Category Archives: Featured

Will DC’s LEGENDS Get a Spin-Off?

The tweet heard round the world has fans wondering if The CW series is preparing to introduce some more changes, and more heroes, this season that might lead to a spin-off!

Though it’s only just entered into its Third Season DC’s Legend of Tomorrow which just premiered  four weeks ago on The CW, is apparently going through some changes — and some may have a significant affect on the series’ cast as the adventure progresses. Accused of having “broken” the timeline, the Legends returned to 2017 at the beginning of their new season and learned that there were some very serious ramifications to all their time-traveling last year. No matter how careful they had been throughout their journey, they returned to a present that was hardly recognizable.

The Legends one-time captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill) was forced to establish a new organization, sanctioned as the Time Bureau, the group is responsible for fixing time aberrations and tasks itself with correcting the damage created by the Legends. Rip effectively disbands the group and confiscates their time-ship The Waverider and casts the team of adventures to the wind. No longer deemed necessary, but more of a liability, the group disbands and returns (unsuccessfully) to mostly normal civilian lives, with the exception of a Nate Heywood (Nick Zano).

As Steel, Nate is the most inexperienced costumed crime-fighter. He emerges on the scene in Central City and immediately draws the attention of one of the city’s own speedsters Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale). Though it may suggest that the Legends have effectively disbanded, before the end of the Season 3 premiere episode, the group is reunited and find themselves once again onboard their time-ship, with the exception of Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) who has returned to her own time period. Amaya Jiwe would eventually reunite with the group by Episode 2.

A Changing Roster

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow had always been intended to have an evolving — or rather revolving — roster. Early on in the inception of the television series, it had been rumored that the executive producers were considering a different format entirely from the serialized time-traveling bandits that took over the feel of the narrative. Imagine Legends as an anthology series with a changing cast of DC Comics characters starring in 2-3 episode arcs, teaming up and crossing over with the other CW series Arrow, The Flash and even Supergirl to inhabit an entire televised continuity.

We now know that not to be case, but Legends cast has already gone to several changes since its debut. It’s been confirmed that original series regular Victor Garber who was first introduced in The Flash as one-half of the Nuclear Man Firestorm would be leaving the show this season. The actor will be returning to Broadway taking over the role of Horace Vandergelder in the successful revival of Hello, Dolly! opposite Bernadette Peters. What it will ultimately mean for the presence of Firestorm, who is also played by Franz Drameh, has yet to be developed.

Recently Legends introduced a new series regular in the form of Zari Tomaz (new series regular Tala Ashe) the inheritor of the power of Isis the paramour to the DC Comics villain Black Adam. Only having just interjected herself into the line-up, Zari is already proving a very interesting addition to the team dynamic. How her story will evolve over the season has yet to be written, but the computer hacker from a dystopian future-tense with the power of a weather goddess will more than likely have a profound affect on the story arc.

Twitter Me This

So when the DC’s Legends Writers Room (@LotWritersRoom) went on Twitter only two episodes into the season and asked its followers “Who would you like to see spin-off from Legends?” fans had some choice ideas of their own to share. Clearly over the course of its last two seasons, there have been several secondary characters guest starring that have made a significant contribution to the overall continuity that is the televised and expanded DC Universe, most notably in Season 2 the “Golden Age” heroes of the Justice Society of America made their debut.

With the JSA’s inclusion into the expanded storyline and the recruitment of one of their own (Vixen) into their ranks, audiences are aware that the Legends along with their friends in Star City and Central City are actually part of a far-reaching legacy of heroics. Though Hourman was suggested as part of a longer subplot in Season 2, it was the additional members of the JSA including Commander Steel, Stargirl, and Obsidian that played major parts in that season’s arc. Consequentially fans have asked that more about the JSA be revealed, perhaps in a spin-off!

During the First Season of Legends the roster also included among their roster Hawkman and Hawkgirl the lovers resurrected through time to confront that season’s “big bad” Vandal Savage. Both of the winged wonders served at one time or another as core members of the JSA themselves. Their backstory even played significantly into their time-traveling that season, and it might not have been improbable that the pair were among the unseen members of the JSA, and could turn up again in a JSA centric spin-off!

