Tuesday Night Comics Podcast Episode 35...

It is an expensive week this Wednesday at the comic book store, comic fans! We have Death of Wolverine #1 coming out from Marvel, the first round of 3D Futures End covers from DC, and new issues from a host of regular books we’re digging, like She-Hulk. But it’s Giant-Size Kung Fu Bible Stories from Image that has Billy’s attention the most! Plus, Dave and Billy discuss their recent reads, and Billy comes to possibly the worst realization for a comic book fan to have.   http://ia902301.us.archive.org/18/items/TuesdayNightComicsEpisode35/Tuesday%20Night%20Comics%20Episode%2035.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadSubscribe: iTunes | Android |...

Son of Batman – Review Aug08

Son of Batman – Review...

When it was announced that James Tucker was going to succeed Bruce Timm as the head of DC’s animated film line, I think people thought Tucker would succeed, but did they think he would succeed this well? Ladies and gentlemen, there is a new king in town. It started with Justice League: War, which quickly rivaled Under the Hood as my favorite DC animated movie. Son of Batman is even better. James Tucker is now responsible for two of the three best DC animated movies, or the two best, depending on which day of the week you ask me the question (Justice League: War and Under the Red Hood are so close! Might as well give them the tie for the #2 spot). Ethan Spaulding directs Son of Batman. Judging by the quality of the movie, you would not think that this is directorial debut, but I believe it is. The first five minutes of the movie are immediately exciting. Far from Gotham City, R’as Al Ghul’s League of Assassins is under attack in their impenetrable mountain stronghold that turns out to be not that impenetrable. This fight scene is awesome! The first five minutes of the movie are worth the price of the DVD alone. But if I have any quibble with Son of Batman, it’s in this scene. It’s a minor quibble, but it’s so ridiculous it kind of makes my head hurt: the League of Assassins’ Gatling gun full of arrows. I don’t remember if the arrow Gatling gun was in the original comic book story. It’s something that I can see Grant Morrison writing; it’s that crazy, or it could be solely from the mind of the screenwriter. In this movie, the League are pretty much all ninjas. The invaders have guns,...

James Tucker Talks Justice League: War Nov25

James Tucker Talks Justice League: War...

After sitting down with Andrea Romano at NYCC, I had the chance to sit and talk with James Tucker about Justice League: War. As you may know, James is the new Bruce Timm at DC’s animation group. In other words, he’s the new head honcho. When asked if it was a smooth transition taking over for Bruce, James said it was. He elaborated, “He was outside smoking and said, “Hey, do you want to take over the DVDs?” and I went, “Sure.” It was that simple.  It wasn’t like a coronation or anything. I didn’t go into the throne room and he knighted me. It’s very casual at Warner Brothers. ” By the time the official announcement was made, James already had experience in the job. According to James, “When it was announced, I had already been doing the job for two years. We were working on War a year ago. I had been doing the job long before they announced it. He was working on Green Lantern. It was very smooth and not a big deal.” Regarding the future of the DC animated movies, James said that from this point forward, we’ll be seeing a Justice League movie, followed by a Batman movie, followed by a Justice League movie, followed by a Batman movie. Having movies whose stories focus on specific characters set in the framework of the Justice League. James used Wonder Woman as an example. “With the way we’re setting it up, it’s easier for us to do a Wonder Woman featured Justice League movie, meaning the story has something to do with her, but it’s a Justice League movie.” If you’re wondering why, according to Mr. Tucker, it’s because, “Home Video thinks they can sell it better. Rather than doing...

Andrea Romano Talks Justice League: War Nov19

Andrea Romano Talks Justice League: War...

