For years, Watchmen was one of the great untouchable masterworks in geekdom. Alan Moore’s deconstruction of the superhero myth was a watershed moment for the mainstream cultural acceptance of the comic book form. It was also a great story, with a beginning, a middle, and a decisive ending — a rarity in a medium built on characters designed to live forever. So it was only natural that DC Comics would ignite a mini-firestorm of controversy when they announced a sequence of Watchmen prequel series, Before Watchmen. READ FULL STORY
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Harry Potter is one of the most beloved fake human beings of all time. He was the central character in a series of novels that rescued the whole notion of “reading books” for a generation of children. He was the star of a film franchise that grossed several kabillions of dollars globally and redefined how Hollywood makes movies. And he is also the Antichrist, a being whose birth has been prophesied for generations, whose awful reign will cast an eternal shadow over our misbegotten planet. At least, that’s the argument put forth by Alan Moore — the brilliant comic book writer best known for writing Watchmen and complaining about Watchmen — in the newest entry in his long-running League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series. READ FULL STORY
As the full title implies for LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes — which hits stores tomorrow — the famed Caped Crusader is assisted this time out by a healthy quorum of his Justice League allies, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Transforming all of these iconic comic book characters into cute Lego figures may seem like a daunting task, but according to Jonathan Smith, head of production at Lego games developer TT Games, it was quite the opposite.
“Everything we see in this world, we convert into Lego by instinct,” he tells EW with a chuckle. “I don’t mean to sound mystical about it.” Smith does admit, however, that creating a Lego version of Gotham City intricate enough for players to interact with all of it, sandbox style, was rather more complicated. “That required more people, and more meetings,” he says. “We have a sense of Gotham, but Gotham can be many things. Over the decades, it’s taken many different forms.” Smith says his team strove to “feature all the most memorable [Gotham] buildings that we have seen over the decades,” and make them identifiable based on color of the lights surrounding each district. (Ace Chemicals, for example, has a “green glow.”)
You can check out the result of the team’s efforts in an exclusive trailer for the game below: READ FULL STORY
Today, as part of their expanding line-up of digital-first comic books, DC Comics launches a new Batman digital comic called Legends of the Dark Knight, a series of stand-alone stories about the Caped Crusader. And to kick off Legends, DC brought together a pair of powerhouse talents. The debut issue was written by Damon Lindelof (co-creator of Lost, co-writer of Prometheus) and drawn by Jeff Lemire, the ascending comic book writer-artist whose impressive credits include the creator-owned Sweet Tooth and the critically adored Animal Man. In an exclusive interview, EW got on the phone with the dynamic duo (Lindelof was calling from the West Coast, Lemire from Canada) to talk about the roots of their collaboration and why Batman looks better when his clothes don’t quite seem to fit. READ FULL STORY
The superhero wars are heating up. With Marvel Studios’ The Avengers now No. 3 on the all-time box-office chart, Warner Bros. appears hungry for a blockbuster superhero group of their own and is trying yet again to rev up a Justice League of America franchise. According to Variety, Will Beall, the screenwriter of the forthcoming crime epic Gangster Squad, has been tapped to pen a script. The new effort comes four years after Warner Bros. grounded a different Justice League project directed by George Miller (Babe, The Road Warrior). At the same time, the studio is developing separate, individual franchises for Justice League members Flash and (for the umpteenth time) Wonder Woman. Behold the legacy of The Avengers: A potential second wind for modern superhero cinema, and an affirmation of Marvel’s shared-universe approach — a business model which Warner Bros. (via DC Entertainment) might be able to milk and maximize in ways Marvel Studios can’t, given that Warner controls all of DC’s most valuable brands (Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, in particular) and Marvel, at present, does not (see: Spider-Man, The X-Men, The Fantastic Four). READ FULL STORY
