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At Vulture, we love comic books. We think that they matter, that they’re fun, and that they deserve our attention and not just our snark (though some of that’s cool, too). But the proliferation of big brooding men in masks, what some call the Frank Miller Effect, has become tiresome; that self-serious Batman v. Superman trailer probably needs to speak with a therapist, it’s so melancholy. And yet, the notion that super heroes have only become mean and dark in recent years, that Superman has traditionally been a nice, smiling savior, is erroneous. Truth is they’ve always been kinda mean.Over at The Atlantic, Charles Moss has penned an excellent essay that vivisects Superman’s morally ambiguous origins. As with Bob Kane’s Batman, who began life as a guy in a mask who threw thugs off of rooftops and hanged people by the neck from his Batplane, »
- Greg Cwik
The critical and commercial success of Marvel's Netflix show has given the character of Daredevil a new lease of life, with a confirmed second series, a co-lead spot in the upcoming super-team show The Defenders and a possibility that the character could one day make an appearance in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. With that in mind, it's time to re-appraise the character's first big-screen outing – writer-director Mark Steven Johnson's Daredevil, starring Ben Affleck. Is it really as bad as its reputation suggests?
Released in 2003 (the same year as Ang Lee's Hulk and Bryan Singer's X2, though it was first out of the gate), Daredevil took more than $102 million at the Us box office and just $76 million outside the Us, for a worldwide total of $179 million. Despite more than doubling its budget it was perceived as a flop, especially alongside the likes of Spider-Man and X-Men, whose successes »
No one draws violence quite like Geof Darrow, and nothing he’s drawn is quite as violent as his latest graphic novel. The 59-year-old artist first became famous for 1990’s Hard Boiled, his insanely bloody collaboration with legendary comics writer Frank Miller, and since then has garnered acclaim for epic works like the monsters-and-robots tale The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot and the kung-fu/Western mash-up The Shaolin Cowboy — as well as his now-legendary concept art for The Matrix. But even die-hard fans couldn’t have anticipated just how insane Darrow’s newest offering would be. The Shaolin Cowboy: Shemp Buffet is on shelves now, and I can safely say it has the best dialogue-free, 109-page zombie fight scene you’ll read all year. The novel, published by Dark Horse, follows the titular martial-arts master as he attacks a seemingly endless pack of zombies in the desert and »
- Abraham Riesman
Simon Pegg is still a nerd and proud of it.
This week however the nerd community was ready to cast him out on account of some comments he made to the Radio Times. Pegg, who despite writing Star Trek 3 and leading the Cornetto Trilogy and likely cameoing in Star Wars VII, felt that he might one day “retire from geekdom” and pursue “serious acting” because of the “dumbing down” of our culture due to these movies.
“Part of me looks at society as it is now and just thinks we’ve been infantilised by our own taste,” Pegg said. “Now we’re essentially all consuming very childish things – comic books, superheroes… Adults are watching this stuff, and taking it seriously…It is a kind of dumbing down in a way, because it’s taking our focus away from real-world issues. Films used to be about challenging, emotional journeys or »
- Brian Welk
Simon Pegg has responded to the controversy around his belief that cinema has been 'dumbed down' in recent years.
The actor, who is currently co-writing the script for Star Trek 3, criticised the industry's focus on 'childish' comic book and superhero subject matter.
However, he has now published a blog post to clarify his position and reassure fans that he is "still a nerd and proud".
He wrote: "The 'dumbing down' comment came off as a huge generalisation by an A-grade asshorn. I did not mean that science fiction or fantasy are dumb, far from it. How could I say that? In the words of Han Solo, 'Hey, it's me!'
"In the last two weeks, I have seen two brilliant exponents of the genre. Ex Machina and Mad Max: Fury Road, both of which had my head spinning in different and wonderful ways and are both very grown up films. »
Villains are everything to a story, and especially in the comic book medium, a hero is only as good as the villains that they thwart. Batman has the most recognizable, most iconic, and overall best rogue’s gallery in all of comics. From classics such as Two-Face, Catwoman, and the Riddler to relative newcomers like Bane, The Court of Owls, and Hush, all of these villains, and are strongly ingrained in comic book lore to a degree unmatched by other comic book villains. There are some heroes like Superman, Shazam, and the Hulk who have such a shallow crop of villains to draw from that it works against a creator’s ability to tell quality stories. Batman doesn’t have this problem; in fact, one of the greatest comic book villains calls the Dark Knight his archenemy.
