Marvel Studios, Feige No Longer Under Perlmutter's Purview
Comic Books, Film
“Arrow” star Stephen Amell makes the leap — and based on the moves he showed last week, “leap” is exactly the right word — from actor and pro wrestling fan to WWE Superstar for one night this Sunday at “WWE SummerSlam,” teaming up with Neville against Stardust (who he’s sparred with over social media for weeks) and Wade Barrett.
Amell is far from the first celebrity to participate in a pro wrestling match — Jay Leno, of all people, did so back in 1998 — but the overlap between wrestling fans, genre TV fans and comic book fans have generated keen interest in the affair (along with the fact that the parkour-training Amell probably will be able to do some pretty impressive things inside the ring). With that type of interest, of course, comes a ton of fan art.
As the fall premieres of DC’s various superhero television series tick closer, the updates dive deeper into comics lore. I certainly wasn’t expecting a “Flash of Two Worlds” homage (eee!) to be part of the marketing, nor did I think Matt Ryan’s John Constantine would himself cross over to Arrow. Otherwise, Arrow is teasing Oliver’s mayoral run; The Flash has cast Wally West; Supergirl promises Red Tornado and General Zod; and Legends of Tomorrow may take its tone from Justice League International.
However, for me the most intriguing news is the impending arrival of Hawkman. I’m curious about how Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Geoff Johns, et al., will try to make him appealing (or at least watchable) for the broader TV audience. I say that a bit skeptically, because Hawkman has never really done much for me.
Just when we thought LEGO might have revealed the last of its Comic-Con International exclusives, the toymaker rolls out another: a minifigure of Arsenal (aka Roy Harper) from Arrow.
Like the Sam Wilson Captain America minifig revealed last week, this too is a giveaway. However, before you get too excited, The Wall Street Journal notes that just 1,500 of them will be available on Thursday, July 9, meaning thousands more LEGO and Arrow fans are going to be sorely disappointed (although some of them will undoubtedly be able to snag one on eBay, for the right price).
Stardust may have lost his match last night on Monday Night Raw, but that didn’t keep the WWE’s resident supervillain from continuing his recent Twitter war with television superhero and longtime WWE fan Stephen Amell.
After kicking off his pre-match ritual by leaning over the guardrail and hissing in the face of the Arrow star, Stardust (aka Cody Rhodes) was unsuccessful in his bid to defeat the high-flying Neville. Of course, if you take commentator JBL’s word for it, Stardust’s poor showing was due to being embarrassed “right out here in front of his nemesis, the Arrow.”
When her high school was failed by an “awful” prom theme — “Sweet Dreams (or Candy Land)” could only be the work of Ra’s al Ghul — Danielle Taylor set out to make things right … by attending in a dress inspired by Arrow.
In a Facebook post written to series star Stephen Amell, Taylor showcases photos of herself in an emerald-green gown, hood and matching sneakers (for a round of after-prom crimefighting, undoubtedly), and carrying a bow. Her friend Ashlyn, dressed in red, stood in for The Flash.
Arrow, Black Canary, the Dark Archer, Deathstroke, Flash, Reverse Flash and Captain Cold are among several characters from the shows that can be found in this ReAction figure lineup, which models its look on the popular action figure format from the ’80s and ’90s.
This week it’s back into the DC/CW television universe, as news has broken about three “major DC characters,” each new to the TV realm, who will be part of the upcoming Arrow/Flash spinoff series. Some brief character descriptions are now fueling speculation about these folks. So who are The Traveler, Female Warrior and Mystery Hero — and why do we want to know?
After pitting Marvel against DC and the Empire against the heroes of both companies, Alex Luthor has turned his attention to another sci-fi franchise, using the Tesseract to draw in the Decepticons for a fan trailer that mashes together all of the mass destruction of Michael Bay’s Transformers series with all of the … mass destruction of superhero films.
When Megatron & Co. attack, it creates a threat so big that not even the combined powers of the Avengers, Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Green Lantern, Spider-Man, Arrow and The Flash aren’t enough to stop them. That’s when Nick Fury calls in some help …
Ahead of Saturday’s kickoff of Toy Fair 2015, DC Collectibles has unveiled a lineup that includes the debut of the DC Comics Icons action-figure line, based on the work of artist Ivan Reis, and the first 6-inch-scale Batmobile inspired by Batman: The Animated Series.
Accompanying the Batmobile is the fifth wave of figures from Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures — Nightwing, Bane, Mad Hatter and Scarecrow — plus a two-pack from Mask of the Phantasm (MTV News has the full details on the figures). The Batmobile features sliding door access and room for two 6-inch figures.