Interestingly on The Flash another “Golden Age” hero was introduced in the form of Jay Garrick, the original Flash (played by “Original 1990 Flash” John Wesley Shipp) as the Crimson Comet of Earth-3, but that doesn’t insinuate that the Flash isn’t himself a member of this continuity’s JSA. Ever since making a cameo in the premiere episode, rumors have circulated that Wally West, the Kid Flash would be joining the line-up on Legends officially. Perhaps the pairing of these two heroes Jay Garrick and Wally West would prove an interesting confirmation of the heroes’ legacies.

There were several other suggestions for heroes that might spin out of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow though audiences seem to all orbit around revisiting the Golden Age of the DC Universe and insert John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick / The Flash in a series regular role to fill out the histrionics of that era. Only time will tell if the Writers Room will take any of these suggestions, but fortunately for them on Legends what they have in spades is TIME!

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday nights @ 9pm EST time, following The Flash.

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iReview :: SUPERMAN THE MOVIE: Extended Cut

Still the “Gold Standard” by which all superhero blockbusters should be measured, director Richard Donner’s SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE gets a new Blu-ray release of the very rarely seen “3-Hour Long” TV Version!

 

In 1978 director Richard Donner did more than just prove that a man could fly — he made moviegoers believe in a super hero, and it made their hearts soar! Superman The Movie has since become one of the cinema’s most beloved adaptations of the DC Comics icon. The film inspired a franchise that has endured for decades, would incite the studios to seek out their own big screen counterparts, and that’s not to mention how many industry creatives, including DC Comics own Geoff Johns, who were indelibly impacted by the success of the film.

The feature length film was huge at the box office and would be followed by an equally successful sequel; Superman II would itself be well received by critics and audiences alike, though the film would be highly scrutinized and years later fans would learn of the conflicting personalities behind-the-scenes. When the original Superman The Movie made its way to primetime television, the film would receive a “Special Edition” redux and not long after, in a very special televised event, it would be exhibited in a re-edited 3-hour-long TV Version.

Though the Special Edition release has been commercially available on Blu-ray ever since the turn of the new millennium, it’s 3-hour-long cut has only just been given the same attention. For nearly 3 decades this version of Superman The Movie has gone unseen by many, and although it’s being hailed as the “definite” version of the film, it doesn’t diminish the greatness of Richard Donner’s vision. In an era of filmmaking that has become jaded to or expectant of “director’s cuts” or “extended versions” of theatricals Superman The Movie was way ahead of the curve.

A Man Could Fly

I’m reminded of the exhilaration I felt that first time sitting in a darkened movie theater whenever I see that curtain opening at the beginning of Superman The Movie and the opening notes to John Williams’ score. Donner’s movie intro harkens back to the origins of the Man of Steel, who was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster during the Great Depression. The character became a beacon of hope for many who felt powerless and stifled by the threat of war and poverty. Superman inspired a purpose; his incredulous deeds and powers made possible the impossible!

More than 75 years later, Superman is still DC Comics most iconic character and is as relevant a part of the motion picture franchise. The hero will be among the line-up that makes up part of the most anticipated cast of heroes to headline a full-length blockbuster when Justice League launches worldwide in November. In the heroes most recent big-screen incarnation, he is played by Henry Cavill (who will reprise his role in JL) who embodied the Lost Son of Krypton first in Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel released in 2013.

When Cavill returned to the world of DC Comics it was for 2016s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice also directed by Snyder, the film would mark the first time in contemporary cinema that both Batman and Superman, along with Wonder Woman would be appearing on film together. The event would also set the stage for what fans had long hoped would be the case, the inauguration of the expanded cinematic universe that would include a linked-up continuity that would match the pace established by the Marvel Films.

Though the feature-length film received very mixed reviews, it’s the Extended Cut released for home exhibition that truly fully incapsulated the story that should have been played for audiences in theaters. Through the reedit, Snyder was able to flesh out more character nuances and add some filler to scenes that felt stunted in the theatrical release. BvS The Extended Cut benefitted from its release and undoubtedly rallied the troops especially after the successful reception that its follow-up film Wonder Woman got.

3-Hours More Super!

