All posts by JC Alvarez

Writer | Producer | Personality. Pop-Cultural Agent. Music | Entertainment & Genre Enthusiast. I knew comics were cool before primetime. The voice of "Out Loud & Live! with JC Alvarez" on Internet Radio. Visit www.thefanzite.com for more!

ICYMI | SONY Pulls SPIDER-MAN Out of the MCU

Sony and Disney can’t come to an agreement! Keeping Spider-Man far from home and out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at least for the immediate future! 

Oh what a tangled web indeed! After years of back and forth, Sony and Disney had finally come to an agreement that allowed the studio to share custody of one of Marvel Studios biggest brands Spider-Man. After a series of very successful box office hits in the early 2000s starring Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst directed by Sam Raimi, Sony sat comfortably with its winning piece of the Marvel Comic icon grabbing big-ticket sales and breaking records — before the summer movie landscape would appear littered with the competition.

It wasn’t long before the franchise would suffer from fatigue and with an underwhelming performance with its third installment, Sony found itself in the peculiar predicament as Marvel Studios started spinning out its “Expanded Cinematic Universe” with hit after hit starting with 2008’s Iron Man and followed by Thor and Captain America. Marvel waited patiently for the ownership rights of its titular web-slinger to drop our of Sony’s hands, especially after the critically panned Spider-Man 3. In an effort to stay on top Sony went to work on a “reboot”!

The 2012 effort The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield didn’t hit the mark as had been anticipated, and with it running counter to the eventual blockbuster Avengers fans began to speculate whether Peter Parker’s friendly neighbor superhero would ever find himself in the same league as his Marvel Studio headliners. The answer to that question would have to wait, and in 2016 Disney which had since purchased the Marvel brand and all of its properties (including the film projects) introduced Spider-Man into the MCU in Captain America: Civil War.

SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME

Homecoming

By the 2017 release of Spider-Man: Homecoming which spotlighted Tom Holland the latest actor to wear the fancy red and blue suit, the latest reboot joyfully indoctrinated Peter Parker into the MCU with none other than Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as the aspiring hero’s benefactor. The film was also released as a studio cooperative between Sony and Disney, granting Sony co-partnership in the distribution of the feature film, while giving Disney ownership over the placement of the character throughout its franchises. Spider-Man would play a pivotal role in Avengers: Infinity War.

And although it appeared that the web-slingers fate was sealed at the conclusion of that epic battle, the follow-up feature Avengers: Endgame reconstituted Spider-Man just in time for the hero to headline his next big theatrical outing. Spider-Man: Far From Home the fourth film to feature Holland as Spider-Man also proved box office gold for Sony giving it the largest opening for the franchise, with a worldwide hovering over 1 billion, making it the studio’s biggest grossing release ever. With that record set, it’s curious that the studios would through a kink into the works.

This week Sony and Disney announced that effective immediately, Spider-Man would be exiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe! That doesn’t mean the future of the character is hanging from a thin web strand, it means that Spider-Man will not be part of the shared expanded cinematic universe that Disney reigns over, and going forward Spidey can’t Marvel Team-Up with any captain or doctor he may have saddled up to recently, and as for that special relationship between Peter and Tony Stark — yeah, that’s gone too!

Spider-Man (Tom Holland) takes MJ (Zendaya) out for a spin in New York City at the conclusion of “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.

A Multiverse of Possibilities

[Warning: SPOILER ALERT] Could the filmmakers have foreseen this descent into disillusion? Given the subplot context of the Marvel Multiplex in Spider-Man: Far From Home with the villainous Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) duping Peter and SHIELD into thinking he was the last survivor from an alternate-earth in the multiverse and the success of the animated full-length feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse could Sony had suspected that its partnership with Disney would become tarnished so quickly?

Inevitably this opens the way for Tom Holland (who apparently is locked in for 2 more pictures as is the franchise’s current director Jon Watts) to interact with Venom and expand on the much talked about inhabitants of the Spider-Verse. A film focused on the femme fatale Black Cat and one-time love interest of the web-slinger has been brandished about, so has another feature meant to capitalize on the hero’s rogues gallery. For a hot minute Sony had everyone waiting with bated breath on the arrival of The Sinister Six — it never happened.

With so many ideas to mine, perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea after all. With out the distraction of having to find a way to place mild-mannered high school student, turned Avenger, Peter Parker into a more elaborate storyline to service a grander theme, the future of the Spider-Man features could be far more incapsulated and center on the hero’s own trials and tribulations. With more than 6 decades of comic book stories to draw inspiration from, it could turn out far more profitable for Sony to hold onto the character.

