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Tag: DC Comics (1-4 of 4)

Who are Hollywood's biggest stars... when they're stripped of their superpowers?

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In the current era of The Avengers and Batman Vs. Superman, it’s impossible to be a fan of the comic-book genre and not have a well-considered argument to the question, “Who’s the Most Powerful Superhero?” Superman, of course, is the most obvious answer in any superpower battle-royale debate, but there are strong and more interesting claims to be made for the others, too. (Except Hawkeye. Sorry, guy.)

In Hollywood offices, there are similar conversations going on all the time about their own legion of superheroes, those famous actors and actresses who can open a movie in New York, Nebraska, and Nepal, whether it be a romance, an action-adventure, or a raunchy comedy. But with more and more of the industry now tilted towards Comic-Con-approved tent-pole pictures, the pecking order for actors today is heavily weighted by his or her ability to land a major role in a superhero franchise. It is the lifeblood of a long and prosperous career. For example, playing Batman not only elevated Christian Bale to the Hollywood A-list — positioning the indie actor for other major studio movie roles — but his enhanced financial security allowed him to continue to gamble on the eclectic roles he preferred in the first place, in movies like The Fighter and Rescue Dawn.

When the right actor gets the right superhero role, it becomes virtually impossible to separate the artist from the character. The cape becomes part of their public persona, one that can help or hinder their other on-screen roles. But what happens when Hollywood’s heroes are stripped of their superpowers? That is to say, what is Robert Downey Jr. without Tony Stark’s armor? What is Hugh Jackman when his Wolverine claws are clipped? Do we still pay to see their movies, or do we give them the cold-shoulder, like old-school Lois Lane used to give old-school Clark Kent? Who is the most powerful superstar when they’re nothing more or less than their Hollywood alter ego?

After looking at the actors and actresses who are major players in current comic-book franchises, we examined their recent box-office and critical reputation when they’re not in costume, and then ranked them in order to see who really flies the highest and has the biggest muscles in the movie universe. READ FULL STORY

'Arrow' vs. 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.': Are the DC and Marvel worlds colliding?

This week, my Tuesday and Wednesday nights looked eerily similar, and not just because I was sitting on my couch eating Chinese food and watching television.

On Tuesday’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the team headed to Russia to defuse a very large, very dangerous weapon. The very next night, my Arrow peeps discovered they needed to rescue one of their own from — what do ya know? — Russia. Plus, by the end of Arrow‘s hour, I was listening to talk of a serum that could be used to create an army of super soldiers. For a second, I was positive I was back in the S.H.I.E.L.D. universe talking about Centipede. But I wasn’t! I was on a boat in the middle of the ocean — in the middle of a universe where “superheroes” didn’t exist. What was happening?!

So after I realized that these were, in fact, two very different shows, one of which lives in the Marvel universe (S.H.I.E.L.D., obviously) and the other in DC Comics, I started to get a very bad headache. Not to mention that while reacting to both shows, I now have to deal with an annoying number of period-filled acronyms — S.H.I.E.L.D., A.R.G.U.S., H.I.V.E — not cool, guys. Basically, after having this realization, I only had one option: A compare-and-contrast, seventh-grade-style.
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Alan Moore: 'League of Extraordinary Gentlemen' show is 'dustbin' hunting

There have been 33 feature films based on DC Comics since 1951, yet the Hollywood history of DC has been largely limited to a trio of characters too vivid to exist in the real world: Batman, Superman, and Alan Moore.

The first two everyone knows. The third is a British writer who, while not technically a fictional character, is absolutely a character of the highest order. But in what way does he rank with the caped legends? Four of Moore’s brilliant comic book epics have been adapted by Hollywood: Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell. A fifth film, Constantine, was based on a character he created, and a sixth, Return of the Swamp Thing, was propelled by his landmark three-year work on bog monster’s series.

Those individual movies range from underrated and okay (Watchmen, Constantine) to overcooked and odious (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). But collectively, they put Moore’s bookshelf not far behind Gotham City lore (nine Batman movies plus the stray spinoff Catwoman) and Metropolis mythology (the seventh Superman film is now in theaters, plus Supergirl and Steel, which were as bizarro-stupid as they sound.)

Moore lives in Northampton,  England, the same place he was born 59 years ago. Since then, he’s covered a lot of territory, and not just in this dimension. Moore’s interesting look — a bushy prophet beard, a menacing sorcerer’s glare, and metallic talons on his fingers — fit a guy who identified himself as an anarchist and (with a wink) a worshiper of Glycon, the 2nd Century snake god. But even with all that, it was only after Moore refused to cash his Hollywood paychecks that his industry peers began to wonder about his grip.

Moore is no forest hermit despite some past press portrayals, but he does live off the grid if your definition of “basic shelter” includes wi-fi coverage. “I have very few connections with the 21st century, actually,” Moore said last week over the most modern of connections: a landline telephone with a curly cord stretching all the way to the 20th century.

The line was busy the first couple times I dialed, but Moore picked up on my third try and I found (just like the first time I interviewed him, back in 2008) that there was far more mischief in his voice than malice, even when he took shots at DC Comics and Hollywood, which he sees as factories that grind art (and artists) into pulp that can be sold, recycled, and then sold again in new shapes.

The topic is timely: Moore’s name was in Hollywood headlines last week when reports surfaced that Fox has ordered up a League of Extraordinary Gentleman television pilot with hopes that a savvy small-screen take on the material could right the many wrongs made by director Stephen Norrington’s 2003 film (which notoriously drove star Sean Connery into retirement). [Read Owen Gleiberman's review here.]

That same television do-over approach worked for Fox with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but that series had the character’s creator, Joss Whedon, on board to show the way. Moore laughed when asked if he or League artist and co-creator Kevin O’Neill would be involved in any way with the broadcast venture.

NEXT: “It seems they are recycling things that have already proven not to work.”

This Week's Cover: Superman at 75

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Time really does fly.

For three-quarters of a century, Superman has been fighting the good fight, keeping Earth and its inhabitants safe from all manner of villainy and disaster. As the DC Comics character turns 75, he’s also getting a major big-screen relaunch in director Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, opening Friday.

So for this week’s cover, Entertainment Weekly is taking a look back at all the critical moments in Superman’s evolution from dimestore hero to American pop-culture icon. We start with his first appearance in 1938′s Action Comics #1, and track him along every major step (and occasional misstep) up through his reemergence in the form of Man of Steel‘s angry, passionate, lost Superman, as played by Henry Cavill.

Here’s what you can find in EW’s obsessive history of the man in the red cape:

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