Before the advent and popularization of the now very common post-theatrical release of the “Director’s Cut” of a film, Superman The Movie: Extended Cut was way ahead of its time in delivering a more full-bodied narrative to its audience. The film just released on Blu-ray finally puts into the hands of fans a 188 minute cut of the film, that is a touch different from the “Special Edition” version that was released in 2000, and is touted as the director Richard Donner’s definitive version of the film.

The pace of the film is much more deliberate; the added scenes allow for more story to evolve for example, for the film opens on the planet of Krypton, Jor-El (portrayed by the legendary Marlon Brandon) has just sentenced three criminals to the Phantom Zone (who will infamously return in the sequel to spell doom for Superman). The following scene has Jor-El confronting the Kryptonian council on the theory that their planet will soon face its own destruction, and unless they do something quick, their race will become extinct.

Although Jor-El promises that neither he or his wife Lara will leave the planet, the council detect an energy signature coming from his lab that would suggest they are likely preparing to evacuate and send a sentry to capture Jor-El. Unfortunately, Jor-El’s prediction comes true and the planet begins to crumble, but not before he sends his infant son Kal-El into space. The destruction of Krypton is much longer as its citizens make haste to try to escape, a futile attempt, and as Kal-El’s rocket soars into deep space along its trajectory to Earth, it passes the Phantom Zone prisoners.

When the baby finally arrives on Earth, he is rescued and raised by The Kents in Smallville, Kansas. As an adolescent the young Clark Kent (Kal-El’s new adopted name) must keep his powers a secret from everyone around him. Inevitably Clark must leave home, and after his father dies, he is determined to uncover his true nature. There are extended moments from Clark’s moments on the field in Smallville, and after his dad passes away, his journey North is much more perilous, as we get a better idea of the terrain he crossed before finding the Fortress of Solitude.

The extended scenes runout plenty of the film’s quieter moments, giving breath to scenes like Clark’s first day at the Daily Planet and when he first meets Lois Lane. Christopher Reeve perfectly captures the moment as he sits across from Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane for the first time and takes her in — for Clark it’s love at first sight. The scenes that don’t work all that well are the ones that are applied to Lex Luthor’s backstory. Although the criminal mastermind is expertly played by Gene Hackman, the additional buffoonery doesn’t do him any favors.

Superman The Movie: Extended Cut is worth the experience, and will appease the die-hard fan, but for the definite extended experience the “Special Edition” release is just as eloquent and charming as is the Theatrical Version equally well executed.

Superman The Movie: Extended Cut 2-Film Collection is now available on Blu-ray and can be purchased through the WB Shop www.shopdcentertainment.com.

iReview :: TEEN TITANS #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One

Following the recent events in Gotham City during the METAL crossover, Robin is looking to reboot the line-up, but it’s the Titans that expect Damian to fall in line! Can they persuade him to re-enlist Kid Flash?

When young Damian Wayne decided that he had all the makings to pull a team together that could rightly inherit the legacy of his father, the Batman and his teammates in the Justice League, Robin decided that he would gather alliances some tested and true. He pulled together the Teen Titans which had all but crumbled after losing their intrepid leader, the Red Robin in battle. DC Comics took its current company-wide rebrand “Rebirth” literally and raised the title from the ashes.

Robin convinced former Teen Titans, the shape-shifting Beast Boy and the telekinetic-witch Raven to stand by his side, and brought onboard the alien princess Starfire and the relative newcomer Kid Flash. It looked just like old times, except that with a penchant for being abrasive Damian didn’t immediately elicit the camaraderie necessary to inspire his teammates to follow him. Fortunately the Teen Titans eventually came around to help defeat Ra’s al Ghul.

The cover to the latest issue of TEEN TITANS #13, published by DC Comics.
Team Titans?

It’s unfortunate for Robin that he’s had to at many instances live in the shadow of his predecessors, and is most often confronted by the successes of the first Robin, Dick Grayson who helped co-found the original Teen Titans, then largely made up of the sidekicks of the Justice League. Now a full-fledged adventured of his own, Grayson is known as Nightwing and leads the Titans the original team of sidekicks, all-grown up and life-long friends into battle.

Most recently, the Damian’s team of Titans joined forces with Nightwing’s team to prevent the mercenary Deathstroke from altering history! With the advent of one-time “Kid Flash” Wally West having returned from his exile outside of mainstream continuity, Deathstroke intended to use the Speed Force to help him travel back in time and rescue his son from a fate worse than death. Chronicled in the recent crossover event “The Lazarus Contract”, ended with due consequences.