Fans biggest fear though may be that away from the creative lead of Marvel’s chief creative mind Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal, the Spider-Man brand will suffer without the proper amount of coddling and support from the bigger cast of characters. Certainly the upcoming slate of films on Marvel’s slate may not have to worry about it; without a “next” Avengers on the horizon, it may not even matter. In the meantime we’ll have to accept that Spidey may inevitably remain far from home and has reached his own endgame.

Spider-Man: Far From Home has gone on to become the top-grossing film in Sony Pictures entire history, taking its predecessor Skyfall down a notch with a worldwide gross of $1.1 billion.

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InPrimetime | The Countdown to “CRISIS” has Begun!

The most anticipated primetime event of the season gets an airdate! The countdown to The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” 5-part crossover is imminent!

Some worlds will live and some worlds will die, but one thing is certain… The CW’s primetime landscape may never be the same after this season’s widely anticipated crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths” hits the DC television universe. Teased at the end of last season’s “Elseworlds” 3-part event, which set-up an impending threat to the extended DC primetime universe will continue with an endgame that will shake the foundation of the multiverse. The result will undoubtedly be felt across all The CW’s superhero shows.

The 5-part epic was the cornerstone of the network’s introduction at this year’s Upfront, the annual media gathering where the competing network’s reveal to advertisers what they have on the slate for the coming season. “Crisis on Infinite Earths” does not aim to disappoint and will straddle the winter hiatus with five interconnecting episodes across the primetime series, not excluding Black Lightning starring Cress Williams which has been reported will play a role in the crossover event as well.

The event may also signal the end of the “Arrowverse” as the series enters into its final and Eighth Season with a 10-episode run, as something new is promising will emerge after “Crisis” concludes. The Flash show runner Eric Wallace has suggested that especially for Central City’s Scarlet Speedster, the season will be divided into two-acts with the second half dealing with the post-effects of “Crisis”. Fans are certainly hopeful that in the fallout, series like Supergirl which exists on a parallel earth (Earth-38) will be integrated into a Prime-Earth.

Save the Dates

The television series and “Crisis on Infinite Earths” event will be impacted by the winer hiatus, pitting the second half of the story arc to air five weeks later and concluding in 2020; that is presumably when Arrow will be entering into its final episode and the team show DC’s Legend of Tomorrow returns for its Fifth Season. It’s likely that is also when returning series Black Lightning will be wrapping up its Third Season (making way in its time slot for Legends to move in). Here’s a breakdown of the airdates for The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover event:

  • Supergirl “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 1, Sunday, December 8, 2019 8pm.
  • Batwoman  “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 2, Monday, December 9, 8pm.
  • The Flash “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 3, Tuesday, December 10, 8pm.

Then, five weeks later…

  • Arrow ”Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 4′, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 8pm.
  • DC’s Legends of Tomorrow “Crisis on Infinite Earths” Pt. 5′, Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 9pm.

Starting Line-Up

Though the guest starring list of actors to appear in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” continues to grow, it was recently announced that Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne in the critically acclaimed series Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond will be appearing as the Bruce Wayne of the Batman Beyond era, leading many to speculate of the costumed appearance of Terry McGinnis’ futuristic Dark Knight. Among other famous faces said to be partaking of the crossover spectacle are Lynda Carter said to be reprising her role as Wonder Woman, and Burt Ward who played Robin in the 60s television iteration of Batman.

Tom Welling who starred as a young Clark Kent in 10 Seasons of Smallville is also suggested will be appearing as his earth’s Superman. In fact there will be at least three Supermen appearing during the crossover. DC’s Legends headliner Brandon Routh who inherited the cape and debuted in Superman Returns famously revealed at SDCC this year that he’ll also reprise his role as the Man of Steel, with Tyler Hoechlin returning as the Superman of Earth-38, Supergirl’s (Melissa Benoist) Kryptonian cousin. Jon Cryer is also on board as Lex Luthor.

LaMonica Garrett will also be pulling double duty! He’ll be playing the man at the center of all the machinations The Monitor and his evil twin The Anti-Monitor. Another CW series favorite that will be returning for the crossover event is John Wesley Shipp; fans are hopeful he’ll be returning as The Flash of Earth-90, the Barry Allen that Shipp played in his 1990 CBS series, which is also soon hitting a milestone. Shipp’s landmark series will be turning 30! It is also speculated that the actor will be appearing this season on The Flash as The Golden Age, Jay Garrick.

Stay tuned as more is revealed of this season’s most climatic television event!

Trailer | The CW’s BATWOMAN

Gotham City’s newest caped avenger is already leaving an impression on her fans! In the latest trailer released to promote the inaugural season of The CW’s new BATWOMAN everyone wants to wear her mark.