The Game: For reasons as yet unclear, the heroes and villains of the DC Comics universe — including Superman, Batman, the Flash, Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, and Solomon Grundy — are brawling one-on-one Mortal Kombat-style in this new twist on the superhero mythos from the makers of, whaddaya know, Mortal Kombat. (Out 2013, for PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U)
What We Played: I battled Wonder Woman as Batman, and lost; Solomon Grundy as Harley Quinn, and lost; Solomon Grundy as the Flash, and won; and Harley Quinn as Superman, and won. Those were the only six characters available for my demo, and we played on the only two arenas available: The Batcave and the Fortress of Solitude. The arenas, in fact, are part of what makes Injustice stand out from other fighting games. READ FULL STORY
DC set off a depth charge among comic book fans when the company announced the forthcoming release of Before Watchmen, a series of prequel comics focusing on characters from the beloved Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons graphic novel. Now, EW has exclusively obtained a rough cut of a commercial for the cycle (a final version will begin airing on TV this week) that inclues first looks at the new renderings of all the classic Watchmen characters. (Huzzah for Skinny Nite Owl!) Watch the preview below: READ FULL STORY
Before Bill Murray was Bill Murray — the beloved eccentric who uses a 1-800 number in lieu of an agent and hired a deaf personal assistant just to spite Groundhog Day producers — he was a struggling comedian looking for gigs in New York City. In 1977, Murray would shoot to fame as Chevy Chase’s replacement on NBC’s Saturday Night; before that, though, he made ends meet by playing a Marvel superhero on a serialized radio drama.
That’s right: Serialized radio plays still existed in the mid-’70s. Marvel’s audio version of The Fantastic Four lasted just 10 episodes, according to Badass Digest — but listen to any of those, and you’ll be treated to Murray shouting goofy catch phrases (“Flame on!”) as Johnny Storm, a.k.a. the Human Torch. Bonus geek points: The serials are narrated by Fantastic Four co-creator Stan Lee.
Check out Murray’s early voiceover work by listening to Episode 1, “Fantastic 4 Meets the Moleman,” below. You can also find the series in its entirety at archive.org.
Earlier this month, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio revealed to a convention audience in England a heretofore heterosexual DC superhero would be coming out of the closet. DiDio kept mum about the hero’s identity, although he did note that it would be “one of the major iconic DC characters.” Today, DC has confirmed Internet rumors that the character in question is Alan Scott, a.k.a. the original Green Lantern, currently appearing as a lead character in DC’s Earth 2. EW spoke to Earth 2 writer James Robinson (Starman, The Golden Age) about the rebooted version of one of DC’s original heroes.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you always know that you wanted a gay character at the forefront of the Earth 2 series?
JAMES ROBINSON: The original version of Alan Scott was an older man, and he had a superpowered son, Obsidian, who was gay. The fact that Scott was young now [thanks to a universe-wide reboot] meant Obsidian no longer existed. I thought it was a shame that DC was losing such a positive gay character. I said, “Why not make Alan Scott gay?” To Dan DiDio’s credit, when I suggested it to him, there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. READ FULL STORY
We know that Mads Mikkelsen is in serious talks to play the villain in Thor 2. So the question becomes: Just which villain will he be playing? Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige has ruled out at least one serious possibility. (SPOILER ALERT for anyone who still hasn’t seen Avengers.) In a new interview, Brit film magazine Empire asks Feige about the possibility of a Thor 2 appearance by Thanos, the death-obsessed demigod who was pulling Loki’s strings in The Avengers. After indicating that Thanos will be saved for the future (Avengers 2, perhaps), he promised: “There will be a major new villain [in Thor 2]. A major, major new antagonist…”
In the comic books, Thor has typically faced three species of villains: evil Asgardians, earthlings infected by Loki’s magic, or near-omnipotent superbeings. Feige hinted at the nature of that antagonist by talking a bit about the overall feel of the sequel: “We’re going to see the other side of Asgard. It’s not all polished and golden in this film.” Feige’s hint about the movie’s setting implies that the baddie in Thor 2 will be from the “other side of Asgard.” When reached by EW, Marvel Studios declined further comment on the nature of Thor 2‘s villain or setting. But speaking as a Thor scholar, I think there’s only one character that Mads Mikkelsen could possibly be playing…(Theory Alert!) READ FULL STORY
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