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Tag: Comic Books (91-100 of 409)

Superhero Bracket Showdown: Who is the Greatest Superhero of All Time?

There was a time when superheroes were not very popular. They were not grossing $1 billion at the worldwide box office. They were not inspiring Pulitzer Prize-winning novels. They were not getting attention for their sexual orientation. In the late ’90s, following the catastrophic burst of the comic book bubble, the whole industry that created superheroes seemed to be flailing towards extinction.

But in the last decade, costumed crimefighters haven’t just become popular again. They have colonized the mainstream. Once pure geek fodder, the tropes of superherodom — the origin story, the superpowers, the costume(s), the various conflicting interpretations — have all entered into the average citizen’s lexicon. Which means that now is the perfect time to throw all our favorite superheroes into the ring for an epic cage match and try to answer a decades-old question: Who is the greatest superhero… of all time?

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Batman. Bane. Catwoman. That ending! Time to talk about 'The Dark Knight Rises' -- but only if you've seen it.

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“Don’t be afraid.” Those were the dying words of Thomas Wayne, said to his traumatized young son after being shot behind a theater by a thug named Joe Chill. The scene in Batman Begins resonates anew with eerie irony — and hopefully, a little inspiration — one day after the opening of The Dark Knight Rises and the tragedy in Aurora. Despite the terror felt nationwide following the violence in Colorado, and even in spite of it, moviegoers packed into multiplexes yesterday to watch the conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman movies. And now, you have questions, opinions, quibbles, praises, and many other things to say about this heavy superhero spectacular – particularly the way it ended.

So let’s talk about it. Fearlessly.

And with a massive amount of detail… which is to say, SPOILER ALERT!

Seriously: If you have not yet seen Rises, STOP READING NOW. Because we’re not holding back on anything, beginning with…  READ FULL STORY

It's all part of the (city) plan -- See Gotham mapped out

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Within the Batman universe and especially in Christopher Nolan’s interpretation, Gotham City is a character all of its own. Nolan’s trilogy was shot in a variety of locations, with Chicago, Pittsburgh, L.A. and New York, among others, combining to create the ultimate comic book locale, but what exactly does that look like?

The Dark Knight Manual (Insight Editions) illustrates a comprehensive view of the city’s exact layout and while various versions of the map have been online since 2008, this one is the clearest. But where is Wayne Manor or the theater and Crime Alley where Bruce Wayne’s parents met their untimely demise? Take a look at a bigger version of the map below.

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COMIC-CON: HULK VS. HALL H!

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EVENTUALLY, THE TWO OF US HAD TO DO BATTLE.

HALL H IS COMIC-CON’S MASSIVE CONVENTION ROOM THAT SEATS APPROXIMATELY 6,500 PEOPLE. IT IS WHERE THEY HOLD ALL THE BIGGEST PANELS FOR THE HIGH-PROFILE MOVIES AND PRESENT THEIR FOOTAGE TO THRONGS OF SCREAMING FANS… AT LEAST IN THEORY. BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS THAT SO OFTEN THERE ARE A GOOD DEAL OF PEOPLE IN HALL H WHO ARE JUST THERE FOR SOME OTHER PANEL.

WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN? BECAUSE THE SHEER LOGISTICS OF HALL H DICTATE THAT ONE MUST REALLY COMMIT TO ARRIVING WAY BEFORE THE PANEL THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO SEE. THUS, THE POLITICS OF WHAT PANEL GOES BEFORE WHAT CAN SERIOUSLY AFFECT HOW ONE’S PANEL MAY GO.  FOR INSTANCE, AFTER THE FIRST YEAR OF TWILIGHT MANIA, THE CONVENTION DISCOVERED THAT THESE UBER-COMMITTED FANS WOULD LINE UP SO EARLY FOR THE PANELS THAT THEY WOULD DOMINATE THE LANDSCAPE. NOT ONLY THAT BUT THEY WERE SO COMPLETELY DISINTERESTED IN ALMOST ANY OTHER PROPERTY THAT IT MADE THINGS PRETTY MUCH HORRIBLE FOR ANYONE ELSE. (THIS ISN’T A SWIPE AT TWILIGHT MIND YOU, JUST THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THEIR FANS’ COMMITMENT). THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE IT WORK IS HAVE THE ANNUAL TWILIGHT PANEL OPEN HALL H ON THE FIRST DAY OF COMIC-CON AND THAT HAS NOW BECOME THE TRADITION (ALONG WITH PEOPLE CAMPING OUT FOR WEEKS BEFOREHAND). THE OTHER THING THEY HAVE LEARNED IS TO GROUP ALL THE BIGGEST, MOST MAINSTREAM PANELS ON SATURDAY, WHICH IS THE ALSO THE MOST HIGHLY ATTENDED DAY OF THE CON.

AND WITH SO MANY HIGH-PROFILE FILMS THERE ON SATURDAY THERE WAS NO BETTER DAY FOR HULK TO SPEND THE ENTIRE DAY IN HALL H. READ FULL STORY

Thomas Jane made a new 'Punisher' short film for Comic-Con -- watch it now!

The kindest thing you can say about Thomas Jane’s 2004 movie The Punisher is that it’s the best Punisher movie by default, since the character also inspired a terrible 1989 film starring Dolph Lundgren and a terrible, terrible, terrible 2008 film starring Ray Stevenson. But the experience of making the movie apparently stuck with Jane. At San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, Jane debuted an expensive-looking 10-minute short film about a character who is clearly the Punisher, although the film — titled “Dirty Laundry” — is carefully constructed to avoid any potential lawsuits. The short also features an appearance by Ron Perlman. Fair warning: It’s extremely violent. But as directed by Phil Joanou (Gridiron Gang), it’s also pretty fun.
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Comic-Con panel: Is Batman broken—or is Bruce Wayne crazy for dating Catwoman?

The Panel: Psychologists Travis Langley (Batman and Psychology: A Dark and Stormy Knight) and Robin Rosenberg (The Psychology of SuperheroesWhat’s the Matter with Batman?) producer Michael Uslan (The Dark Knight Rises), comic book writers Len Wein (Batman), and Steve Englehart (Detective Comics), and Catwoman herself, actress Lee Meriwether (Batman: The Movie). 

The Big Revelations: According to clinical psychologist Robin Rosenberg Batman is not, in fact, crazy. The panel was ostensibly meant to delve into Batman’s psyche but spent more time analyzing Catwoman, thanks in part to the presence of the totally charming Lee Meriwether. Robin Rosenberg took the audience through several potential mental health diagnosis for Bruce Wayne and ruled out symptoms of depression, dissociative personality disorder, and PTSD.  Whew!

Snap Judgment: If you wanted a deep dive into the personality of Batman and the nature of his relationship with Catwoman, this was the panel for you!  I just wish they billed it as such so that the Catwoman co-players would have showed up.

Most Incisive Audience Question: From panelist Steve Englehart, who wondered why more people didn’t recognize that Wayne was also the Dark Knight: “It just seemed to me that if you slept with a guy you might recognize the bottom half of his face.” 

The Winner of the Panel: The totally charming Lee Meriwether, though Michael Uslan deserves special consideration for comparing the lover life of Bruce Wayne and Archie.

Eisner Awards: The winners are...

The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards — largely considered the “Comic Oscars” — were given out Friday night at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel. And the winners are… READ FULL STORY

Comic-Con spotlight on 'Chew', or nice guys finish first

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The Project: Chew is a comic published by Image Comics (The Walking Dead) currently in development at Showtime

The Panel: Chew writer Jon Layman, artist Rob Guillory, with screenwriter Brian Duffield as a surprise guest

The Big Revelations: Like other successful creator-owned comics such as Preacher and Y the Last Man, Chew will end with issue 60. The creative team hopes that Ken Leung (Lost‘s Miles) will play main character Tony Chu when it comes to Showtime. Layman says the series will move in a dramatic new direction with issue 31. Plus, Chew merchandise coming soon!