Justice League: War is the next release in Warner Bros Home Video’s line of direct-to-DVD animated movies featuring DC superheroes. The official release date is February 4, 2014. I expect that Best Buy will once again have an exclusive version of the DVD that comes packaged with a mini-action figure. There has been no word yet as to what that figure will be. My guess is on Cyborg, since his origin story makes up a large portion of Justice League: War. If not him, then Darkseid, the main villain of Justice League: War. At New York Comic Con this year, I had the chance to sit down with casting director Andrea Romano about Justice League: War. Andrea and DC animated projects go back. She’s the woman who originally cast Kevin Conroy as Batman in Batman: The Animated Series. Since then, she’s cast Batman enough times to lose count as to what the actual number is. “I’m looking for someone to tell me how many times I cast Batman. I think it’s somewhere around 17.” said Romano. Justice League: War is the first of DC’s animated movies set in the New 52 universe. For those unfamiliar with the New 52, in 2011, DC rebooted their entire line of comic books, calling the new universe and continuity the New 52, which was the number of titles DC put out that month. Origins and costumes have been modified and modernized. When asked if she approached casting for Justice League: War differently than how she cast prior movies, Andrea said “(It was) pretty much the same process. We all looked for the best possible voices.” I asked Andrea if there was a mandate from on high this time about not repeating voices. Andrea said there was, but that...

Batman: Year One – Review Jan24

Batman: Year One – Review...

5/5 – Perfect adaption of THE Batman origin story. Batman: Year One might be my favorite comic book story ever published. Like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, it’s a story that I’ve come back to year after year and it’s never felt old. When I heard that DC was planning an animated adaptation of Year One, I was a bit worried. Would they change the story? Would they stay true to Mazzucchelli’s line work or attempt update the art style? My worries proved to be unfounded. Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano have once again put together the pieces to make a great animated movie. Batman: Year One should be considered a must-see for any Batman fan. I would also say that Batman: Year One, the comic this movie was based on, is mandatory reading for any Batman fan. After hearing Bruce and Andrea talk at New York Comic Con, and seeing the quality of Year One and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, I’m very excited for everything coming down the DC Animated pipeline. This movie shows Batman at his most fallible. He’s inexperienced and unsure of himself. He doesn’t have the super computer, all the fancy gadgets (though he does have some), the fancy car or the network of crime fighting colleagues to call upon. It’s cool to see Batman make mistakes, like when he attempts to foil a home burglary. And I was very happy to see that the coolest scene from Year One, which was also used in Batman Begins, was kept in the animated movie, namely Batman calling the cloud of bats to come to his aid when fleeing the Gotham PD. Batman: Year One is much Jim Gordon’s story as it is Bruce Wayne’s. This isn’t only Batman’s first year...

Justice League: Doom – Review Jan15

Justice League: Doom – Review...

5/5 Great adaptation of a great story Like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, Green Lantern: First Flight and Batman: Under the Red Hood, Justice League: Doom is part of DC Comics/Warner Bros direct-to-DVD line of releases. It is based on a story from the JLA comic book called Tower of Babel. Why the name chance? In the original JLA story, Ra’s Al Ghul builds a tower that will render all forms of communication on Earth useless. This titular plot point is dropped from the animated movie (as is Ra’s Al Ghul as the story’s villain), necessitating a title change. Not to mention that Doom sounds much more menacing. In the animated movie, the immortal villain Vandal Savage gathers an Injustice League made up of villains of each member of the Justice League. It’s a 1-for-1 match. If Vandal Savage wanted a higher chance of success, I’m surprised he didn’t stack the odds in his favor by hiring three villains for each hero, seeing as he seems to have an abundance of resources. Hubris is clearly Savage’s kryptonite. Clothing is Star Sapphire’s kryptonite. If you were a fan of the Justice League cartoon from a few years ago, you will like the voice cast on this movie. Kevin Conroy is Batman. Tim Daly is Superman. Carl Lumbly is the Martian Manhunter (and also pulls double duty as the villainous martian Malefic). Michael Rosenbaum is the Flash, though here he’s playing Barry Allen instead of Wally West. Susan Eisenberg plays Wonder Woman. A big addition to the cast is Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern. Fillion played Green Lantern in Green Lantern: First Flight, so it was nice to see him reprise the role here. If I were to nitpick any part of the film, it would be Mirror...

Andrea Romano Interview at NYCC 2012 Nov13

Andrea Romano Interview at NYCC 2012...

