the press circuit promoting their new film, Focus, Will Smith and Margot Robbie discussed with USA Today the casting situation with the now-vacant Rick Flagg role in David Ayer‘s Suicide Squad:

Robbie: This happens all the time. People act like, ‘Oh my god, the movie must be ending!’ It’s just the deal with movies.” Not to mention “a lot of the characters haven’t been portrayed before so it’s a pretty big undertaking. And it’s a big undertaking for the people who are going to play the characters who have been played, like the Joker (to be played by Jared Leto). It’s big shoes to fill.

Smith:  Ayer “turned the screenplay in before Christmas. What happens is Hollywood shuts down. But he was still working and he wanted to (start shooting) April 13th. So it takes a couple weeks to gear back up at the top of the year and people have taken (other) movies. He’s moving really quickly.

A few days ago, Umberto Gonzalez over at Latino-Review stated on Twitter that the Rick Flagg casting may be announced this week. We still have a day to go, so it’s possible that we may see some resolution there. I’m going to throw my money on Joel Edgerton, but it’s probably just because I just saw Zero Dark Thirty again on FX last night.

Ryan Reynolds took to twitter today and celebrated being one year out from the release of 2016’s Deadpool, teasing fans with the mask that will be used in the upcoming film:

 

The fact that they’re even using a mask is cause for some celebration.

– It’s been some time since Sam Hamm had last been on the scene. The Tim Burton Batman, Monkeybone, and one-time Watchmen screenwriter’s most recent on-screen credit was for an episode of Masters of Horror about ten years ago. That all changes today, as Viz Entertainment has announced that Hamm will be adapting Sayuri Ueda‘s short story The Street of Fruiting Bodies, which originated in the Phantasm Japan anthology, into a feature-length film. That anthology, it’s worth noting, comes from the same imprint (Viz Media’s Haikasoru) as All You Need Is Kill, which was eventually adapted into last year’s Edge of Tomorrow.

Viz describes the story in detail:

The Street of Fruiting Bodies depicts the sudden spread of a mysterious and lethal species of hallucinogenic mushroom. The infestation is deadly, but it also offers visions of deceased loved ones to the infected, hinting at the reality of an afterlife, or at least a new kind of existence that is beyond human comprehension.

Hamm elaborates on the project:

Ueda creates a world in which the most profound human emotions – love, grief, longing, and hope – can lead to one’s salvation or one’s undoing, and the true horror is that it may be impossible to tell the difference. ‘The Street of Fruiting Bodies’ is not only disturbing, it is moving.

– Lastly, do you have $375 bucks to spare? Then you can be the owner of this pretty stunning looking Ultron Figure from Hot Toys/Sideshow Collectibles, expected to ship in early 2016.

Dwayne Johnson dishes a bit about Black Adam

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While Marvel Studios is making news of fairly unprecedented proportions, its most likely challenger for king of the Superhero Movie mountain, Warner Bros, has been quiet in recent weeks.

Sure, we know that after a three year long absence from the big screen, the studio will be rolling out their two big universe establishing properties in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad in 2016, but what can we expect after that? Other than titles, a few stars, and a director; details are relatively slim.

Dwayne Johnson, star of Shazam! (one of the later films of the DC Comics-based slate), was able to shed a little light on his character, Black Adam, in a recent interview with Total Film (via GamesRadar):

I think Black Adam is going to grow into becoming an anti-hero…It’s all written within the spirit of respecting and paying homage to the comics. As we know, Black Adam started out as a slave. When he’s given the powers, he utilized them. Then in the wake of his powers, tragedy strikes, which turns his sentiment and tone in terms of psychology.

Not surprisingly, it sounds as though scriptwriter Darren Lemke (Jack the Giant Slayer) is taking some cues from the popular Geoff Johns version of the character.

But what about the actual in-universe continuity between Shazam! and the rest of the DC films? There had been some concern that, since New Line was co-producing, Billy Batson’s first big screen adventure in over 70 years might not even take place in the same universe as Zack Snyder‘s Justice League. Johnson addressed this as well:

It was all agreed that the worlds are all interconnected… One day you will see Black Adam go at it with Superman or Batman or any of the DC characters. But that said, there’s a great independence to Black Adam from the DC world, allowing us to inject, not only viciousness, but also winking humour.

Shazam! is scheduled to open on April 5, 2019.

