First story up…coming in September, DC Comics is publishing zero issues of its major titles.

What?!? Wait a minute…

I’m sorry. What I meant to say is that DC Comics will be issuing #0 comics for the month of September.

From Comic List:

#0s will be stand-alone stories. "Some issues will tell the origins of a character or a team, or in some case where an origin has already been told, they will fill in the blanks in terms of questions readers may have about the New 52 DC Universe," said Bob Harras, DC Entertainment Editor-in-Chief. "Each of these issues promises to reveal something surprising."


To me the most interesting thing about the announcement is that September’s run will include four new titles…including one featuring a former Court of Owls assassin on the run from his former masters.

DC Comics turns September into ZERO MONTH

Click on the link to read more.

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The other big story is continuing coverage of DC Comics/Warner Bros. Studio’s response to the box-office juggernaut which is “Marvel’s The Avengers”.

It stands to reason that the perennial interest making a “Justice League” movie is garnering even more interest now. Combined with the fast-approaching end to the Christopher Nolan Batman movies and next year’s Superman reboot…as well as one studio holding all the licensing for DC Comics properties…it’s looking more and more certain.

What’s interesting is that DC/Warner is moving forward, but in an opposite direction from Marvel…where Marvel established the characters first AND THEN brought them together as a team, DC looks like it’s going to introduce the team first AND THEN spin the characters off into their own movies (except for Superman) with Christopher Nolan serving as a kind of “godfather” for the whole franchise universe concept.

From Spinoff Online:

The overview doesn’t include much new information — movies based on Aquaman, The Flash and Suicide Squad are still on the development slate, Christopher Nolan is being set up as the godfather of DC’s big-screen universe — but it does drop a tantalizing nugget about the potential future of Warner Bros.’ Green Lantern franchise.

Variety Magazine points out that this seems to stem from, of all things, Harry Potter…

From Variety:

With "Harry Potter" having ended its run, WB is clearly turning to DC to help launch new franchises.

But the studio is being especially careful with the characters now after the disappointing perf of "Green Lantern," which earned nearly $220 million at the worldwide box office last year.

It seems the biggest lesson learned from Marvel has been a matter of who? not what?

From The Mary Sue:

“With Harry Potter having ended its run, WB is clearly turning to DC to help launch new franchises,” writes Variety. “According to sources close to the development process, the studio learned that when making a superhero pic, it needs to tap creatives that genuinely understand the characters the way Joss Whedon was comfortable with The Avengers.”

And yes, you can bet they are keeping their eyes on Nolan. He’s finishing Batman sure, but he’s also producing Man of Steel. Variety says Warner would likely try and keep him around but that they aren’t ”expected to make any concrete moves on the DC film front until after the third Batpic opens on July 20.”

Whatever’s about to happen, it definitely looks like (other than with Nolan’s Batman) DC Comics/Warner Bros. are ready to stop playing second banana to Marvel.

WB Mulls Green Lantern Relaunch
Warner Bros. zeroes in on heroes

For further reading, check out the articles above.


1633960-black_panther_superIn 2005, Marvel Studios reacquired the film rights to the Black Panther from Lionsgate and it’s been on development back-burner since then. In January, it was announced that they had hired a screenwriter to develop a script.

From Spinoff Online:

Marvel’s Black Panther is back in development, Heat Vision reports, with the studio hiring documentary writer Mark Bailey to pen the adaptation.


…Bailey, with his background in documentaries, is an unusual choice for Black Panther. He wrote the 2003 HBO documentary Pandemic: Facing AIDS, and worked as story editor on 2007′s Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and A Boy’s Life.

I’d love to see a Black Panther movie, especially if the character is brought into the established Marvel/Avengers movie universe. Marvel announced an untitled film to come out after Captain America 2 in 2014 and Cap/BP have ties (Captain America has a vibranium shield and Black Panther’s home nation Wakanda is where vibranium is mined).

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Lot’s of interesting, if albeit, conflicting, news coming from DC Comics/Warner Bros. Studios about a possible Justice League movie.