The anticipation surrounding the launch of the newest DC superhero joining The CW’s primetime line-up hit a fever pitch at San Diego Comic-Con last weekend with the sneak peek at the pilot of Batwoman drawing much praise from the audience. The series will star Ruby Rose who will be reprising her role first introduced in last season’s “Elseworlds” crossover event. Rose plays Kate Kane, the cousin of billionaire industrialist Bruce Wayne who stalks the shadows of Gotham City as the Caped Crusader, Batman.

But when the series opens up, the Dark Knight has been missing in action for 3 years, leaving the crime and corruption that plague his city to overrun the status quo. Kate has no other option but to put her military special ops training to the test to protect the innocent, especially when the notorious criminal Alice (played by Rachel Skartsten) threatens to take over the underworld. Batwoman is produced by Greg Berlanti and its show-runner Caroline Dries is promising that will be faithful to the comics, giving a cinematic platform to DC’s first out LGBTQ heroine headliner.

Bat…Looks Good On You

When she first meets with her contemporaries including the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), The Flash (Grant Gustin) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) in the “Elseworlds” 3-part storyline, although she’s at first a bit apprehensive to lend the heroes a hand, when their mission runs afoul and the inmates at Arkham Asylum all nearly escape, Batwoman has no choice but to join the fight! One of the prisoners incarcerated within Arkham’s “special” unit will have a very distinct role to play in this year’s 5-part crossover “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.

Even without superpowers, Kate Kane’s alter ego is already racking up a fan base of followers as seen in the latest trailer promoting the new series making it’s debut in the fall…

Batwoman starring Rudy Rose premieres Sunday, Oct 6 on The CW Network

Trailer | The CW’s THE FLASH Season 6 Sizzle Reel

Season 6 of the hit action series will introduce a new villain determined to undo everything Barry Allen and his team of heroes have worked so hard towards to building — and this year, there will be blood!

With all the “greatest hits” coming out of last weekend’s San Diego Comic-Con fiasco, all eyes were tuned into The CW shows and especially what’s in store for everyone’s favorite heroes considering that this season’s annual crossover spectacular will be something of a “crisis” level event. Among the anticipation to glean any new developments on the upcoming season of The Flash it appears the Scarlet Speedster and his fellow adventurers will be once again caught in the crosshairs of a deadly adversary.

Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West-Allen (Candice Patton) are both still recovering from the loss of their time-displaced daughter, Nora who was much of the focal point of Season 5. Though she’s now gone, Nora (portrayed by Jessica Parker Kennedy) is far from forgotten, in fact Eric Wallace who is now assuming the role of showrunner in Season 6, has suggested that the new season will begin moments after Nora’s departure, and the heartache losing her will bring to Barry and Iris. In the midst of this, a new threat will be taking shape in the form of Sendhl Ramamurthy.

Rogue’s Gallery Grows

In Season 6 of The Flash the writing team will be introducing a new adversary in the form of Dr. Ramsey Rosso, who is the alter-ego of the very macabre menace known as Bloodwork. The villain plagued the Scarlet Speedster in a recent issue of the comic The Flash #30 and proved a relentless foe. With Ramamurthy stepping into the role, especially after his tenure on the NBC series Heroes the expectation said Wallace is to infuse the series with some “mystery and thriller elements” this season.

In the new season’s Sizzle Reel Trailer unveiled at SDCC, it certainly looks like Ramamurthy’s Dr. Rosso will be raising the stakes, certainly in the first arc of the season. Wallace has also suggested that this year, especially because of the consequences of events leading into (and out of) the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” 5-part midseason crossover, the season will be divided into shorter arcs, giving the show a couple of different directions to explore rather than sticking to the formulaic “big bad” theory that would dominate the entire series arc for the year.

The Flash premieres this fall in Oct on The CW Network

Cover2Cover | The CW Heroes on Entertainment Weekly

The CW Network’s World’s Finest were gathered to grace five special edition covers of Entertainment Weekly annual Comic-Con Issue raising expectation levels for this year’s epic crossover event!

It’s Comic-Con Season! The annual entertainment media event that started out as just a gathering for fans who love comic books and the sci-fi/fantasy genre, has evolved into an unmatched spectacle of incredible proporations. San Diego Comic-Con has grown to such an immense scale it has become the primary means by which Hollywood exploits all of its biggest franchises across all mediums whether television, film and print, and is the destination for announcing some of the coming season’s most anticipated blockbuster events.

With its primetime line-up consisting of the most colorful band of costumed adventures on network television, The CW network’s heroes based on the DC Comics characters appearing on Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and the newly caped and cowled Batwoman were all given the star treatment gracing 5 limited edition covers of Entertainment Weekly heralding its SDCC 2019 coverage. Fans will agree, the titular heroes have never looked better — poised and powerful and ready for the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” that’s coming their way.

