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A DC geek since Day one, I've been hooked on comics for years. First growing out of a love for cartoons, eventually blossoming into long boxes and a spot on this here blog! I'm 18 years old, I'm DC through-and-through, and you shall feel my wrath! Follow me on Twitter! I'm @MasonACB!

EXCLUSIVE First Look At Ethan Van Sciver and Gail Simone’s 2011 DCU Project!

Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone’s Upcoming DCU Project

So a while back it was revealed that Ethan Van Sciver would be working with Gail Simone on a DCU project in 2011. Well tonight, Ethan said on his Facebook that the project would be announced in January. After some gentle nudging, Ethan provided me with this exclusive sneak-peek at the project:

Guesses anybody?

What do you think of the image? Many, many people come to my mind, but the most prominent to me are Ragman, Damage, and possibly Two-Face. If you’ve got an idea, let us know down below!

Got any questions? Email me at moyermason@yahoo.com or follow me on Twitter! I’m @MasonACB!

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Green Lantern #60 Review

  • December 16, 2010 1:23 am
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The latest arc in Green Lantern, “The New Guardians” concerns an individual who looks suspiciously like a Guardian stealing all of the emotional entities. The big mystery the whole arc thus far has been the identity of said little-person. We’ve seen Hector Hammond controlled by the Orange Lantern’s entity, Ophidian, Carol Ferris made Queen of the Star Sapphire’s, and The Flash possessed by Parallax. Needless to say, it’s been a bit hectic, however, it’s all coming to a head, and it’s shaping up quite nicely.

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Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics Review

Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics

So, back at SDCC in August, attendees of a certain panel got an early look at Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics. In fact, it was peoples opinions on that footage that made me anticipate this documentary so much. I have waited, and waited, and waited for a documentary like this. The closest thing I have ever seen is Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked on The History Channel, and the Justice League documentary that was a special feature on the Justice League: The New Frontier DVD. The second I got the chance to, I was watching this amazing film. Enough worship, let’s get to the review:

The film begins with Neal Adams talking about how comics represent peoples dreams and aspirations. Then, creators Neil Gaiman, Jim Lee, and Mark Waid talk about their love for the DC characters and how they’re so unique and how they relate to them, and narrator Ryan Reynolds talks about how DC came from the outside of society, but it would grow into something much, much more. Paul Levitz opens the segment on DC’s beginnings, but many creators way in on Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz and the creation of National Allied Publications, and Donenfeld’s mob connections, among other topics, like how they began with spicy pulp comics, which if you didn’t know, were considered racy by 1937 standards, but they’re like today’s Victoria’s Secret catalogues. There is a lot of information I never knew in this segment, which is presented wonderfully with amazing original images in still good condition that are incredibly rare and many creators share their thoughts on DC at the time.

The film also explores the government hearings on comic books, The Death of Superman storyline (which brings Louise Simonson to tears), Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow run from the ’70′s,  and the imprints that DC would acquire or create over time. There is a lot about the Batman and Superman film franchises, and they go into great detail about many circumstances that would shape DC Comics over the years. The creators featured are the best part of the film, they provide inside views and personal views on characters, events, people and more, and all of their opinions are educated and rooted in their love for the characters and the stories about them. One of the most interesting subjects is the creation of the Silver Age, and how the need for new ideas after the comics code implementation sparked it’s birth. Something that really amazed me is the huge amount of respect the creators have for Julius Schwartz, who brought the comics industry back from the brink of death by creating the silver age.

The film has an underlying theme that focuses on how much the world around us has influenced the comics, and how they really are a byproduct of their environment. The one thing I knew for sure going into this film was that I would come out with more information and opinions on DC Comics than you could find anywhere else. DC knew that this documentary had to be unique and be able to teach even the die-hard comic fans new and interesting facts. So overall, this film is amazing, and definitely worth picking up. The only thing I wish would have been featured more is the evolution of the art over time, because after all the images we see are the truest representation of the characters we know. Here’s my overall rating:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Amazing creator input, loads of new, interesting information, good range of subjects. No focus on the evolution of the art side of the comics and it’s importance in the industry.
Rating
95%

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Green Lantern Corps #52 Review

Green Lantern Corps #52

Green Lantern Corps #52 is not only the conclusion to the “Revolt of The Alpha-Lanterns” storyline, but also the last issue for artist Ardian Syaf. This story arc was the first since Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason’s run on the series, and the story is honestly pretty damn good. The art was a little hokey, but next issue will see the debut of Tyler Kirkham of New Avengers/ Transformers fame on the series. Anyway, here’s the review:

Tony Bedard‘s first run on this series was actually pretty good. I had high expectations, and he came as close as you can get to fulfilling them, especially with this conclusion to the storyline. This storyline was a major plot point in the GLC mythology, because it really helped round out the tension created since the creation of the Alpha-Lanterns. We finally went somewhere with that concept and explored it pretty well. He proved himself writing Kyle Rayner, Ganthet and John Stewart in the early issues, and this issue he did great things with Boodikka and Hannu. He really did something cool and fresh with the Alpha’s, and I’m really looking forward to what he will explore next. It kind of seems like he’s approaching the series by exploring old bits of information and concepts that weren’t fully explored. His next arc involves the man who forged Sinestro’s first Qwardian ring, so he obviously is digging into GL lore.

Ardian Syaf, I’ll be honest, it’s a good thing he’s leaving the series. In the beginning of the series him seemingly forgetting power rings was kind of acceptable, but four issues into the arc I’d expect a little more attention to detail. His portrayals of certain characters is a little off, and it seems like it’s easier for him to draw odd looking aliens rather than humanoid looking beings. He draws some amazing constructs and his action scenes are nice, but overall his style seems too rough for the series, especially right after the departure of Patrick Gleason.

Overall, the story in this issue was great, while the art was far from spectacular. The Alpha’s were actually used in a non-typical way and character moments were plentiful, but lack of detail on the art side takes away from the overall experience.

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great story, characterization and a good progression for the series. Under par art, mainly lack of power rings or weird looking faces. Overall too rough of a drawing style.
Rating
80%

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #2 Review

  • September 16, 2010 12:17 pm
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Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors is a series focusing on Guy Gardner and his own team of Lanterns going into the unknown sectors to spread their light into the darkest corners of the universe. It’s been obvious from the beginning that Guy has his own mission to complete, and only him, Ganthet and Atrocitus actually know what this mission is. Obviously, we won’t learn what that mission is in the first two issues, but hopefully we’d get some clues right? Wrong. What this issue actually does is set the tone for the rest of the series, and establish each character’s place on the team. This series seems to be more Peter Tomasi and not Geoff Johns pulling the strings, and I’m loving every bit of it.

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Green Lantern #57 Review

Green Lantern #57, which was originally supposed to hit shelves two weeks ago on Wednesday, August 25 but was delayed for unknown reasons. It’s finally out, and I’m here to review it. The issue went in a different direction than I thought it would, but it did add to the storyline and added more complexity to the Hal/Carol situation. I admittedly expected quite a bit from this issue, and while we got a lot it was nothing like what I was expecting. Enough of the speculating, let’s get reviewing shall we!

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Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1 Review

  • August 13, 2010 2:29 pm
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Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1

The first issue of Emerald Warriors, which will chronicle Guy Gardner’s adventures while exploring the unknown sectors of the universe, is a very intriguing read. Peter Tomasi is creating a story around Guy Gardner, a character he has pretty much defined for me, and it’s great seeing Guy kicking ass by himself again, but still adding dimensions to his character. Guy’s future is a total mystery, but Tomasi was able to pretty much hook me to this series within a few pages.

Tomasi has done great things with Guy Gardner over the last few years. One of the things he did with the character that really impresses me is how he’s been able to take the multiple personalities of Guy we’ve seen over the years (cocky & arrogant, caring & mature) and find a great combination of them all. We’ve seen Guy fighting his hardest against the Sinestro Corps, doing his best to balance his terrestrial and extra-terrestrial affairs, and becoming enraged at his best friends death causing a Red Ring to bond to him, then proceeding to tear the Black Lantern’s apart above Oa. Overall, Tomasi’s given us some amazing Guy character moments and I have a feeling this series will be full of them.

Fernando Pasarin is penciling the series, Cam Smith is inking, and Randy Mayor is coloring. As of right now, I’m not completely sold on Pasarin’s art, he seems to forget rings every once and a while, and his approach seems a little off. I think Pasarin could be a great match with the GL franchise, but for now he seems to just be getting the hang of it. I hope he improves over the next couple of issues because I do like his art it just needs to be refined a bit. Cam Smith’s is a good match with Mayor’s coloring, and I really want to see this issue play out and see the artistic side mold together a little more.