Both Wally Wests were held prisoner by Deathstroke who manipulated the younger Wally (Kid Flash) into helping him absorb the Speed Force for himself. In order the stop Slade from his dastardly task, Damian struck the older Wally West in the chest — in affect killing The Flash and stopping time, but irrevocably causing him to suffer permanent heart damage. Now whenever The Flash uses his powers he is danger of suffering a heart attack.

At the conclusion of that episode, Nightwing walked away not entirely trusting that Robin was a capable leader, and after firing Kid Flash from the active roster, Damian lost the confidence of his teammates. The mantle of leadership was passed to Starfire, a more experienced combatant and certainly a far more compassionate leader. Though the damage had been done, and with Kid Flash off the team the Teen Titans wondered if indeed they could be a team at all.

Full Circle

Although Robin has done his best to keep their faith, even bringing in the new Aqualad into their ranks, working closely with Nightwing and Green Arrow to protect Gotham City from the menace of the Dark Knights, he hasn’t won back the trust of his teammates — who decide that they want Kid Flash to rejoin the group. Damian, as usual, has other plans and goes off in pursuit of another candidate. At the behest of Green Arrow, Robin seeks out the archer known as Red Arrow.

The rest of the Titans try to convince Wally that his place is with them, but Wally will only return to the team on one condition — Damian has to apologize for treating him so badly. With the latest arc unraveling in the pages of Teen Titans #13 “The Return of Kid Flash” may be imminent, but can anyone predict what the team will look like when this latest adventure reaches its apex? Who have the Teen Titans put themselves in the crosshairs of this time?

What makes this line-up one of the more interesting reads published by DC Comics, is its very distinct personality. Although the characters are all very familiar and have a profoundly importantly legacy to live up to, with Damian in the reigns of this incarnation of the team, the Teen Titans is always unpredictable and fresh, keeping it one of the more consistently invigorating reads especially as the “Rebirth” rebrand continues.

Teen Titans #13 – “The Return of Kid Flash” Part One is on newsstands now.

Tickets Go On Sale for JUSTICE LEAGUE!

Get ready to join the Justice League when the DC Comics heroes finally arrive on the big screen, you can be among the first to see them in action. Tickets are now available via Fandango!

The time is drawing nearer and with tickets for Justice League finally going on sale, fans will have an opportunity to be among the first to see the team come together. Gal Gadot returns as the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman joining Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader! When a threat too big for either of them to handle alone threatens the earth, Batman decides to recruit a team of adventures to prove they can’t save the world alone!

Buy your tickets in advance from Fandango and get this exclusive Justice League poster art!

Check out the exclusive Teaser Trailer appearing on Fandango and visit the site here to purchase advance tickets. Fandango VIP ticket-buyers will also be given the opportunity to receive an exclusive and complimentary Justice League movie poster that won’t be available anywhere else! Perfectly capturing the members of the super powered epic that is already getting some brilliantly positive buzz.

The Justice League will unite on the big screen Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and introduce Aquaman, The Flash and Cyborg who will join forces to prevent an apocalypse!

On November 17 Justice League will be released and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures! Get ready to POWER UP!

 

Coming Soon: THE NEW MUTANTS First Look Trailer is here!

The X-Men’s Universe is about to get very dark! 20th Century Fox has released its first trailer for the upcoming next installment of their highly successor X-Men films franchise. The highly provocative “first look” at The New Mutants sets up some very sinister implications of a world that not only fears and hunts the extraordinarily gifted among them, but exists to frighten them most into submission!

Here is a look at the trailer:

The film directed by Josh Boone is an adaptation of the premiere spin-off of the Marvel Comics comic book The Uncanny X-Men which expanded the world of the imprints most popular characters at the time by including a “new generation” of untrained young people who were also gathered together by Professor Charles Xavier, the X-Men’s mentor and founder. The series was written by Chris Claremont who is responsible for the X-Men’s best-selling run.