What’s constant is the announcement of Will Beall was hired to pen the Justice League movie…what isn’t constant are the motives behind such a move.

size1_4e799f3614e4dBefore I quote news sources, it’s important to note that just because a studio has hired someone to write a script doesn’t mean anything more than that…nobody’s been cast, shooting locations haven’t been scouted, the naming of the director is nothing but rumor. So, knowing this, as you read about this and other things concerning a Justice League movie in the near future, take everything with a pound of salt. Most movies don’t get past this point…even though I’m sure this one will eventually be made. DC Comics would do take serious lessons from Marvel Studios and start slow…establish the main players in their own movies, maintaining a consistent quality, and only then jump right into a Justice League movie.


So it should come as no surprise that a new report from Variety confirms that Warner Bros. hired "Gangster Squad" writer Will Beall to write the "Justice League" movie sometime last year.

Beall has become the go-to guy for Warner Bros., which recently hired him to write the screenplays for its "Lethal Weapon" reboot and the "Logan’s Run" remake, which has director Nicolas Winding Refn and starRyan Gosling currently attached.

The report from Variety points out that the Beall hire occurred while Marvel was assembling "The Avengers," so the move was more "in anticipation of — rather than a reaction to — the box office success." Though the actual hire took place months ago, Beall has yet to turn in a script.

One could make a case that DC/Warner Bros. have a already started with Green Lantern’s release last year and a new Superman movie being released next year. Columnist Susana Polo at does a better job of summing why, if this is true, it bodes badly for a possible Justice League movie…


So who has Warner Bros. told Variety will be working on these adaptations? Will Beall, a guy whose only work that’s currently not in some stage of pre- or post-production is editing handful of episodes of Castle, is working on Justice League. But the tapping of an unknown writer whose first feature length film has not been released yet is not as teeth grindingly frustrating to me as taking the guys who wrote Green Lantern and asking them to write The Flash and Wonder Woman.

Teeth grinding, because the problem with Green Lantern was, at it’s very core, that is was terribly written from the ground up. Not just plot holes or bad dialogue or continuity mistakes, but just a movie that betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of the dramatic arc. A movie that I was rewriting in my head after the first twenty seconds of narration. I’ll allow that a lot of Green Lantern’s problems felt like studio meddling (of exactly the kind that Marvel doesn’t have to worry about because it is its own studio), from executives who were terrified that audiences wouldn’t be able to grasp the concept of “space cops” and thought that throwing an extra few million at the special effects budget late in the movie’s gestation would fix it. It also had, you know, four writers.

And maybe, when those guys are split up and working on separate projects, things will turn out okay. But the success of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, the only successful DC movie franchise at the moment, is founded not just on the storytelling talents of Nolan and his writing crew, but also on his absolute refusal to bow to studio pressure, even on something as story-trivial as 3D conversion. It would behoove Warner Bros. to follow the example of those movies: find proven talent that has a specific vision, and then let them do their job.

And until it becomes clear that Warner Bros. is doing that with the Justice League, the Flash, and Wonder Woman, my advice is not to get excited about it, in the same way that we were all very, very skeptical that The Avengers would ever happen once upon a time.

Sorry…I took the last half of column wholesale…please go read the whole column for the complete insight. Since I’ve already ripped off Ms. Polo’s excellent column, I’ll just give you some other links for further reading.

From Spinoff Online – March 29, 2012 –

WB Developing Justice League, Plans To ‘Reinvent’ Batman

From Comic Book Resources – June 6, 2012 –


I’m cautiously excited about DC following in Marvel’s footsteps and creating a larger film universe…I just hope they keep Joel Schumacher away from it.

Put it on your calendar, folks…July 18, 2014…the day that X-Men First Class 2 will be released.

Something interesting about this hit my RSS feed today.

From Comic Book Resources:

20th Century Fox has apparently registered an X-Men related film title with the MPAA Title Registration Bureau. As discovered by Ain’t it Cool News, the studio has registered "Days of Future Past," a possible indication that Vaughn’s next film will deal with time travel and alternate futures.