Visit for Poison Ivy, Stay for Black Hand: DC shakes up the New Suicide Squad Roster

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DC’s New Suicide Squad team is about to get shaken up yet again. In the aftermath of Convergence, DC is rebranding the team with an all-new set of villains. No, the comic will not renumbered, but will see a roster change. The news was announced in the Channel 52 backmatter page on this week’s releases from DC. Sean Ryan is still on the writing duties of the comic when the title shifts cast with issue #9, with Carlos D’Anda tackling the pencils on the comic.

This cast is really strange, as we have Reverse-Flash hot off the fame from the brand new tv show and his guest appearance from New Suicide Squad #5. Poison Ivy joins the fray who’s seen some interest in her exploits with Harley Quinn. Black Hand is an important character, but not someone who would usually be associated with the Suicide Squad meeting. Cheetah is a villain getting some play thanks to Wonder Woman. Seeing a Talon added to the full team is a great way to up the popularity of the infamous new Batman rogue. The only true question mark is Parasite, a Superman villain that DC is trying to push as much as possible as of late.

Group Desk Sergeant/Editor Brian Cunningham chimed in on some mission orders for the New Suicide Squad team:

Parasite will be the team’s secret weapon against ISIS in the next arc beginning in June’s issue #9. Black Hand has a power that Squad taskmaster Amanda Waller might covet for a team that can go boom on any given mission–he can resurrect the dead!

Look out for the comic in June, featuring the new team roster in New Suicide Squad #9.

Entertainment Round-up: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Constantine, Captain Marvel, X-Men: Apocalypse

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Happy Monday everyone! Hannah and I took today off from our regular gigs, but I didn’t want a few of the more interesting headlines to pass us by…so, let’s take a look at what’s causing a buzz in the entertainment side of things.

– According to TVInsider, Jamie Alexander is returning to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reprising her role as Lady Sif from the Thor films and her guest appearance in the first season of the ABC series. Alexander will guest star in the second episode of the midseason, where Lady Sif will be struck by amnesia after a massive battle with a yet to be revealed villain. Though executive producer Jeffrey Bell states that the memories that she hangs onto will prove very important in the on-going Inhuman-based subplots of the series.

– Over the weekend, OK! Magazine (via SpoilerTV) reported a rumor that Angelina Jolie (Unbroken, In the Land of Blood and Honey) was offered $20 million dollars by Marvel Studios to direct their upcoming Captain Marvel feature. This rumor caused a bit of a stir online, but let’s face facts, Marvel has yet to offer any director that kind of payday and it’s hard to imagine they’d start doing that now ($20 million dollars was Christopher Nolan‘s take for Interstellar for example). Most sources I’ve spoken with in trying to follow up on this report state that the rumor is fiction. The one thing it gets right is that Marvel is likely looking to hire a female filmmaker for the property, and that is a very exciting prospect.

– Another unsourced story (from Cinelinx) floated around yesterday that NBC/Universal, in the wake of not renewing Constantine for a second season, would be moving it to SyFy and renaming the series Hellblazer. It’s a great idea, yet I wouldn’t get my hopes up. Sadly, barring a sudden surprise renewal announcement, the upcoming finale is likely the last you’ll seen of John and company.

– Production on X-Men: Apocalypse continues, and Bryan Singer, ever the busy tweeter/Instagrammer, has posted a photo of interest:

I know. Old door. But there’ll be something new behind it. #XmenApocalypse

A photo posted by Bryan Singer (@bryanjaysinger) on

It sounds like the Danger Room is returning if I were to hazard a guess.

The Comics industry tweets about the New 24

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As this morning’s DC news broke, people started….tweeting. They couldn’t help it.

Also, is Prez actually Beymax?

DC announces new “inclusive and accessible” line-up in June with 24 new titles

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It’s the new 49—or the end of the New 52. DC has just unrolled their June line-up, a slate of 24 new titles, along with 25 returning ones, which, they promise, will show the new face of comics.

This summer, DC Entertainment launches a bold new direction for the DC Universe (DCU) that is even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans.

In other words, the winds of changing rattling the have even been felt at DC comics and now we have National Book Award nominated writer Gene Luen Yang writing Superman.

How different is this line-up? Bat-Mite, Bizarro and Prez are back, three humor oriented titles long banished from the grim and gritty.

The lineup will be debuted to the world in DC’s Free Comic Book Day offering, shown above, which features Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok and Superman by Gene Luen Yang and John Romita, Jr.