Among the familiar faces appearing in the film which will be released in 2018, Game of Thrones fans will recognize Maisie Williams who will embody (most appropriately) the role of Rahne Sinclair, the ferrel beauty known as Wolfsbane. In the book, Rahne is the most obvious link between the two team, being the niece of Dr. Moira MacTaggert, a colleague of Professor X’s who is played by actress Rose Byrne in the films.

Other familiar “New Mutants” that will be appearing in the film include Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot and Magik, the younger sister of the X-Men known as Colossus. The New Mutants is released through 20th Century Fox and will be released in theaters in 2018.

Cover2CVR :: JUSTICE LEAGUE in EMPIRE

Join the LEAGUE! The cover of EMPIRE Magazine puts the JUSTICE LEAGUE front and center…and fanboys everywhere rejoice!

If you’re not yet excited about the upcoming release of the Justice League movie, maybe you’re still suffering PTSD symptoms after 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — which is understandable — though the recent success of Wonder Woman should be taken as hopeful indicator and inspired audiences everywhere that there is hope! One thing is certain, as the premiere date gets closer and the anticipation tightens, the league are looking pretty cool!

On the cover of the latest issue of EMPIRE Magazine the Justice League have been assembled — and that’s not a play on words just because filmmaker Joss Whedon has been recruited to wrap up production on the latest installment of Warner Bros. expanding DC Comics cinematic universe — the Marvel’s Avengers director stepped in for Zack Snyder when a family tragedy forced him to move aside. It has been confirmed recently that Snyder’s will remain credited as “director”.

Come Together

The journey to cinematic blockbuster has been a long one for Justice League and especially dodgy for Warner Bros. Studios and their line of DC based films. The franchise has had an ebb and flow of popularity with audiences; not to mention the competitive pace that’s been set by the Marvel Studios films which have successfully generated a serialized universe that has also recently partnered with Sony to incorporate a certain web-slinger into the mix.

From a Hollywood studio point of view, Warner Bros. and DC have a lot to catch up on. They were certainly given a leg up with the narratively successful take on the Batman when visionary filmmaker Christopher Nolan took over that franchise. Nolan and his team of creatives have continued their association with the studio and DC, upon completion of his Dark Knight Trilogy. The reins were ceremoniously passed to Snyder who launched a universe with Man of Steel.

Starring Henry Cavill as Superman, perhaps the most iconic superhero in the entire pantheon of comic book characters, Man of Steel raised many an eyebrow with its darker and more apocalyptic tone. The Superman mythology is one that is often associated with aspiration and hope, and when its follow-up the 2016 teaming up of Batman v Superman hit theaters, it continued on a trajectory that made many moviegoers wonder whether the DC universe was a place worth visiting.

With the advent success of Wonder Woman featuring Gal Gadot in the titular role as the Amazing Amazon, first introduced as part of the trinity in BvS it all seemed to change! Wonder Woman who will star prominently alongside Ben Affleck in Justice League has proven enough of a draw in her own right to raise anticipation and ignite excitement for the first blockbuster to bring the fabled team of DC Comics heavy hitters together on the big screen.

The Justice League Covered

The cast has been making the rounds have appeared as a united front at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con sans Cavill, who has been very secretive about Superman’s role in the film — many suspect that after the hero’s seemingly final moments in BvS he may have become a pawn of the invading alien armies and may not be on the side of the angels when JL hits theaters in November. Regardless EMPIRE Magazine covered the team brilliant in their new issue.

With words by Chris Hewitt the article dives into the behind-the-scenes construction of perhaps the biggest movie ever made (at least until Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War comes to light) and especially the passing of the baton between filmmakers. With Whedon tightening up the post-production of JL and doing some script-doctoring, many have speculated the writer/director famous for his lighter touch has gifted JL with more colorful dialogue.

In the article Hewitt cites the recent reshoots that have recently concluded and will continue to factor nearly into the 11th hour, as Whedon works steadily to finish editing Justice League. Everyone is very hopeful that when the film is complete it will shape-up as one of the best for DC and herald the age of its expanded cinematic universe which will continue with The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg the additional members of the league to appear in the blockbuster.

Justice League arrives in theaters in November. The latest issue of EMPIRE Magazine with the team on the cover is currently on newsstands!

Among the collectibles rolling out in support of the film a series of action figures have been released capturing the group likenesses. Here is THE FLASH!