Snap Judgment: Jon Layman’s perseverance is a model for aspiring writers. He struggled to find success for years, but didn’t chase mainstream projects. He now pens one of the most successful comics in the country about an Asian single-dad who solves crimes by nibbling on dead people, and DC just tapped him to write Detective Comics, the signature Batman comic.

Most Incisive Audience Comment: When an audience member thanked the Chew team for getting him back into comics.

Least Incisive Audience Question: A member asked Louisiana native Rob Guillory for his favorite gumbo. Guillory informed him that he doesn’t like gumbo.

The Winner of the Panel: Layman. You have to love someone who describes himself as “a weird guy who thinks about weird stuff.”

Comic-Con Black Panel: Lots of laughs, less substance

The Black Panel: Michael Davis moderated the infamous panel with Shaquille O’Neal, Jamie Kennedy (The Jamie Kennedy Experiment), Alexander Strong (New Kingdom Entertainment), Missy Geppi (president, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum), E. Van Lowe (former Cosby Show writer, author of YA Earth Angel and Boyfriend from Hell), and Steve McKeever (president, Hidden Beach Records).

Footage Screened: Panel sponsor AT&T screened a Daybreak web series trailer, Shaq previewed his new comics Clean Ops and Hoopfighters.

The Big Revelations: Shaq is coming out with comics! 

Snap Judgment: The Black panel is entertaining as hell, but generally lacking in substance. This is a product of its open-ended Q&A style. It does lead to revelations like Jamie Kennedy’s confession that he turned down a role in Boogie Nights for a role in As Good As It Gets because the latter paid better.

Most Incisive Audience Question: From Clayton Thomas, who asked Shaq to add him to his Black Comedy tour and then did two minutes to prove he’s got the goods.

Least Incisive Audience Question: A fan asked for a pic with Shaq. Sweet but not a good idea with quip master Michael Davis on the mic.

The Winner of the Panel: Jamie Kennedy. The crowd was here for Shaq, but Kennedy acquitted himself well.

Panel on race in comics engages the elephant in the room

 The Panel: Writer Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men), video game writer David Gaider (Dragon Age), comic book writer Brandon Thomas (Miranda Mercury), showrunner and screenwriter Javier Grillo-Marxuach (The Middleman, Lost), novelist Sarah Kuhn (One Con Glory), and sci-fi writer N.K. Jemisin (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms); moderated by Racebending.com.

The Project: Racebending.com convened their first panel at 2011 Comic Con in the wake of the casting travesty that occurred on the Avatar:Last Airbender.  This year they continue the conversation.

The Big Revelations: Entertainment companies across all platforms really don’t get diversity (duh).

For example:

- Marjorie Liu pitched an all female book to Marvel featuring Black Widow, Electra, Mystique and X-23 (Wolverine’s ‘daughter’).  She was told by the higher ups that such a book wouldn’t sell!

- David Gaider revealed that one of the most popular mods for Dragon Age transforms Isabela—a black character with a romantic storyline—into a blue eyed blond haired damsel.

- Sarah Kuhn reported that Asian writers are often asked to change their last names by the marketing departments at book publishers when writing in genres like romance to make their books more marketable.

- Javier Grillo-Marxuach struggles with “standing against a stereotype even if that means denying an opportunity to put a person of color on screen.”

- Javier Grillo-Marxuach also revealed a forthcoming comic with Ape Entertainment titled Unfathomable, to go with his recently launched Ramiel, Wrath of god mini-series.

Most Incisive Audience Question: An audience member asked how one gets into the head of a character of a different race or ethnicity, leading Javi Grillo-Marxuach to recount a touching story about how his own struggles with English informed his writing on the season one Lost episode that focused on Jin.

The Winner of the Panel: Javier Grillo-Marxuach! His comments were informative, insightful and very funny. Not easy to do when discussing issues of race.

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