I was able to sit down with both Bruce Timm and Andrea Romano at New York Comic Con this year to talk about Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Parts 1 and 2 and Batman: The Animated Series. You can read my Bruce Timm interview here. Andrea Romano has been casting Batman for the past 20 years. “Somebody told me that I’ve cast Batman 13 or 14 times over the various different projects,” said Romano. She is one of the people responsible for the incredibly good casting of  Kevin Conroy as the voice of Batman for Batman: The Animated Series. When Kevin Conroy came in for this audition int he early 90s, Andrea had already listened to 500 auditions for the role of Batman, and had auditioned 150 people in person herself. After Kevin’s audition,  Bruce Timm and Andrea looked at each other and said “We have found Batman.” In the two decades since Kevin Conroy began being the voice of Batman, people have come up to Andrea and told her that “For my entire life, I’ve heard Kevin Conroy as Batman.” Andrea knows the feeling. According to Andrea, “When I prep a script, regardless of what incarnation of Batman it is, when I’m preparing for recording, I hear Kevin’s voice. Even though it may be somebody else I’ve cast to play Batman, I hear Kevin’s voice. That sets the bar.” Andrea described the casting of Batman as “incredibly hard.” But the benefit, according to her, is that “it’s a character you don’t have to pitch. You don’t have to go, “There’s a guy named Bruce Wayne, and he’s got this problem because his parents were murdered.” Everyone knows who he is.” She also pointed out that these actors may never get the chance to...

Bruce Timm Interview at NYCC 2012 Nov09

Bruce Timm Interview at NYCC 2012...

At New York Comic Con, I was able to sit down with Producer Bruce Timm and Casting Director Andrea Romano to discuss Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and 2, and the enduring legacy of Batman: The Animated Series. Bruce Timm and his team meet every week with people from Warner Home Video, DC Comics and Warner Brothers Animation in order to discuss everything that’s in production and what they might want to put into production. The idea of doing an adaptation of Batman: The Dark Knight returns was first brought up when DC began producing animated movies. There was some objection to it at the time, and they did other projects. The idea didn’t come up again until a couple of years ago, in between Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight’s release and the start of production on The Dark Knight Rises. There was concern that Christopher wanted to use The Dark Knight Returns for The Dark Knight Rises, so they had to again, not move forward with an animated Dark Knight Returns movie. Later on, once The Dark Knight Rises was in production, DC said it was different enough from The Dark Knight Returns to do an adaptation. “I jumped on it,” said Bruce Timm. According to Bruce, it’s tricky finding the right project to pitch. “Sometimes we’ll have a favorite Batman comic that we loved as a kid or a teenager, and we’ll throw the idea out, but not all of those make good movies.” He went on to explain that with the realities of the marketplace is that even with the tight budget they work with, the movies still cost X millions of dollars. “The Home Video people want a sure thing. That means you’re going to get a lot of...

NYCC 2011: Green Lantern The Animated Series Pilot Sneak Peak Review Oct17

NYCC 2011: Green Lantern The Animated Series Pilot Sneak Peak Review...

The MTV Theater at New York Comic Con was packed on Saturday morning for the sneak peak screening of the pilot episode of Green Lantern The Animated series. If the pilot is an indication of the overall quality of this series, then Green Lantern The Animated Series can be described in one word, and that word is AWESOME. The animation is stellar. Try to picture a mix of the CGI from Star Wars: The Clone Wars meeting the classic Bruce Timm style from the Batman, Superman and Justice League cartoons. NOTE – There are spoilers in this post after this picture. If you’d rather not have anything spoiled, come back after you’ve seen the pilot. When we first see Hal Jordan, he’s in a familiar predicament, namely crashing an expensive Ferris jet plane and immediately being called to Oa by the Guardians of the Universe. Right before he leaves, he agrees to pick Carol up for dinner that night. By the time we are halfway through the episode, it’s apparent that Hal will not be making dinner or to his day job at Ferris any time soon. Interestingly, the villains in the pilot weren’t Sinestro’s Yellow Lanterns, but rather the Red Lantern Corps. Atrocitus is in the pilot and it was immediately evident, even when he was cloaked in shadow, that they have redesigned Atrocitus’s look for the series. It looks like The Animated Series versions of Atrocitus and Kilowog might come from the same home world. Kilowog mentions in the episode that his home world was destroyed. Atrocitus looked more like a leaner and meaner Kilowog than the Atrocitus of the comics. This makes sense from a storytelling point of view. Kilowog uses his grief over the destruction of his home planet to drive him to...