Days of Future Past” is one of the definitive X-Men stories and nothing excites me like courageous filmmakers trying to take on such an ambitious and, in this case, franchise-changing, storyline. I’m excited, but a little incredulous.

From Wikipedia:

The storyline alternates between present day, in which the X-Men fight Mystique’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline caused by the X-Men’s failure to prevent the Brotherhood from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps. The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men. She succeeds in her mission and returns to the future, but despite her success, the future timeline still exists as an alternative timeline rather than as the actual future.

My incredulity comes from the fact that there are two major flaws when it comes to adapting this iconic story with what was established in the first X-Men First Class movie as well as the entire X-Men movie continuity.

  • Kitty Pryde serves as the main character focus in “Days of Future Past". It can certainly be argued that any character could be used in the way that she was in the 1981 storyline, but in my mind the strong development of the Kitty Pryde character is one the things that took this story in particular as well as the entire series up a level. KP was the reader’s analogue…a way for us to relate to other characters and circumstances presented in the book and to see another character (like Banshee? Havok?) in the film try to fill those shoes could work, but to less effect. And if they were going to choose to shoehorn KP into the story, they might have to break continuity (like they’re unafraid of that) or make her time-travelling a physical element (she travels back bodily, not just with her mind). That could work, too.
  • The other issue comes from the first movie, X-Men. Senator Robert Kelly’s character is established in that movie and (apparently) dies in that movie as well. Would that mean that the filmmakers would have to break continuity to do it or would they use another “Senator”-type character? I’d prefer option #2 over option #1 in this case.

Regardless, I’m excited. I really like X-Men First Class (despite NOT using the original X-Men as characters…which they couldn’t for continuity issues) and hope the second can live up to the promise.

Make sure you read the whole article from Comic Book Resources.


What the what!?!?

Now, I know this article is over two months old, but this is the first I’ve read about this and, I have to say, this seems like a bad casting choice.

Here’s the article. Read it for yourself.

Ryan Reynolds To Take Over As Batman After The Dark Knight RisesFrom We Got This Covered

After the extreme “meh”-ness which was Green Lantern, I just don’t see Ryan Reynolds as Batman/Bruce Wayne…unless it’s a reboot based on the old 60’s-era Batman. I like RR and I might be pleasantly surprised  if this comes to pass casting-wise, but he should stick to being Deadpool and avoid DC Comics properties.


Things are progressing positively…both work-wise and with this blog…and so I’m cutting back on the reviews and only three or four per week. So here it is…this week’s CAPE CRITIQUES!

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1.) Animal Man Annual #1 (DC Comics) –

“Animal Man” is by far my favorite title from DC Comics right now. I’ve said this before. While most comic book readers probably haven’t given this and its sister title, “Swamp Thing”, a chance since the DC Comics reboot, I recommend that you do.

The series is rich in story, rich in characterization, rich in art…and this issue works as both a part of its story arc as well as a stand-alone issue.

The issue takes the emphasis of the story arc away from the title character, Buddy Baker (AKA Animal Man) and centers it on his daughter and her talking cat companion. The overall story arc concerns the battle between three natural forces…the Red (beings of the flesh), the Green (beings of the leaf), and the Rot (beings of death and decay)…specifically the Red and Green battling the Rot as it tries to take over and destroy the balance between the three. Swamp Thing serves as the avatar of the Green while Animal Man’s four-year-old daughter is the avatar of the Red (her talking cat is a former avatar and serves as her teacher…her father is her protector).

Animal Man Annual #1 is at its heart a background story. The cat tells the avatar of the Red (the little girl) about the last time the Rot attempted to take over and the teaming up of the Animal Man and Swamp Thing from the 1890’s. It’s a story of sacrifice, heroism, and redemption as the Animal Man of the time learns of his powers, allies with the Swamp Thing, and takes on the Rot.

My favorite thing about this issue (and all the Animal Man issues) is the art. It’s minimalist, almost abstract, yet rich in color and content.