What makes the Joker such an exciting villain isn’t just his diabolical deeds, »
- Andrew Doscas
It’s here, dear readers, I’m on vacation! I’ll be out of town for the next couple weeks, and in order to not deprive you of Trailer Trashin’, I’ve written four columns that will make their way to you over the next week or so, covering four of the biggest trailers that dropped in the later part of April. Third of these is the teaser trailer for next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Premise: Two years after the end of Man of Steel (2013), Superman (Henry Cavill) has taken a place among society as an icon and hero and has made the world safer to live in, but many distrust his altruism due to remembering the destruction from his battle in Metropolis, the foremost being corporate mogul and prominent Metropolis citizen Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg). Into the debate enters the billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck »
- Timothy Monforton
Mad love for Bad Blood! Taylor Swift unveiled the brand-new, star-stuffed music video for her latest single "Bad Blood" during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 17. As teased in the past few weeks, the pop superstar's many famous friends had starring roles in the Joseph Kahn-directed video, including appearances from Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Gigi Hadid, Zendaya, Karlie Kloss, and more. The clip, mimicking the feel of a Frank Miller and Quentin Tarantino flick, opened with Swift [...] »
Marvel may have crafted their own wide-spanning cinematic universe, but DC and Warner Bros will strike back next year with the release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zack Snyder's follow-up to Man of Steel.
Digital Spy rounds up everything you need to know on the superhero epic below...
Batman will be older and more grizzled...
Hollywood has traditionally cast a thirtysomething as the Caped Crusader, but Ben Affleck is a little more experienced than those who've come before. The idea of bringing in an older Bruce Wayne should create an interesting dynamic between Batman and the younger Superman (a returning Henry Cavill), which is something Snyder has discussed when addressing Affleck's casting.
"Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry's Superman," he commented. "He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the »
Earlier this month, we got a new look at the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which was first very briefly glimpsed in the first trailer. While we'll have to wait and see if the second trailer gives us an even better look at Batman's (Ben Affleck) aerial assault ship, more Batwing promo art has arrived, courtesy of El Mayimbe. While these images don't exactly show us any new details of the ship, we do get to see it from a few different angles.
Many have noticed that this Batwing is very similar to the ship in Frank Miller's classic comic book The Dark Knight Returns. It's worth noting that, when this highly-anticipated adventure was first announced at Comic-Con a few years back, actor Harry Lennix read a passage of dialogue from The Dark Knight Returns, before the official Batman v Superman logo was unveiled. In that comic, Batman is an older, »
Film, TV and games companies have big plans for legendary tights-wearer Robin Hood. Here’s our primer on all the new versions…
Note: we've taken images from old Robin Hood projects because these new films and things, um, don't exist yet. Maximum geek points to whoever can remember what they're all from.
You don’t need us to remind you, but these days Hollywood and TV executives seem to have one target in mind – big franchises, hopefully with spin-offs and tie-ins galore across all possible forms of media.
An interesting consequence of all this is that the entertainment industry has begun looking beyond capes and cowls in their ‘what can we make a franchise out of?’ discussions. ‘What about other sorts of legendary characters?’ you can imagine them asking, before a big eureka moment… ‘What about Robin bloody Hood?!’
Almost simultaneously, it seems like every studio in Hollywood has latched »
Of all the comic book movie franchise instalments on the horizon that seem to have a really hard time of things in internet-land, it’s without a doubt Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice which gets the most stick. Few comic book movies have created such intense, heated debates and online spats as the Man of Steels’s upcoming face-off with the Caped Crusader.
It’s perhaps easy to see why: Snyder clearly divided audiences with Man Of Steel – for many it was far too dark and brooding, as if the producers were simply trying to capitalise on the success of The Dark Knight Trilogy’s grit (and with Christopher Nolan on board as one of those producers this influence was always going to be there). And for all its excess of style there felt like a distinct lack of substance, not to mention »
- Andrew Dilks
Unbalanced personalities, damaged psychosis and narrative conventions all jostle for position, in this penultimate portion of Gotham on Fox. Erin Richards, all but forgotten in the ebb and flow of events, comes to the fore opposite Ogre extraordinaire Milo Ventimigilia. Elsewhere Lord Taylor continues his plotting while the underused Carole Kane milks eccentric like a crazed bag lady playing dress up. Shoehorn in a coming of age subplot to give teenagers Bruce and Selina relevance, and everything else remains business as usual at Fox.