The move comes on the day that DC is holding a retailer summit at their new Burbank offices this weekend. The new titles will debut in June following the two month “Convergence” event which tides over the company as its staff moves to the West Coast.

The New 52 branding, announced in 2011 with huge fanfare, served its purpose well. The new continuity introduced will remain but more new reader friendly book will be introduced. And the tone will be different. Ming Doyle will be writing Constantine: The Hellblazer AND drawing Dark Universe, to be written by James Tynion IV. The popular Harley Quinn team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti will add Harley Quinn/Power Girl a 6-issue limited series, and Starfire with are by Emanuela Lupachino. Garth Ennis and John McCrea are back with a Hitman spin-off, Section Eight. Although 25 titles will return, among the cancelled: Batman And Robin, Earth 2, Justice League Dark, Justice League 3000, Supergirl, Red Hood And The Outlaws.

The new line-up is announced at a time when Marvel is also refashioning it’s line, with a new look following May’s Secret Wars.Meaning this summer will be a very different, very inclusive, very diverse comics industry.

We’ll be back with some commentary in a bit.

Here’s the entire line-up with art (where available) as it’s rolled out this morning:

Batman Beyond
W: Dan Jurgens
A: Bernard Chang

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Bat-Mite (6-issue limited)
W: Dan Jurgens
A: Corin Howell

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Bizarro (6-issue limited)
W: Heath Corson
A: Gustavo Duarte

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Black Canary
W: Brenden Fletcher
A: Annie Wu & Irene Koh

 

Constantine: The Hellblazer
W: Ming Doyle
A: Riley Rossmo

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Cyborg
W: David Walker
A: Ivan Reis

Dark Universe
W: James Tynion IV
A: Ming Doyle

Green Lantern: Lost Army
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Jesus Saiz & Javi Pina

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Doomed
W: Scott Lobdell
A: Javier Fernandez

Earth 2: Society
W: Daniel Wilson
A: Jorge Jimenez

Dr. Fate
W: Paul Levitz
A: Sonny Liew

Harley Quinn/Power Girl (6-issue limited)
W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
A: Stephane Roux

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Justice League of America
W: Bryan Hitch
A: Bryan Hitch

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Justice League 3001
W: Keith Giffen
A: Howard Porter

Martian Manhunter
W: Rob Williams
A: Ben Oliver

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Midnighter
W: Steve Orlando
A: ACO

Mystic U
W: Alisa Kwitney
A: Stay tuned for artist info!

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Omega Men
W: Tom King
A: Alec Morgan

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Prez
W: Mark Russell
A: Ben Caldwell

Red Hood/Arsenal
W: Scott Lobdell
A: Denis Medri

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Robin, Son of Batman
W: Patrick Gleason
A: Patrick Gleason

Section Eight (6-issue limited)
W: Garth Ennis
A: John McCrea

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Starfire
W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
A: Emanuela Lupacchino

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We Are Robin
W: Lee Bermejo
A: Khary Randolph

Ongoing Titles

Action Comics
W: Greg Pak
A: Aaron Kuder

Aquaman
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Trevor McCarthy

Batgirl
W: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher
A: Babs Tarr

Batman
W: Scott Snyder
A: Greg Capullo

Detective Comics
W; Brian Buccelato & Francis Manapul
A: Francis Manapul

Batman/Superman
W: Greg Pak
A: Ardian Syaf

Catwoman
W: Genevieve Valentine
A: David Messina

Deathstroke
W: Tony S. Daniel
A: Tony S. Daniel

The Flash
W: Robert Venditti & Van Jensen
A: Brett Booth

Gotham Academy
W: Becky Cloonan & Brenden Fletcher
A: Karl Kerschl

Gotham By Midnight
W: Ray Fawkes
A: Juan Ferreyra

Grayson
W: Tom King & Tim Seeley
A: Mikel Janin

Green Arrow
W: Ben Percy
A: Zircher

Green Lantern
W: Robert Venditti
A: Billy Tan

Harley Quinn
W: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
A: Chad Hardin

Justice League
W: Geoff Johns
A: Jason Fabok

Justice League United
W:Stay tuned for creative team info!
A:

Lobo
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Cliff Richards

Secret Six
W: Gail Simone
A: Dale Eaglesham

Sinestro
W: Cullen Bunn
A: Bradley Walker

New Suicide Squad
W: Sean Ryan
A: Carlos D’Anda

Superman
W: Gene Luen Yang
A: John Romita, Jr.