Writers Jeff LeMire (Animal Man) and Scott Snyder (Swamp Thing) have created a great story with far-reaching implications within the universe and incredibly deep characters that pay homage to the roots of the original incarnations while continually building on the story…very reminiscent of the 80’s Alan Moore era of the Swamp Thing. It’s good reading and I highly recommend it.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

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Walking Dead-Zone 000

2.) The Walking Dead #98 (Image Comics) –

I love this title and everything associated with it. I love the comics…I love the TV show…I love (at least one of the hundreds of) podcasts that many fans have made to honor the show…I even love the creator’s (Robert Kirkman) snarky attitude when talking to reporters and fans. As a longtime zombie movie fan, “The Walking Dead” represents the dream of many of us zombie-philes…a never-ending zombie movie. And now, with the 100-issue anniversary coming up, it’s publishing twice a month…leading me to ask the question…

Who’s has two thumbs and is seriously excited about the idea of 2x the undead drama and fun per month?


This issue is the second part of the story arc “Something to Fear”. Rick Grimes and company have made contact with two other groups of survivors…one friendly, one not-so-much…and have made their way back to their base outside of Washington, D.C. One of the groups has followed Grimes’ motley crew back and threatens to take the base out. They kill a major character in the scuffle (read the book for yourself if you want to know who) and you see another major character naked.

All that is incidental.

What’s important is that each issue reads so fast, so easily…Kirkman’s writing and Charlie Adlard’s art is gritty and exciting and compelling and leaves you wanting more and more.

I command you…if you reading nothing else, read this series. Start at issue one and keep going…you won’t regret it.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

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3.) Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who – Assimilation #1 (IDW Publishing) –

There’s something cheesy yet enduring about the idea of a cross-franchise story. Marvel & DC Comics used to do it quite a bit (Superman vs. Spider-Man, Batman vs. The Incredible Hulk, etc.) and, while the stories weren’t canon, they were fun to read. IDW, a comics publisher that mostly does titles based on TV and movie franchises like Transformers and Ghostbusters, has decided to do a limited series bring together Doctor Who and the Star Trek universe. Sounds like fun…

This issue sets the stage. The Borg and the Cybermen and teamed up to assimilate a Federation planet while The Doctor and his companions are adventuring in ancient Egypt. Once their adventure is done, they make their way to early 20th-Century San Francisco…only to discover that it’s not actually San Francisco but the holodeck of the NCC 1701-D…the USS Enterprise.

And that’s about it. Like I said, the issue sets the stage for a bigger story and does a good job of it. While the idea is intriguing, I can’t imagine the stoic Captain Jean-Luc Picard getting on well with the manic Doctor…very “Q”-esque hijinks and banter will probably ensue.

The art is very well done…very realistic for a comic book.

If this is your bag, baby, check it out.

Rating: **** Four Stars

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Ultimates-Zone 000

4.) Ultimate Comics – The Ultimates #11 (Marvel Comics) –


I’m a masochist. I keep reading this series and the entire Marvel Ultimate Comics imprint despite hating what it’s become…it started out pretty good back in the day (in fact, the Ultimate Comics storyline is what the Marvel Studios movies is based upon largely) but has since…*sigh* “jumped the shark”.

The story in this issue centers on two small groups of Ultimates (this universe’s name for Avengers): Black Widow, Hawkeye, Falcon (group one), Thor, and Iron Man (group two). The government has issued Winter Protocols after the destruction of Washington, DC…calling for the detention of all super-powered SHIELD agents (Ultimates). Battles ensue…betrayal happens…*yawn*

The only reason I added this to list of reviews was so that I had one comic on the list that I didn’t like. Balanced reviewing, etc. That’s backfired because, frankly, I don’t care. I think I’m going to stop reading this and the X-Men title (but I’ll stick with the Spider-Man title…it’s not as bad) and I promise I won’t review The Ultimates or the X-Men titles again. That’s not fair to you.

Rating: * 1/2 One and 1/2 Stars

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Thanks for reading CAPE CRITIQUES this week! More to come next week!


