"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, our weekly voyage into the home of a comic fan. Today’s collection comes from Steve Tabala, a digital illustrator who shows us his shelves of comics, trades, statues, art books and more. His “to read” pile looks like he’s building a fort, making my own pile look not quite as intimidating. It’s certainly a good way to spend more than a few Saturday afternoons.
If you’d like to see your shelves featured right here on Robot 6, check out the details here.
And now let’s hear from Steve …
If it’s Saturday, it must be Shelf Porn. Today’s collection comes from Colton, a 17-year-old with a collection of manga, comics, video games and more.
If you’d like to submit your collection to Shelf Porn, scroll down to the end of the post to find out how. Now let’s hear from Colton …
Mimicking comics in more ways than one, Warner Archive is offering a variant cover to its upcoming release of Shazam!: The Complete Series. The standard cover features a photo collage of the series’ main actors (see below), but the variant will have artwork by Jerry Ordway, creator of DC’s well-regarded Power of SHAZAM! series from the late ’90s.
It’s pretty smart marketing, too, because according to Super Hero Hype (who’ve confirmed with Warner Archive), the Ordway cover is only available to those who pre-order the series before its release date on Oct. 23. A lot of older fans have fond memories of watching the live-action show over a bowl of Fruity Pebbles on Saturday mornings, but haven’t seen it since and don’t know if it’s as good or fun as they remember. Younger fans don’t know what it’s like at all. Waiting to hear some buzz by others who’ve seen the new DVDs before spending $34.95 on the set is a reasonable strategy, but the Ordway cover makes it more enticing to go ahead and plunk down that $35 on a blind buy. Fortunately, we have more than a month to make up our minds.
Warner Archive isn’t so cruel as to make this the only way to get the art from Ordway’s cover, though: The Warner Archive podcast has a promotion going where you can get a poster version for free.
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where we give fans the opportunity to show us their collections, both big and small. Today’s submission comes from artist and collector Jens Lund in Denmark, who sent in photos of his shelves, statues and art studio.
If you’d like to see more Shelf Porn, I can’t do it without you–so send your pictures and write-up to email@example.com. Let’s make it happen!
And now here’s Jens …
Hello and welcome to Shelf Porn, where fans show us their collections. Today’s submission comes from Victor Liew in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
If you’d like to see your collection right here on Robot 6, just send me a write-up and some jpgs, and we’ll make it happen!
Now let’s hear from Victor.
After being largely forgotten for the past 19 years, CBS is releasing the comics-related oddity show Bob on DVD. Starring comedian Bob Newhart, the show explored the real-life oddities of working in the comic industry in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Newhart played a veteran comics creator who was bringing back his 1950s super-hero Mad Dog after being canceled in light of the Comics Code and Wertham-era investigations on comics.
During its two-season run in the early 1990s, it was looked at by comics readers as a potential bright spot in a fallow time for comics on TV screens. It’s comedy circled around the idea that publishers wanted Newhart’s character to revive the jovial Mad Dog as a dark vigilante in the vein of Watchmen or The Dark Knight Returns,with a compromise being reached to resume publication but the simmering tension going on as the series progressed.
Although comics fans initially hoped the series would be a bright light in the fallow dearth of comics-to-TV hits in the early 90s, the retro-stylings of the show seemed out of place with the current tastes of comics fans. The series is notable for having a bustling amount of comic creators as guest stars, including Jack Kirby as seen here:
I’ve been pretty excited for this movie to come out on DVD since I saw it back in May. Despite Captain America: the First Avenger‘s incredible achievement in crediting Marvel Studios as a real-live movie-making studio rather than a tentative wing of a funnybook publishing arm, I still like Thor better. I love the tone of the film, I love the music and the actors, I love the costumes and the pageantry, and I wanted to take it all home from the moment I walked out of the theater.
A lot of movies I adore come out with special packaging for their big release, and chain and online stores will often stock a limited thingamajig with your DVD sale. Iron Man came in a metal case when you bought it from FYE, and when my friend bought the first “Bayocalypse” Transformers movie, there was a bevy of different boxes, statuettes and editions he could choose from. It’s a nice bonus to being a nerd sometimes: we get cool stuff for liking cool stuff.
When I went to FYE this Tuesday to grab myself a copy of Thor, we chatted about this as I bought my very plain edition of the Thor movie. No tiny hammer. No statuette. The box wasn’t even shaped like his head. The only extras were a digital copy (that refuse to ever work when I download them), some Avengers hype, an awesome little short on Agent Coulson (see it here!) and some interesting featurettes on how this movie was made. All of them seemed very short but were more than simply accolades for all the people working on the film. I actually feel like I learned something about the production’s process, which brings me to the best part of the DVD that isn’t the movie, the deleted scenes.