Superman/Wonder Woman
W: Peter J. Tomasi
A: Doug Mahnke

Teen Titans
W: Will Pfeifer
A: Kenneth Rocafort

Wonder Woman
W: Meredith Finch
A: David Finch

And the PR:

This summer, DC Entertainment launches a bold new direction for the DC Universe (DCU) that is even more inclusive and accessible to a wider group of readers as the publisher continues to evolve comic storytelling for its next generation of fans.  Award-winning, critically acclaimed writers are headlining the June 2015 slate of DC Comics’ new periodicals and graphic novels, including Gene Luen Yang, Bryan Hitch, Garth Ennis and Ming Doyle.
Beginning June 3rd, the DC Comics line of comic books will consist of 24 brand-new series that will begin at issue number one, as well as 25 on-going, bestselling fan favorite series that will continue without a break in the issue numbering.  The total number of periodicals in the DCU will be 49, with additional new titles debuting throughout the year.
“This heralds in a new era for the DC Universe which will allow us to publish something for everyone, be more expansive and modern in our approach and tell stories that better reflect the society around us,” said DC Entertainment Co-Publisher Dan DiDio.  “Whether you’ve been a DC fan your whole life, or whether you are new to comics – there will be a book for you beginning in June.”
DC Comics will be keenly focused on going back-to-basics with its legendary characters, like BATMAN, SUPERMAN and WONDER WOMAN, while also reinventing key characters, such as BLACK CANARY, BIZARRO, CYBORG and STARFIRE, with a new contemporary tonality to ensure a diverse offering of titles.  Top writers and artists, as well as emerging fresh voices, are on board to help create an expansive lineup of comics that appeals to a broad audience of fans.
Depicting some of these iconic characters in a more contemporary light include National Book Award finalist Gene Luen Yang who will join artist John Romita Jr. in the ongoing adventures of SUPERMAN.  Comic superstar artist Bryan Hitch will write and draw new tales of the world’s greatest heroes in JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA. The pitch perfect team of Garth Ennis and John McCrea returns to DC Comics for a limited series called SECTION EIGHT featuring characters from their popular Hitman comic.  VERTIGO creator Ming Doyle will be lending her talents to DC Comics, penning CONSTANTINE: THE HELLBLAZER along with newcomer artist Riley Rossmo.
“More than ever before, DC Comics fans are being exposed to our rich portfolio of characters through multiple sources, including an unprecedented number of highly successful TV shows, video games and upcoming major motion pictures,” said Co-Publisher Jim Lee.  “We are looking to extend that experience within publishing to ensure there is a comic book for everyone.  For example, fans of the ARROW television show may want more stories about BLACK CANARY. Now they can find modern, fresh takes on the character in the pages of her standalone series both in stores and digitally.”
Breakout star, Brenden Fletcher, co-writer behind the all new, highly successful BATGIRL book will also be  writing the new BLACK CANARY series launching in June.  Fan favorites Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti will be the creative team on new titles STARFIRE and HARLEY QUINN/POWER GIRL and will continue to  helm the perennially bestselling HARLEY QUINN.
“Beyond character and creators, the June slate will showcase different styles and approaches to storytelling as we add offbeat, irreverently funny titles such as BIZARRO, BAT-MITE and PREZ,” said Lee.  “Truly there will be something for everybody as we simultaneously celebrate our rich legacy while embracing new voices and concepts.”
A first look at upcoming storylines will be the focus of DC Entertainment’s Free Comic Book Day issue – DC COMICS: DIVERGENCE – available Saturday, May 2, featuring three 8-page previews for the June releases of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s BATMAN, as well as Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok’s launch of the Darkseid War within JUSTICE LEAGUE featuring the biggest villains in the DCU – Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, and Gene Luen Yang’s DC Comics debut with celebrated artist John Romita, Jr on SUPERMAN.  More than half-a million free issues of the DC Entertainment sampler will be given away at comic book retailers globally.
“In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry,” said DiDio.
To learn more about the June DC Universe slate, visit www.dccomics.com.   

 

Milo Ventimiglia joins the cast of Gotham

Milo-Ventimiglia

Per DC’s blog, Gotham is adding another name familiar to fans of genre material, as former Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia will be joining the series as an original character named Jason Lennon aka “The Ogre”.