Now I have defended Gotham relentlessly against conspicuous and vocal opposition. My evidence has been heartfelt but in the main fallen on deaf ears. Educated in comic folklore and able to spout from a position of assumed supremacy, these debates were short lived. My reasoning time and again was always to take it on face value. Ignore for »
- Gary Collinson
Joss Whedon wanted Marvel to make a movie starring its Daredevil character. The director, who recently helmed 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron', has revealed he was pushing the film studio to make a feature about the Marvel character, but it was ultimately decided he should have his own TV series on Netflix instead. Speaking during the promotional tour for his new movie, Joss told IGN: ''I fought for Daredevil to be a film instead of a TV show.'' Joss said that although he wanted the character to appear on the silver screen, he admits Daredevil is better suited to the TV platform. He said: ''If the show's working, the show's working. Comic books are serialised entertainment and a lot of them lend themselves to TV shows as much or more than they do to movies. ''I like him because he's basically Marvel's Batman, thanks to Frank Miller basically. »
In this edition of The Week in Spandex, we look at Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man, Daredevil, Luke Cage, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Punisher, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fantastic Four, X-Men: Apocalypse, Silver Surfer, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Gotham, The Flash, Arrow, Constantine and more…
Having been out in several international markets including the UK for over a week (enjoying an international opening weekend of $201 million and setting a record for the biggest ever opening for a superhero movie on these shores), Avengers: Age of Ultron finally made its way into U.S. theaters on Thursday night, with the latest Marvel Studios blockbuster pulling in a whopping $27.6 million from midnight screenings – almost $10 million more than its predecessor in 2012. Reports are suggesting that Age of Ultron claimed the highest opening day in history yesterday with between $94 and $97 million, and »
- Gary Collinson
Happy Batman Day, everyone! Around the world, May 1st may mark a spring holiday, but here, it marks the first appearance of the Dark Knight, in Detective Comics No. 27, in 1939.
For the past 76 years, the Caped Crusader has been fighting Gotham City evildoers in comic books, movies, TV shows, and pretty much anywhere else you can shine a Bat-signal. Throughout the years, Bruce Wayne's alter ego has gone through many incarnations, not just in actors (from Adam West to Michael Keaton to Christian Bale to Ben Affleck, among the many), but also in character, from haunted avenger to squeaky-clean do-gooder to campy clown to kinky prowler to world-weary fighter. He's due for yet another change this week, with the releases of DC's Batman No. 40 -- in which Bruce Wayne and the Joker finally kill each other (or do they?) and a special issue of DC's Divergence, where an undisclosed character »
- Gary Susman
See Full Gallery Here
We may still be about a year away from the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but that hasn’t stopped Warner Brothers from jump-starting the marketing campaign for the highly-anticipated superhero showdown. In addition to the film’s first teaser trailer – which has, predictably, caused quite a stir online – and posters, we’ve now been treated to some promotional photos that give us our first real look at the two new batsuits that Ben Affleck will don in the film.
The images come courtesy of the forums on Blu-ray.com and also feature a glimpse at Cavill as Supes, in what looks like a much brighter costume than the one worn in Man of Steel, as well as some awesome artwork that plays up the “versus” angle of the film via some vintage, boxing match-inspired banners.
It may still be a bit too early to tell, »
- James Garcia
jPosters/Warner Bros. Pictures
After an initially, shall we say, volatile reaction, people have really come around to Ben Affleck as Batman in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. And why not? He looks to be the best thing in Zack Snyder’s super-sequel, with both the acting pedigree and the chin to pull off the Dark Knight (even if his Bat-voice goes even further than Christian Bale’s).
The steady release of images showing Affleck in costume has certainly helped prove that the former-Daredevil is the right man for the part. The first black and white Tweet from the director served as a solid statement of intent for this take on the character and, following a typically dark and saturated look in the teaser released a couple of weeks back, the world now has its first image of the new Batman in glorious colour.
jPosters/Warner Bros. »
- Alex Leadbeater
We have a fantastic look at what could be the finalised Batsuit that Affleck will don for his upcoming stint as the caped crusader. These leaked images are very much in keeping with Frank Miller's vision of Batman from his 1980's graphic novels on which at least part of the story for Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is based. The images were leaked today and are rumoured to be taken from posters that were handed out to attendees of IMAX screenings for last weeks trailer event. Filming recently finished on the production and the leaked pics are the latest in a series that have found their way online showcasing the look of various members of the cast of heroes who will make some kind of appearance in the movie. My first reaction to these pics is that Affleck looks huge; an immense and powerful version of Batman that »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave Higgins)
Warning: Daredevil comics and potential season 2 spoilers.
The success of Netflix's Daredevil show led to the unexpected (and entirely welcome) decision to commission a second season which will begin filming before the end of the year. But with the first season largely covering the origin stories of Matt Murdock as Daredevil and his nemesis Wilson Fisk (the Kingpin), where can season 2 go with it? We've taken a look to try and find out. Although beware – you've definitely got spoilers for the comics and probably for Season 2 as well!
If you had to bet on any story getting adapted, this'd be the one. Frank Miller's critically-acclaimed Daredevil run was actually split into two parts, and this is the second. It teamed Miller with artist »
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