Final Bow (and Arrow)

Of course all eyes will be on Stephen Amell who will be concluding his run as the lead on Arrow since premiering the Arrow-verse back in 2012. In the cover story article, the actor reflected on his time as the Emerald Archer and the phenomenon he helped to launch. Since then Arrow has given rise to a prolific narrative and combined universe of superheroes easily challenging their big screen contemporaries. Grant Gustin stars as The Flash and will now be taking the baton and running with it as that series enters its Sixth Season.

The world of Arrow was (mostly) devoid of super powers until The Flash was introduced. Spinning out of the original’s Second Season, all bets were off after CSI investigator Barry Allen was struck by lightning and the Speed Force was unleashed. Since then a Maid of Steel has soared in the skies over National City (on Earth-38) and Legends of Tomorrow have battled a Legion of Doom through time, and soon the chaotic urban jungle of Gotham City will have a new caped wonder to contend with as Batwoman starring Ruby Rose suits up to fight crime!

Amell can proudly look back at the legacy that he’s helped to manufacture, and once the events unfurl of the series final and Eighth Season this fall, it all comes to a head as the annual crossover event patterned after the epic “Crisis on Infinite Earths” maxi-series that realigned the multiverse, will perhaps hand our hero a fatefully tearful end, the unprecedented success of the Arrow-verse will continue to endure.

The magazine also unveiled a new look and feel with a stylistically unique block font and perfect binding give the reader a sturdier feel to the periodical and announced that it will be now going out as a monthly, although it’s keeping the “Weekly” in the title. Entertainment Weekly “The Comic-Con Issue” August 2019 #1570/1571 is on stands now in 5 Limited Edition collectible covers.

UnBoxing | Icon Heroes THE FLASH (Earth-90) Collectible Statue

Straight out of last season’s “Elseworlds” crossover event Icon Heroes delivers a stunning collectible reproduction of The Flash (Earth-90) to add to your book shelf!

Last season’s CW, DC TV primetime crossover event “Elseworlds” left an indelible mark on its audience! Over the course of the 3-night event that brought the casts of Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl our heroes found themselves in the midst of an adventure unlike any they’ve ever encountered before. Certainly the annual event that marks the winter hiatus for The CW series has become the network’s most anticipated spectacle of the year. In the past, the show’s heroes faced an alien invasion, and fended off Nazis from an alternate-earth.

This past year, the shows’ show-runners decided to focus on the three bigger stars of the “Arrow-verse” Stephen Amell, Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist and open the door to a bigger crisis facing their future, all the while opening the playing field and introducing Gotham City’s enigmatic Batwoman (portrayed by Ruby Rose), but the crossover’s greatest moment came with the reintroduction of an original primetime favorite — The Flash as he was originally played by actor John Wesley Shipp was introduced into canon as “The Flash” of Earth-90!

Blast from the Past!

After the success of Tim Burton’s theatrical imaging of Batman in 1989, Warner Bros. was in search of the next DC Comics property to exploit. The answer came in the form of The Flash which was realized as a primetime series by television producers Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo and starred John Welsey Shipp as the titular character, Central City’s Scarlet Speedster, CSI investigator Barry Allen — The Flash! Although the series only lasted for one season on CBS in 1990, it made a considerable impression with fans.

With the success of Smallville and subsequently Arrow the time seemed right to reintroduce the super-powered character into primetime. The Flash returned to television in 2014 starring Grant Gustin in the lead role, and would feature Shipp as Henry Allen, Barry Allen’s father. In an interesting twist, in the same season that Henry met an untimely end at the hands of one The Flash’s enemies, Shipp was reintroduced into the mythology as another speedster — the Crimson Comet, Jay Garrick — The “Golden Age” Flash.

Standing Tall

The “Elseworlds” storyline gave the writing staff the unique opportunity to push the envelope of the Arrow-verse’s multiverse, and integrated Shipp’s “Flash” from 1990 (hence, Earth-90) into the story arc to face off against a strange interloper, a threat known as The Monitor! Icon Heroes an innovator in creating quality license pop-culture collectibles has captured The Flash (Earth-90) as the hero appeared in “Elseworlds” in a stunning 8.6 inch Limited Edition statue available exclusively through GameStop here.

Icon Heroes is also promising a statue of “The Flash” (Grant Gustin) as the hero appeared in Season 5 of the hit series, sporting his new, very streamlined outfit that harkens back to the 1990 series design.

THE FLASH (Earth-90) Collectible Statue | Icon Heroes | $79.99 available through GameStop or on the website here.