Here’s how he’s described:

…a serial killer who has been preying on the young women of Gotham for nearly a decade, luring them into his web and confronting them with a series of “tests” as he searches for his perfect mate. When the women fail to live up to his impossible standard, Lennon disposes of them quickly and viciously.

According to the report, Ventimiglia is joining the series for a multi-episode arc starting in Episode 19 and will be pit in what sounds like a “cat and mouse” game between his character and Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie).

More original characters like this seem to make greater sense for the series’ trajectory, which is introducing Batman’s Rogues Gallery in various forms while Bruce hasn’t even hit his teens yet. Hopefully we’re seeing the start of a trend.

 

Surprise! Ryan Reynolds didn’t read a script before signing onto Green Lantern

green-lantern_610

Green Lantern has been considered the low-bar for the recent wave of superhero cinema since its release in 2011, and while it has plenty of company in Iron Man 2, Thor: The Dark World, Kick Ass 2 etc…this beleaguered adaptation of Hal Jordan’s origin has haunted its star, Ryan Reynolds, for over four years.

In 2016, Reynolds will return to the comic-based spotlight with this X-Men spinoff Deadpool, and while promoting his upcoming comedy-thriller The Voices with Yahoo! Movies, he compared the two experiences:

When we shot Green Lantern, nobody auditioning for the role of Green Lantern was given the opportunity to read the script, because the script didn’t exist. I’m not complaining about it — it was an opportunity of a lifetime, and if I were to go back and retrace my steps, I would probably do everything the exact same way. But script, that’s what’s different on this one…we’ve had a script for three years. The script got leaked, and people even loved that. That says a lot — if you can create a script around a comic-book character that is directly within the canon of the character and be embraced. That’s a huge step in the right direction. I’ve since learned that a lot of superhero movies don’t really have a fully functioning draft of the screenplay ready until they’re already well into shooting.

The failure of Green Lantern had a pretty clear ricochet effect on how Warner Bros handles their DC properties. It was an attempt at brighter super-heroics of the Marvel variety, but without any of the sharp humor, storytelling momentum and populist appeal that Marvel was able to solidify, post-Iron Man, that same year with Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

It’s fairly apparent that Green Lantern‘s critical and commercial flop is what pushed the studio into aping the grittier feel of The Dark Knight for Man of Steel. At the time, it seemed clear that the studio saw the situation as “you either do Iron Man or you do Batman”, based on box office draw. Given the massive success of The Avengers and every Marvel film that’s followed, I can’t help but wonder if WB’s position has evolved at all for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

 

The CW unveils Brandon Routh’s Atom

371px-Atom

It looks like we’re inching ever closer to having that Brandon Routh-led Atom spin-off that The CW keeps hinting at.

After a few weeks of teasing, the network has released the first image of Routh in full Atom regalia.

Arrow

He looks a lot like X-O Manowar to me, which I find quite awesome, but I love how X-O looks. What do you think?

Report: Live Action Teen Titans line-up revealed

titans

There’s been little word regarding the upcoming Teen Titans based television series on TNT since it was announced a few months back. The only aspect we knew for sure was that Nightwing would be the leader.

Now according to The Nerdist, who received casting information for the pilot, this is the line-up that will grace the first episode:

Nightwing

Oracle

Hawk and Dove

Raven

Starfire

While all of these characters have appeared in animated form in some aspect or another, only Oracle has shown up in live action before (in WB’s short-lived Birds of Prey), though of course Dick Grayson has been represented multiple times as Robin in various media.

According to the report, Hawk and Dove will be based on their New 52 iterations and are a romantic pairing. Also, the pilot script never actually refers to Barbara as Oracle, though she serves as the “computer hacker” of the team.

The lack of Beast Boy/Changeling and Cyborg may surprise some, though with the upcoming film already scheduled for the latter and his participation in Zack Snyder’s Justice League, Vic Stone has surely graduated to the big squad on a permanent basis.

It’s very likely that TNT’s Titans will air sometime before the end of 2015.

 

TT Games Announce 2015 Lego Lineup Including Avengers

By Davey Nieves

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 11.30.31 PM

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group announced Thursday their 2015 slate of LEGO videogames, including LEGO Jurassic World, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, plus new handheld and mobile titles. Here’s the full rundown straight from Warner Bros Interactive.