In the featurettes, they mention that the director Kenneth Branaugh would take a lot of “one more” shots, giving the actors new and interesting directions as they went along. Some of these off-the-cuff innovations weighted Thor’s more dramatic moments stunningly, but that got me thinking about the choices that didn’t make it into the movie. What did they want to do before they shot this scene this way? Going through the deleted scenes, you could almost use them as puzzle pieces, trading one exchange out for another to make a slightly different movie for a different audience.
Join me, won’t you, as I take a look at these deleted scenes from Thor and try to figure out what could have been.
Marvel’s big summer blockbuster Thor movie arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD Sept. 13, and retailer Best Buy will offer “limited edition packaging” featuring the cover to Journey into Mystery #83 by Jack Kirby and Joe Sinnott for folks who pre-order it from them.
But wait — there’s more! If you pre-order, you also get a one-month subscription to Marvel’s Digital Comics Unlimited … a cool little extra that hopefully will introduce folks who liked the movie to the comics.
You can find the complete press release after the jump.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, the latest foray in Warner Brothers’ collection of straight-to-DVD animated movies, is a tired collection of military cliches interspersed with some impressive fight scenes. Words like honor, sacrifice and bravery get batted around like a well-used hacky sack at a Grateful Dead concert, but to little effect, other than to remind you that there’s a big screen, live-action movie starring Ryan Reynolds that will be coming out in theaters any day now.
Welcome once again to Shelf Porn, where comic fans show off their comic-filled shelves. Today’s Shelf Porn comes from Ian Wells from England, who shows us his comics, toys and more.
If you’d like to submit your own shelves for the whole world — or at least our viewing audience — to see, then send me pictures and write up: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now here’s Ian …
Warner Bros’ animated adaptation of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman is so reverent and faithful toward the source material that the film, to a certain extent, feels like a pale copy of its inspiration.
That’s not necessarily a damning criticism. Bruce Timm and company took the right approach in attempting to get as close a conversion from page to screen as possible (to do otherwise would have pleased no one). But the comic itself is so rich in detail and episodic in nature that even a trim, streamlined version like this that still manages to hit a number of the right high points feels a bit flabby in comparison. Saying “the book is better” is a rather easy cheat for a critic — the book is almost always better, but I suspect that fans of the comic won’t be able to watch this without running a compare/contrast checklist in their head and find the film coming up a wee bit short. The good news is that those coming fresh to the material probably won’t notice anything wrong at all.
Warner Home Video announced this week that the animated adaptation of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s All-Star Superman will arrive on DVD and Blu Ray Feb. 22.
Here’s how the press release described the film: “In All-Star Superman, the Man of Steel rescues an ill-fated mission to the Sun (sabotaged by Lex Luthor) and, in the process, is oversaturated by radiation – which accelerates his cell degeneration. Sensing even he will be unable to cheat death, Superman ventures into new realms – finally revealing his secret to Lois, confronting Lex Luthor’s perspective of humanity, and attempting to ensure Earth’s safety before his own impending end with one final, selfless act.”
The film will feature James Denton (Desperate Housewives) as Superman, Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) as Lois Lane, Anthony LaPaglia (Without a Trace, Happy Feet) as Lex Luthor, Ed Asner (Up) as Perry White and Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds) as Jimmy Olsen.
The release didn’t mention the inclusion of an animated short, but it will include a preview of their next original animated film, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
The complete press release can be found after the jump.
Welcome once again to Shelf Porn! This week’s shelves were submitted by David Doub, publisher of Dusk Comics, who shares his collection of manga, graphic novels and more.
And now let’s hear from David …
Iron Man 2 is still awesome.
It’s still a fun movie with all sorts of emotional beats and explosions and characters and lead-up and all those great things that, to be honest, make me read comics every week. If you pick up a monthly, you expect to see something of the character on the cover in the book, you expect to see him (or her) do something incredible and, by all rights, you should be interested in what the next issue is going to do. In a perfect world, I would be a millionaire with a unicorn and comics would always be recognizable, satisfying and leave you hungry for whatever is coming next.
Iron Man 2 worked almost as a film second, and a movie first because they devoted a lot of time to talk about the past and the future. Samuel L. Fury tries to get Tony Stark’s life back on track so they can use him for this “Avengers Initiative.” We go through an overwhelmingly Walt Disney-inspired piece for Howard Stark and the better future he saw when he put together the first Stark Expo. This is the continuation of something big, larger than life or even the life that the movie contained it in.
Settling down the the fanciest-schemanciest Blu-ray copy I could get my hands on, I wanted to see what it was like when you took this movie home. Did the lukewarm reception still come from the wide variety of audiences the movie tried to please? Or was it just not that great? Come with me and see.
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse isn’t a travesty, the way the previous Superman/Batman animated film, Public Enemies, was. It wasn’t an affront to my sensibilities or a 80-minute cringe-fest. But it’s not a particularly good film either, and bears a multitude of sins on its shoulders, including clunky exposition, poor to downright confusing characterization, inane dialogue and some surprisingly sloppy animation.