If my RSS feed is any indicator, then everybody’s talking about Alan Scott. Seriously, like every third article. Why? Apparently, in DC Comics rebooted multiverse, Alan Scott, the Green Lantern (and one of the main characters) of “Earth 2” is gay.

I always thought Alan Scott was kind of gay anyway.*


     Here’s some background on DC’s Golden Age “Emerald Avenger”…

     From Wikipedia:

     The original Green Lantern was created by young struggling artist Martin Nodell, who was inspired by the sight of a New York Subway employee waving a red lantern to stop a train for track work and a green lantern once the track was clear. With the name in hand and borrowing heavily from the story of Aladdin (originally, Alan Scott was named Alan Ladd until a conflict arose regarding the actor of the same name), Nodell created a mystical crimefighter who received his powers from the flame of a strange lamp. [sic] The character made his debut in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940).

Of course, superheroes coming out of the closet is old-hat by now, right?

From The New York Daily News:

The revelation comes at a boon time in the industry for rainbow pride. In the pages of Marvel’s “Astonishing X-Men” last week, superhero Northstar proposed to his longtime boyfriend — setting up next issue’s superpowered same-sex wedding. DC Comics also has a lesbian superhero, Batwoman, patrolling the streets of Gotham City in her own comic.

“When I was growing up, I’d read comics or watch TV and I wished there were characters who I could relate to, who I knew had gone through what I was going through,” says GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro.

And DC Comics didn’t shy away from the revelation with it’s press release…

From DC Comics:

Today, we are pleased to announce that the mystery about the identity of the character in question is over. Appearing in next week’s EARTH 2 #2, Alan Scott is the only Green Lantern of Earth 2. A team leader with a Type-A personality and an appetite for justice, Alan also happens to be homosexual. And while his origins won’t be shown in full detail until issue #3, we can tease that a traumatic event will serve as the catalyst for him assuming his superhero identity as The Green Lantern.

Alan’s storyline is a direct result of DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 and DC’s commitment to taking a fresh look at its characters. Originally a Golden Age character whose previous continuity spanned from the 1940s through modern times, Alan was a charter member of the Justice Society. As a character, Alan is one of the oldest within DC Comics’ pantheon (being created in 1940). In EARTH 2, he is getting an update for contemporary times to reflect the world we live in. He is younger, has an updated costume and is being introduced to DC COMICS-THE NEW 52 for the very first time. It is also important to note that while Alan is a gay man, his sexuality is merely only one part of his multi-layered character.

And, according to DC Comic’s “Earth 2” writer James Robinson, they’re not done yet…

From Comic Book Resources:

DC Comics rolled out the official announcement this morning that, yes, Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott is the “major iconic” character that will be reintroduced as gay, but Earth 2 writer James Robinson has already made clear that he won’t be alone.

“There is another character down the line, but that character won’t be appearing for some time, so it’s probably a bit too early to talk about that,” he told the gay and lesbian magazine The Advocate, “but this book will definitely have a diverse cast. Alan Scott won’t be the only gay character in Earth 2, I promise you that.”

I don’t have much of an opinion on this because, well, in our modern-day society, it’s pretty well established that gay people as a group don’t follow the stereotype the way the many hate-mongers and bigots out there (I’m looking at you, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church) want you to think. Of the dozens of gay men I’ve met in my life, I’ve met maybe two that fit the South Park “Big Gay Al” stereotype…and they may have just been doing it for laughs. As long as they (comic book creators) just “keep it real” and avoid the San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade stereotype, I don’t think it matters all that much.

That being said, I think today’s issue of The Gutters, a webcomic that pokes fun at comics culture, said it best…click on the image to see it better and visit The Gutters website…

Click to read the comic and visit The Gutters web site.

* I’m kidding…sort of.


Comic Book Resources has a poll up asking fans to vote on who they think should be the major villain in next year’s “Thor 2”. Click on the link below to cast your own vote.


I was surprised by some of the choices (mainly ones I didn’t think about…like Enchantress) but I was even more surprised that over 40% of the respondents wanted to see Enchantress AND Executioner.

Just goes to show…to each their own. I would still like to see Fafnir