I’d have to say this was a pretty good first issue, it laid groundwork for the series but kept many elements mysterious. The events of Blackest Night obviously changed Guy, but it will be a while before we find out if it’s better or worse. If there’s anything this issue has done wrong, I can’t find it because it was a great foundation for the series. Here’s my rating:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great foundation for the series. Tomasi writing Guy Gardner is always a plus. Pasarin seems to forget rings every once in a while, the art needs to adjust to each other a little bit.
Rating
85%

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Justice League Film In The Works, Without Batman And Superman?

Justice League In The Works, Sans Batman and Superman (Rumor)

According to MultiPurposePoni over at CBM, a Justice League film has been green-lit, but will not feature Batman or Superman. Instead, the first film will supposedly feature Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter and Wonder Woman. Now, keep in mind that until we get confirmation, this is complete speculation, a RUMOR. The film is supposedly not even in the scripting phase, so it will be a while until this film is released, if it’s true at all. Here’s exactly what MPP had to say:

“Several weeks ago, Warner Bros announced they are planning on fill the gap left by the culmination of the Harry Potter franchise with DC superhero films. With Green Lantern due out in theaters next summer, along with the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and a rebooted Superman film the following year, fans were beginning to wonder how soon it would be before these heroes came together into one ensemble movie. Now we know; but it may not make every fan happy.

A Justice League of America film has been given the green light by Warner Bros. Though the film is still in it’s very, very early stages (no script has been officially worked on), actors are quietly being pursued to fill the roles. The big surprise is the team roster: Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter. That’s right, folks, no Superman or Batman; at least not at first. The film will introduce the characters Wonder Woman, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter to general audiences; since Green Lantern and The Flash movies would have already been released in theaters.

With the role of Green Lantern already taken by actor Ryan Reynolds, four slots are waiting to be filled. Can a JLA film meet the expected standards of fans, and gain general audience approval, without the inclusion of DC Comics’ “big two” heroes? Fans will have to wait and see. “

Now, you can take this with a grain of salt until we get official confirmation, but it makes sense to me. The Justice League’s first appearance didn’t feature Batman or Superman, so it could work without them. We don’t know about if Nolan’s Batman or upcoming Superman reboot will take place in the rumoured DC film universe, another reason this makes sense. Plus, Batman and Superman are already established characters with the public, so using JL to build up Ryan Reynolds GL and build on the Flash film in development, and establish Wonder Woman, MM, and Aquaman. We’ll have more about this as it develops. What do you guys think?

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Batman: Under The Red Hood Review

batman red hood review

The latest DCU Original Animated Movie, Batman: Under The Red Hood was released on July 27, and was based on the Judd Winick storyline Under The Hood, which serves as a sequel to the controversial 1980′s story Batman: A Death In The Family. In A Death In The Family, the second Robin, Jason Todd and Batman embark on a mission to find Jason’s long lost mother, which eventually leads to his demise at the hands of The Joker.

 

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Green Lantern #56 Review

  • July 29, 2010 9:39 pm
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Green Lantern #56

So, let me tell you right now, I think this issue is amazing. I think this is probably the best issue since Green Lantern #43, the Black Hand issue. This story was simply amazing, and I’ve never loved Larfleeze, Hal or Hector Hammond more, and I will get to why later.This issue comes after a two issue fight between Hal & Atrocitus Vs. Lobo, and is substantially better than that story, which seemed to not advance the story very much.

Geoff Johns killed it in this issue; every little detail was cool, from the Hammond-headed rats on a rampage, to Hal dumping a bunch of junk food constructs into an orange construct and blowing it up, to Hammond eating the orange power battery…this story was great. Those humorous tidbits weren’t anything compared to the story though, with Hector Hammond and Larfleeze in particular standing out. This story is way better than the previous issues featuring Lobo, and leave me more excited for the next issue than any comic in a while. I really hope Geoff Johns can keep it up in the coming months, because the expectations are pretty severe among fans.

I don’t know what’s different about this issue, but Doug Mahnke was also amazing on this month. The colors by Randy Mayor, Gabe Eltaeb and Carrie Strachan are great, and are nearly identical to the level on Green Lantern Corps in terms of quality. Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne and Tom Nguyen seems like the style was a little different too, but I might just be imagining things. One thing I have noticed though, is that they have changed up the Red Lantern Corps logo. Just check the last few issues and it’s been different, even in Atrocitus’ s appearance in Green Lantern Corps #48. Just a weird note.

The story kept it going all the way through, and small details only enhanced the experience. Larfleeze was exceptionally cool in this issue, and he’s becoming one of my favorite characters in comics. I just kinda wish they would find a good mix of bad-assery and foolishness instead of switching between the two. Geoff Johns is taking the series in an interesting direction, and I think I like it. Let me just say that if you’ve read early volume three you should know what I’m talking about.

