With seventy-five years of shared universe history spread out over multiple companies and periodical continuity reboots and multiple earths, getting into superhero comics can be a daunting task for anyone uninitiated into the genre. Why on earth do we have to make it so much harder for new fans by making their names so confusingly similar?
With Deadpool set to return to the big screen in 2016, Deadshot being prominently featured in the forthcoming Suicide Squad movie, Deathstroke being a major player on TV's Arrow, and Deathlok recurring on Agents of SHIELD, casual fans are being bombarded with a surfeit of the "[death][noun]" formula. Add to that the fact that most of these guys tote giant guns, swords, full face masks and/or reticles over their eyes, and that's just a recipe for confusion.
This past weekend at Comic-Con, fans attending the Batman vs. Superman panel were treated to an additional surprise: the entire cast of Suicide Squad appeared on stage (minus Jared Leto) and introduced our first ever look at footage from the upcoming supervillain film. Despite their pleas to not record any of the footage, someone of course did, and it leaked online shortly thereafter in a really crappy quality. Well, director David Ayer and Warner Bros. feel your pain and have decided to do the right thing and just release the whole trailer online.
What made the Ostrander/Yale Suicide Squad work and others not? John Ostrander and Kim Yale, along with Luke McDonnell, Geof Isherwood, Karl Kesel and other artists. They were creators who were absolutely at the top of their game over the course of Squad's 66-issue run, and you can't really get away from the fact that when Ostrander came back for stuff like Raise the Flag and the Blackest Night one-shot, those books were immediately right back in step with some of the best stories of the run. They were, hands down, one of the best creative teams in the history of superhero comics.
But at the same time, I don't think that's the whole story. When you get right down to it, Suicide Squad wasn't just a product of its time, it was the kind of comic that could only really happen in 1987.
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: No one sings the classic Suicidal Tendencies song "Institutionalized," but there is a guy in an Iron Man costume. Also, Deadshot gets a moment to shine, and the newly married Dig and Harbinger go on a mission full of twists.
When DC Comics launched its "New 52" Universe a few years back, Suicide Squad was pretty much the bottom of a barrel that wasn't really in good shape to begin with. Despite being an attempt to revive one of the best, most elegantly crafted and thought-provoking superhero books of the 1980s, the New 52 version was a noisy, soulless mess that ended up doing almost irreparable damage to characters like Harley Quinn in the name of making something more extreme, in a true late '90s Juggalo sense of the word. When the series was finally canceled and relaunched, I honestly wasn't expecting it to get any better, especially since the new lineup included the addition of one of the worst new DC characters of the past several years.
But we're two issues into what writer Sean Ryan (and about 27 artists so far) is doing with the re-relaunched title, New Suicide Squad, and while I'm not sure, I think it might actually be the smartest team book DC's putting out.
I was an unabashed fan of the 1989 Batman movie around the time of its release (particularly after it hit VHS), but the years have worn down my appreciation of it, and quite a few aspects of it don't entirely stand up to the scrutiny of a critical lens anymore.
There are a few pieces of media related to the film, however, that I feel just as positively about as I ever have. The Prince soundtrack, for one. And for another, the Sunsoft-developed game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that included a few cutscenes with lines from the movie, and largely ditched its plot otherwise. I took a stroll down memory lane with it, and it still holds up.
The CW’s superhero series Arrowre-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 will be following along to see how he fares.
This week, a certain unit that's more of a squad makes its TV debut, Ollie turns to Russian mobsters for help, and Dig gets involved in a moral quandary.
Well, the makeup of that Suicide Squad has been revealed in some new photos posted to CBR. The members appear to be (from left to right): Bronze Tiger, mad bomber Shrapnel (Sean Maher), Waller, and Deadshot (Michael Rowe). Also present are A.R.G.U.S. agent Lyla Michaels/Harbinger (Audrey Marie Anderson) and, surprisingly, none other than Team Arrow member John Diggle (David Ramsey).
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 will be following along to see how he fares.
This week, Thea worries about her associations, business tension reaches new highs, and Team Arrow is going to Russia!
Not to be overshadowed by its big-console brother, the WB Games handheld prison-action game Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgateis showing off some of the trick it's got up its "Metroid-Vania" sleeve.
Among them: A lot of bad guys, including The Joker, The Penguin, Black Mask, Deadshot, and the just-revealed Solomon Grundy. Catwoman's there, too (and also in a new screen shot from the game). See if you can spot any more in the trailer after the cut.
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