The upcoming LEGO videogame titles are:

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LEGO Jurassic World™
Following the epic storylines of Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III, as well as the highly anticipated Jurassic World, LEGO Jurassic World is the first videogame where players will be able to relive and experience all four Jurassic films. The game will be available in June for the Xbox One, all-in-one games and entertainment system, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, the Wii U™ system from Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system, and Windows PC.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers
Avengers Assemble! Experience the first console videogame featuring characters and storylines from the blockbuster film Marvel’s The Avengers and the much anticipated sequel Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and more. Play as the most powerful Super Heroes in their quest to save humanity. The game will be available in fall 2015 for the Xbox One, all-in-one games and entertainment system, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, the Wii U system from Nintendo, Nintendo 3DS hand-held system, and Windows PC.

LEGO Ninjago™: Shadow of Ronin™
The popular LEGO Ninjago franchise gets its most expansive adventure to date in LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin. The latest LEGO handheld game delivers an untold story of the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu TV show. Using their Spinjitzu abilities, players can unleash their Ninja’s elemental power to smash their way through enemies and solve puzzles. Developed by TT Fusion, a subsidiary of TT Games, the game comes to the Nintendo 3DS handheld system and the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system on March 24, 2015.

The LEGO Movie Videogame
The LEGO Movie Videogame for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch follows Emmet, an average, rule-following citizen, who is mistakenly identified as the key to saving the world. In the game, players guide Emmet as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared. With a delightful mix of over 90 characters from the feature film, including Batman, Superman and the Green Ninja, The LEGO Movie Videogame leads gamers on a journey through fantastical worlds in 45 exciting levels. Developed by TT Games, the mobile game is now available on the App Store.

LEGO Batman™: Beyond Gotham
In LEGO Batman: Beyond Gotham for mobile devices, the Caped Crusader joins forces with the Super Heroes of the DC Comics universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Players will unlock and play as their favorite DC Comics characters, including members of the Justice League and the Legion of Doom, and explore iconic locations such as the Hall of Justice, the Batcave and the Justice League Watchtower. Developed by TT Games, the mobile game will be available this summer.

 

Lego Jurassic World is scheduled for a June release in step with the film’s release while Lego Avengers could be the company’s November release. It appears that while the first Lego Marvel game focused more the entire comics universe, this new game will be more in tune with the Marvel MCU. It’s Lego so you can expect brick destruction and cuteness. We’ll have more on the game as news comes out leading to E3 in June.

What Lego games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Review: Effigy #1 Burns Bright

By Davey Nieves

EFFIGY #1

Effigy (2015-) 001-000

 

Story: Tim Seeley

Art: Marley Zarcone

Colors: Ryan Hill

Letters: Jared K. Fletcher

Publisher: Vertigo

 

 

Gloomy, hard-hitting, make no apologies stories have been the status quo for fans who pick up any Vertigo book. After all this is the line that gave us The Sandman, Y: The Last Man, and The Wake.  Effigy by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash)and Marley Zarcone may only get two out of the three, but this book is a rare occurrence where that’s actually what makes it a must read.

Writer Tim Seeley crafts a story about unhealthy obsessions that feels like it could only be told in this day in age given how many cautionary tales childhood actors have turned into. Effigy follows Chondra Jackson, a once bubbly star of a futuristic kids-as-cops series called Star Cops who after a downward spiral of typecasting and an ill-advised sex tape bottoms out into the life of a far less glamorous small-town cop. The night-and-day portrayal of Chondra captures her disconnect prom prominence exquisitely. This first issue doesn’t read so much as a behind the music type story, but more of a caution as to what the world around you can become when live most of your life in the clouds then have to deal with crashing towards reality. As she goes from being a glorified meter maid to a true detective we’ll see the high price of fame take it’s toll on those close to her and complete strangers who probably want to love her to death… literally.

Marley Zarcone’s art starts strong with so much energy in telling the back story of Star Cops. Then by design it settles into a more rural style. While not quite as energetic, it plays into creating a dichotomy of Chondra’s two lives. At first glance Ryan Hill’s colors seem like such a basic job, but when you see the panels containing more visual effects; it actually works in better highlighting these moments. The art does more than just add to Chondra’s already engaging story, it buttresses the –child-star to messed up adult– dark tunnel the audience is going to be taken through.

In a week where you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a good comic, Effigy carves out a noticeable place for itself and on your pull list. Issue one sets up a world of glamour, ritual murder, and mystery that could lead to this series being one of Vertigo’s best 2015 books.


Dave has never been a child star but had a childhood crush on Winnie Cooper and Stephanie Tanner here more about it @bouncingsoul217