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New Podcast! Talking Ava DuVernay and the “New Gods” with Speakin’ Geek!

Thrilled to join the wonderful Graham Day on his podcast Speakin’ Geek to chat about the recent announcement that Ava DuVernay is directing a New Gods movie for Warner Brothers.

We are both very happy about this.

Click here, or listen below for our discussion in which we talk about everything from the origins of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World saga through to the similarities between Thanos and Darkseid and even Tom King’s recent work on Mister Miracle. It was a fun and wide-ranging discussion, one of which I was glad to be a part.

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Final Crisis: Revelations (Review)

To celebrate the release of The Dark Knight Rises, July is “Batman month” here at the m0vie blog. Check back daily for comics, movies and television reviews and discussion of the Caped Crusader.

I have to admit, I’ve always preferred DC’s approach to big comic events, as opposed to the approach at Marvel. While Marvel’s events (like Civil War or Secret Invasion) seem to exist to encroach on a writer’s comic book run (Ed Brubaker’s Captain America or Matt Fraction’s Iron Man), DC’s events tend to allow writers to tidy up loose ends. Or, to be fair, that’s what Final Crisis appeared to do. The major tie-in miniseries didn’t seem to exist to fill in gaps with the main book. Instead, they allowed the writers to resolve or move forward their own plots. For Geoff Johns, Rogues’ Revenge allowed him to segue between his first Flash run and Flash: Rebirth, while Legion of Three Worlds allowed him to sort out some outstanding Legion of Superheroes continuity.

Revelations exists to serve as a coda to Greg Rucka’s superb Gotham Central and his Question series, as well as tying in a bit to his upcoming Batwoman work. While I’m not the biggest fan of “comic book events” in general terms, I do respect that they allow writers to tell stories they might not otherwise get a chance to.

Shine a light…

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Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Zatanna (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Zatanna is undoubtedly the most recognisable DC comics character among Morrison’s seven-character line-up. Sure, Frankenstein is a cultural icon and Mister Miracle is a member of Kirby’s New Gods, but Zatanna is an iconic part of the DC Universe, with her own rich and established history which has played into large events within the fictional universe repeatedly. As such, it’s no surprise that she is the only member of the Seven Soldiers ensemble to have a current on-going series – written by long-time Batman author Paul Dini. Of course, Dini mostly handles his own interpretation of the stage magician, to the point that this little four-issue series might really have never happened. Still, I’m glad it did, if only because Morrison gets to handle some pretty important character beats and acknowledge the character’s rich history at the same time.

I take my hat off to Morrison...

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Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Mister Miracle (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

Morrison’s fascination with Jack Kirby creations continues. The author also reworked the Newsboy Legion and Klarion the Witch-Boy as part of Seven Soldiers, but Mister Miracle allows Morrison to play with perhaps the most iconic additions that Kirby made to the DC pantheon, dating back to his return from Marvel in the seventies, the New Gods. It goes without saying that this four-issue series actually serves as more of a lead-in to Final Crisis than an exploration of the Seven Soldiers mythology, but it’s still an absolutely fascinating look at some of Morrison’s big ideas.

No escape...

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Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory: Klarion (Review/Retrospective)

December is “Grant Morrison month” here at the m0vie blog, as we take the month to consider and reflect on one of the most critically acclaimed (and polarising) authors working in the medium. We’ve got a special treat for you this week, which is “Seven Soldiers Week”, so check back each day for a review of one of the Seven Soldier miniseries that Morrison put together.

I think that Seven Soldiers perhaps serves to illustrate the connection between Grant Morrison and Jack “King” Kirby. I know that Morrison’s detractors will balk at such a comparison, but I think there’s a lot to this. Kirby defined Marvel, working on flagship titles like The Avengers or The Fantastic Four or The Incredible Hulk, and he was as influential as Stan Lee in establishing what readers could expect from Marvel. However, he also did a considerable body of work at DC. While not as successful or iconic as his Marvel portfolio, I do think that it was some of his more wonderful and outrageous “high concept” work – things like the New Gods, for example, or Kamandi or Etrigan the Demon. I think one of the more intriguing aspects of Seven Soldiers has been seeing Morrison work with these types of crazy and ingenious ideas.

Morrison's on fire of late...

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Justice League International: Volume 2 (Hardcover) (Review/Retrospective)

In light of the massive DC reboot taking place next month, launching with a Geoff Johns and Jim Lee run on a new Justice League title, I thought I’d take a look back at another attempt to relaunch the Justice League, emerging from the then-recent Crisis on Infinite Earths.

I loved the first collection of Justice League International (even though I don’t think the book was called Justice League International yet). It was the perfect example of fun self-aware superhero comics that didn’t need to wallow in grime and darkness to feel confident in themselves. It was wry and cheeky, but still sincere enough that it never seemed too cynical. And, in fairness to Giffen and deMatteis, they actually told some good stories with nice grasps on the characters involved. This second collection can’t help but feel a little bit lighter, somehow, less significant – too tied up in other things to have enough fun on its own terms. Which is a shame.

Built on a solid foundation...

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Justice League – Twilight, Parts 1 & 2 (Review)

This post is part of the DCAU fortnight, a series of articles looking at the Warner Brothers animations featuring DC’s iconic selection of characters. I’ll be looking at movies and episodes and even some of the related comic books. Earlier today, I looked at Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, so I thought I might explore a Justice League episode which was heavy on Superman, Darkseid and Batman…

One of the things that Bruce Timm and his talented bunch of writers found when producing Superman: The Animated Series was that the Man of Steel simply didn’t have as strong a supporting cast of bad guys as Batman had. Without such a recognisable and eclectic collection of rogues to act as foils to their lead, the guys at the DC Animated Universe decided to co-opt in some outside help. In particular the creations of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World. Sure, these characters had been related to the Superman mythos all along (first appearing in Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen of all places), so it wasn’t a stretch. Although Twilight certainly isn’t the last appearance of the New Gods (as Kirby named them) within the DC Animated Universe, it is perhaps the climax. And, quite possibly, the best.

You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry…

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