Hector Hammond on the other hand is progressing along quite nicely, and I am interesting to see what Lex’s reaction will be to what happened in this issue. If you haven’t already, I suggest you get this issue right now, you won’t be disappointed. If there’s one thing Geoff Johns knows how to do it’s expand on nuggets of info in new, fresh ways. I’m really looking forward to where he takes the series in the a year or so and where the GL mythos goes. So, here’s my ratings:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Great story, great art and interest generating direction for the arc. I honestly don’t have any.
Rating
100%

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Green Lantern Corps #50 Review

Green Lantern Corps #50

After a two month absence from doing reviews, I’m back and eager to review my two favorite series in comics, Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Let’s get started, shall we?

This months issue of Green Lantern Corps marks a milestone for the series, as it is #50 so far, and it doesn’t look like it will be stopping anytime soon. The series has been a big moneymaker for DC, consistently coming in the Top 10 best selling comics per month list, and igniting interest in a whole audience it had never reached before. This issue continues the “Revolt of The Alpha-Lanterns” storyline, in which Cyborg Superman has taken control of the Alpha’s, and is building a Central Power Battery, for reasons unknown. The arc is the first with Tony Bedard writing the series with Ardian Syaf penciling, and is refreshing when compared to the last few years of non-stop events and tie-ins.

Tony Bedard’s writing is fast paced and completely story driven. If you blink, you’ll miss it if Bedard wrote it. His writing style doesn’t really conform to what we’ve seen on the title in the past, instead it reminds me a lot of Green Lantern volume 3 with it’s epic scope and fast pacing. The GLC is still in the process of recovering from the Blackest Night, which left them basically starting over. Bedard’s take on the characters is interesting, and it’s great to finally see some John Stewart development after years of him taking the backseat in the main GL title, and Ganthet is steadily becoming a pretty compelling character. He hasn’t touched on Kyle too much, just his relationship with Soranik and his new outlook since Blackest Night. Tomasi seemed to inject a lot of sensitivity into Kyle, but when Blackest Night rolled around he knew the character would have to change. Bedard has given Kyle a more determined, tough attitude, and I like it.

Ardian Syaf is definitely a capable artist, and when it was announced that he would be taking the art duties on this arc, I was ecstatic. Since then, I’ve been partially let down. His facial expressions and perspective seems skewed at times, like looking through an off-balanced camera lense. He can definitely draw amazing battle scenes, and Vicuente Cifuentas inking and Randy Mayor coloring alongside Carrie Strachan make some pretty sweet visuals. The opening page with Kyle flying at high speed is bad ass, and conveys a sense of urgency or panic. The only bad thing about the art is that Syaf keeps forgetting power rings, the second page has a panel which shows a ring-less Ganthet flying away from a ring-less Alpha Lantern, who are supposed to have two rings.

The story has had me hooked from the very beginning, and I can’t wait for the conclusion. I just hope Bedard will follow up this arc with an even better one and continue with the character development and fast pace. Here’s how the issue stacks up:

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Very interesting story that hooked me in from the get go, amazing visuals on the art side. Ardian Syaf seems to be forgetting the power rings.
Rating
95%

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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Fanboy Dreaming: A DC Film Universe

  • July 28, 2010 3:03 am
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A Unified DC Film Universe

Hello there, and welcome to my new bi-weekly blog, Fanboy Dreaming! Here I will go over many things I have been dying to see happen, whether on screen, in print, or even in a clamshell package. Stay tuned for more Fanboy Dreaming!

Let’s face it, we all want it, and we will never be truly satisfied until we see it. I know I won’t, and I’ve actually spent lots, and I mean LOTS, of time thinking about not only how cool it would be, but how it could be done. You see, it all started with Superman back in Action Comics #1, June of 1938. Since then, the DC Universe has been filled with amazing stories and art that have gotten better over time, substantially. To many of us, these characters are as real as the skies above and the dirt below. With the formation of DCE, I am fairly positive we will see a fully fleshed out universe filled with many, if not all, of the characters we’ve all grown to know and love.

