Teased for years and finally launched in 2014, The Multiversity is a universe-jumping series of DC Comics one-shots tracking the cosmic monitor Nix Uotan and an assemblage of star-crossed heroes as they attempt to save 52 universes and beyond from a trippy cosmic existential threat that, like much of Morrison’s best work, represents something far more mundane and relatable. Tying back into the very first Multiverse story in DC’s history, the heroes of these universes become aware of this threat by reading about it in comic books… comic books that, it turns out, take place in neighboring universes. Indeed, writer Grant Morrison continues his streak of highly metatextual DC cosmic epics with this eight-issue mega-series (plus one Tolkienesque guidebook).
Described by Morrison as “the ultimate statement of what DC is”, The Multiversity naturally offers the reader much beyond the surface level adventure, and that means annotations. Rather than merely filling out checklists of references, my hope with this feature is to slowly unearth and extrapolate a narrative model for Morrison and his collaborators’ work on The Multiversity; an interconnecting web of themes and cause and effect that works both on literal and symbolic levels.
We’ll be focusing here on the third issue of the maxiseries, The Just, written by Morrison with artwork by Ben Oliver and color assistance from Dan Brown (the excellent colorist, not the literary hack).
The news that actress Morena Baccarin (Firefly, Homeland) will be joining Fox’s crime drama Gotham, with a recurring role as the compassionate physician Dr. Leslie Thompkins, brings hope to a show currently heaving with villainy. Considered a surrogate parental figure to young Bruce Wayne, the good doctor appeared in over 200 issues of DC Comics and several episodes of Batman: The Animated Series. However, Dr. Thompkins has never been portrayed in a live-action film or television show. In the meantime, Bruno Heller’s Gotham appears to suffer from too much of the same motif: The murder of mother Martha Wayne and father Thomas Wayne was a catalyst, giving way to a city of “orphans” forming replacement relationships best described as disrupted, disloyal, or enmeshed.
Writer Joshua Hale Fialkov has been building a positive reputation in the comics industry for years now. His work for Marvel and DC -- including Ultimate FF and I, Vampire -- may be what he’s best known for, but his creator-owned work -- including Oni's The Bunker and The Life After -- has built up its own fanbase.
One of the most interesting things about Fialkov is his serious, business-like approach to even his most creative endeavors. Many comic creators have their own ways of getting work done -- with varying success when it comes to meeting deadlines -- but there’s something particularly fascinating for me as an editor about creators who plan and schedule their time, analyze their own work, and still produce art that is innovative and entertaining. Fialkov's blog, How Fialkov Do, offers a thoughtful and entertaining view into how he gets his writing out into the world. I've spoken to Fialkov about his process a great deal over the years, and I thought ComicsAlliance readers might be interested to read more about it.
Comic readers are often annoyed by the outdated assertion, “but comic books are for kids!” As those of us within this culture know, comics today are usually made for and marketed to adults, especially single issues and superhero comics. However, comics, as a medium, should and can serve a vast variety of demographics. Publishers simply need to be ready to create the books that readers will read.
Most comic readers can point to some great comics for kids, including Smile, Bone, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Adventure Time -- but for many parents and young readers, there is a huge void in the comics that exist today. There are very few high-quality, positive, superhero comics for kids.
The CW’s superhero series Arrow re-imagines Green Arrow for a TV audience as a tough, often ruthless vigilante bent on setting things right in his home of Starling City by punishing the wicked. ComicsAlliance’s Matt Wilson is back for the third season of the popular series in our recap feature we’re officially dubbing Pointed Commentary.
This week: Team Arrow goes on a trip, Laurel deals with her seething rage and two different women get beaten up by men on screen. Oh, also, Ollie shoots a bunch of guys. Let's get started.
The story of five-year-old Torontonian Jeffrey Baldwin is about as sad as it gets, but out of that heartbreaking story has come something uplifting.
Jeffrey died of starvation and septic shock in 2002 after years of physical and emotional abuse by his guardian grandparents, who kept him and his sister locked up in a filthy room. The grandparents were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006 and sentenced to 20 years for the grandfather and 22 years for the grandmother without parole.
Speaking at an inquest into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's death, Jeffrey's father, Richard Baldwin, talked about how much his son loved Superman, and how he had always wanted to fly. Todd Boyce, a dad in Ottowa, was so touched that he launched a campaign to honor Jeffrey's memory.
Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the episodes, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn't and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of Central City’s finest hero, Barry Allen: aka the Red Blur, aka The Flash.
This week, we’re looking at the third episode episode of the first season, which finds The Flash squaring off against a man who can turn into a cloud. You will believe a man can cloud in this week’s episode, “Things You Can’t Outrun”!
When DC Comics announced the new lineup of Batman Family titles a few months back, Arkham Manor was the only one that actually gave me a "wait what" moment. Dick Grayson as a super-spy traveling across the world dealing with stuff like a dude who had his eyes replaced with guns? Sure, makes perfect sense. Hipster Batgirl fighting crime with the power of Snapchat? All for it. Teens running around a creepy boarding school in the one place in the DC Universe where no one in their right mind would send unsupervised children? It's the book I've been waiting for all my life.
But Arkham Manor stuck out. Right from the concept, it's this weird variation on familiar themes, trying to twist them into something new. That makes it an inherently interesting idea, even if it's one that I'm approaching with caution as a reader. I want to know what's going on here, and with the first issue out, it lives up to that. More than anything else, Arkham Manor #1 is intriguing.
A few weeks ago, we covered the announcement that Warner Bros. Animation and Bruce Timm were working on creating a virtual reality Batcave (and, to a lesser extent, the announcement that I would be moving to the Matrix in order to live in it full time), but what we didn't know then was that it was part of a larger project in the works at WB. Today, that project has a name: Blue Ribbon Content, a "short-form digital division, which will develop and produce live-action and animated series for digital platforms."
Along with creators like Akiva Goldsman (the writer of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, among other things) and Reginald Hudlin (of Marvel's Black Panther), Blue Ribbon has already announced that they'll be focusing on DC comics properties, most notably the VR Batcave and a live-action version of Static, the Milestone Media/DC Comics superhero created by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III and John Paul Leon.
"Whitewashing," the practice of casting of white actors to play characters who were other ethnicities in the source material, has been a highly controversial Hollywood practice over the past several years. But what about when the reverse happens, and someone who isn't white is cast to play a character who has long been portrayed as white?
Well, at minimum it can help correct an historic imbalance in superhero comics; in the specific case of Aquaman, it may also make him a lot cooler. The actor who plays Aquaman in DC's upcoming slate of superhero movies is Jason Momoa, who was born in Hawaii and is of partly Polynesian descent -- and Momoa fully intends to embrace his Polynesian heritage in his portrayal of the character.
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