If Dave Jones has proved anything with his Arrow Jedi mashups, it’s that with lightsaber effects, a John Williams score and the stray droid cameo, Starling City can be convincingly transformed into a galaxy far, far away.
He debuted his trilogy in May with “Under the Hood,” which included appearances by R2-D2 and an Ewok, which he followed in November with “Corto Maltese.” But all of that was only laying the groundwork for the epic finale, “The Climb,” which reimagines Arrow‘s midseason cliffhanger — the showdown between Ra’s al Ghul and Oliver Queen — as a high-stakes confrontation between Sith Lord and Jedi.
(Time once again for ROBOT 6 contributors Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman to email each other about the year in DC and Marvel superhero comics. This year’s exchange took place between Dec. 26 and Dec. 30.)
Tom Bondurant: First let’s address the elephant in the room — or, more accurately, the infinite number of parallel rooms, each containing a slightly different elephant. In 2015, both Marvel and DC are building Big Events around their respective multiverses. Conventional wisdom predicts that DC is doing this to address fan criticisms of the New 52, perhaps resulting in some continuity tweaks.
Carla Hoffman: Oh, man, I hope that’s true! Honestly, I have a hard time judging the inner workings of our respective companies sometimes because I always hear more from the fan side than the production team. Enough customers come in, day in and day out, with a piece of their mind on how things should be run or changed, but rarely do the people in charge — not creators and editors, mind you, the people who sign the checks at the end of the day with real power — come forward to say, “We feel this is the right direction.” Tom Brevoort on Tumblr comes close with his tireless open forum, but even then there’s always going to be company policy. If DC is brave enough to go “Maybe we shouldn’t have thrown the entire baby out with the bathwater” and massage their continuity into a more pleasing shape for fans, that’s going to be a heck of thing that will have an effect on readership, for sure.
A little over a year ago, I asked, “what do we want out of a [superhero] comic-based TV series?”
This season, DC Comics fans have plenty of material to fuel that debate. I still haven’t seen any of Gotham or Constantine, but I’ve really enjoyed the combination of The Flash and Arrow. With both shows taking a break for the holidays, today I want to see what satisfies and what doesn’t.
* * *
It took me a while to warm up to Arrow. After taking most of last season to catch up — and, as it happens, missing the Barry Allen episodes — I seem to have gotten on board just at the right time. Because I am not a fan of superhero shows that de-emphasize the “superhero” part, it was harder for me to accept that Oliver Queen would skulk around the urban jungle in a hood and eyeblack. That sort of intermediate realism (which now reminds me of the short-lived TV show based on Mike Grell’s Jon Sable comics) somehow requires more suspension of disbelief than a full-on costume and codename does.
To help promote tonight’s episode of Arrow, The CW has returned to the series’ roots, with a one-page comic teasing the search for the latest threat to Starling City, Cupid.
Debuting in the closing moments of last week’s episode, where she immediately proved her deadliness, Cupid (aka Carrie Cutter) was introduced in 2009 in DC Comics’ Green Arrow/Black Canary #15, by Andrew Kreisberg and David Baron. Kreisberg of course went on to co-create Arrow and its spinoff The Flash (although he didn’t write tonight’s episode, “Draw Back Your Bow’).
“I thought that the way Warner Bros. announced the slate of DC movies could have been handled better. I think that someone like Grant Gustin, who has just launched an iconic character like The Flash, to record-breaking numbers — numbers that far surpassed Arrow‘s numbers […] I think that he should have been given a wider berth than two episodes before another actor was announced to play his character. […] I thought that it was shitty that all of this stuff got announced the morning that the ratings — the spectacular ratings — of the second episode of The Flash came in.”
(NOTE: I’m happy to acknowledge the hard work and obvious dedication of the blogger Count Drunkula, whose Black Canary fansite Flowers & Fishnets was a great resource in putting together this post.)
Recent developments on The CW’s Arrow have gotten me thinking about the various twists and turns visited over the years upon DC Comics’ Black Canary. The television series has come at the character from a few different directions, even splitting some of her characteristics among three players. It makes sense for an adaptation of Green Arrow to include at least a nod to his longtime love interest, as traditionally they’ve been one of DC’s most prominent super-couples.
However, Black Canary didn’t start out as part of Green Arrow’s supporting cast, and even a cursory glimpse of her past invites some careful examination. Indeed, for a few years in the ‘80s, the history of Black Canary threatened to approach Hawkman levels of continuity complexity. Today we’ll look back at that history, and specifically at how a shared-universe setting can both screw up and enrich a character.