While I know Geoff Johns and company of course have their own ideas in mind, I’ve always loved to hear others opinions and share my own, so I thought I’d do just that. I must let you know, this is all about getting the universe off the ground and keeping it maintained for years and years to come, presented in the three most critical things I think DCE must do to create a cohesive, successful film universe. After all, WB is planning to use DC properties as their tent-pole franchises after the Harry Potter films are over. Anyway, here’s how I’d establish the DC Film Universe:

First:

You must establish not only the universe itself, but a time-line it takes place in. Without a strong connection between the films and a set continuity, the universe will never fully integrate with each other and could fall to pieces over time. If I were in charge, the universe would begin with Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, directed by Martin Campbell, in theaters June 17, 2011.  I would throw in a few casual mentions of Gotham, Star City, Metropolis, via T.V.s playing in the background, trucks, vans or boxes carrying Wayne Industries logos, hell, I would even throw in a Flash or Superman mention to fully establish a presence of other superheroes. Since it’s not a for-sure thing that Chris Nolan’s Batman will be included in the rumoured Justice League film, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with an official Batman mention because including it would probably create some continuity confusion with the average movie-goer. Although it’s been reported that WB is looking at Batman Begins as Action Comics #1 and 2, with Green Lantern or the Superman reboot (which is being “godfathered” by Chris Nolan) will be #3, and either Justice League or The Flash #5 and a planned Wonder Woman film following, and I would hope Aquaman and Martian Manhunter solo films. I would hope the Flash film (which could possibly be made during or after Justice League) would be based before JL, because it only makes sense to do the origin story either before or soon after the Justice League film, but I would be ok with the WW, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter films being made after. This is also a kind of off-the-wall idea, but I think after establishing all the core character’s in solo films, DCE should branch off and make Justice League Presents style films based on comic book storylines. Identity Crisis, No Man’s Land, Sinestro Corps War, etc. would be too cool for school. That route would also make it more acceptable to use different actors for characters over time, because aging would take place and I think a large amount of fans would be ok with that provided the films are done right and the roles are accurate with each actor and spot in continuity.

Second:

I would use the rumoured Justice League film series to introduce more than the main 7, and include character’s like the Teen Titans, JSA, and the incredibly deep JLA roster. Since they most likely won’t receive their own films soon, why not throw them in? It would be an amazing visual, you and I both know it. The way I look at it, a JSA, Teen Titans or Suicide Squad film can only work if the characters are established in the JLA franchise. Could you imagine going and seeing a Green Lantern Corps movie (Ideally based on Green Lantern: Rebirth or Sinestro Corps War!)? That could only work if they used both the JLA and Green Lantern franchises to introduce and develop the other earth Lanterns. I also think Christian Bale should either be replaced or work on his portrayal a little, and definitely get that growl in check. Nightwing would be sick in a Titans movie down the line, and a Tim Drake Robin would work better in a Teen Titans movie than in a Batman movie, unless that movie is based on No Man’s Land or Under The Red Hood (About 10-15 years down the line, with a different, older actor portraying Bruce would be freaking amazing, and would add to the universe incredibly. No matter what though, character references are the key to getting audiences to recognize and grow to like them, and without constant reminders of the larger universe surrounding our heroes, it won’t work, simple as that.

Third:

Another large factor in the success of a DC Film Universe is character representation outside comics. Thankfully, DCE was formed to do just that, and Geoff Johns was given the task of overseeing every DC related media project in and outside of comics, and so far the future is looking bright. We’ve already seen a few images and seconds of footage of a live-action test of Jaime Reyes’ Scarab activating his suit, and with a Young Justice cartoon and a planned cartoon to coincide with the release of GL, multiple animated movie’s, video games, merchandise and hopefully more live action shows on the horizon things are churning along quite nicely. BUT: DC MUST use these outlets to not only expand public recognition of their properties, but enhance the public’s knowledge of the character’s and make many of them household names. Pretty much what I’m saying is, for the films to succeed, you can’t focus on just the films, you must time comic book storylines, action figure releases, cartoons and video games along with them to keep the boat afloat and continually expand the universe. One of the biggest things DCE can do to improve the quality of all their non-comic media, is dig through the huge amount of back issues the company has to offer. There’s so many incredible stories, the films, cartoons, and video games could be sustained for decades to come, and DC is turning out even more great material weekly. I say, put as much of the comics in the other media as you can and, as Saint Walker would say, “All Will Be Well”! I stress importance on TV shows because without shows like Smallville, interest wouldn’t be as high as it is now, and great Batman, Justice League, JSA, etc. live action shows would only increase interest tenfold.

Well, thanks for reading all of that. If you liked this article, maybe you’d like our Comic Book Movies section for list’s, fan-cast’s, Top 10′s, Reviews and more.  tell me what you think of my ideas, and what your ideas on the subject are, and come back in two weeks and every other Wednesday after that for the next installment of Fanboy Dreaming!

–moyermason@yahoo.com

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