RE: SUPERMAN MOVIE ARTICLE
Thanks for the plug
Best, Bruce Campbell
Just wanted to tell you before you get ugly,angry hate mail from Kevin Smith fans that I agree with you on the lack of maturity in the script. While it had many elements of the comics, it didn't read like a Superman script. It read like the Adventures of Superboy, as redone for a "hip 90's" teen audience.
I adore Burton, but I would rather see him work on his own material. Batman Returns, for example was a excellent Tim Burton movie, but just a plain awful Batman movie (as opposed to the extremely awful Batman Forever, and excruciatingly execrable Batman & Robin.)
No, I don't like Nick Cage as Supes. I still think Keaton was a poor choice for the Bat, but at least he could act, as opposed to Clooney. Why don't they get people who actully look the part? Is it some sort of male inferioriy complex among the corporate executives? Seriously, though, it has to do with the studio having a "name" actor in the role. How are they ever going to be "name" actors, if you don't cast them?! I saw a CGI of Cage as the "neon" Superman, which looked halfway decent, however, considering that the white cowl hid his hairline and jawline. Oh well, I won't pay to see it, until it gets to the 99c tape rental, just like I did for Batman & Robin, and now LIS.
I think I may have come down a little hard on Kevin Smith. A recent article in Cinescape detailed many of the elements which Smith had to add to his initial script at the insistence of the merchandise-oriented producer Peters. Peters had just gotten back from seeing the Special Edition Star Wars, and thus wanted L-Ron added as a "gay R2-D2" and wanted Brainiac to have a Wookie-like space dog which could then be sold as a plush toy. In fact, Superman's being powerless through much of the movie was mainly an excuse to give him a vehicle to travel in which could then be turned into a toy. Other bizarre elements such as Superman's Fortress being defended by polar bears (as though Superman would ever employ defenses that would kill!) were also prompted by Peters, who once interrupted Smith's verbal pitch for the story to ask, "Now who's this Kal-El?".
It is unfortunate when a icon such Superman gets used as a cheap moneymaker. The planned movie (postponed I believe due to lack of plot) is just another shake and bake WB film. Take a few big named stars, some special effects, and a director whose knowledge comes from one episode of superfriends (featuring Marvin I'm sure), put them in a bag, shake, promote, and INFLICT upon summer movie goers. WB needs to think of how the movie will be viewed in 20 years, not flow charts. It is true that no comic movie will ever be true to what comic fans think it will be. I can accept that. However, every character has a core that should be left untouched. Batman is dark, mental and works in shadows. Superman flies, wears red, blue, and yellow, is built like a greek god, and stands for everything America used to stand for. All I can hope for is that WB stands back, takes a deep breath, and says to themselves "We are dealing with a symbol of humanity here." pardon the rant.
RE: DESPERO/JLA STORY
Hi. I just read the great synopsis and commentary on the Despero/JLA showdown. I must say it was an exceptional piece of critical analysis. I'm so glad I discovered this site. I didn't think there were other people who saw the JLA as stories worthy of true analysis and deconstuction. Thank you. I have always loved the JLA, and have been a reader since issue 217 of the original series and over the years have bought almost every issue preceeding that issue.
I only have one concern. In the commentary the author wrote somewhat negatively about the capabilities of the "Vibe, Steel, Vixen, and Gypsy" League. If I remember correctly they did defeat Despero. I have also noticed this trend in the letters column of the mag. Why all the animosity toward that incarnation? It is those stories I remember most vividly from my childhood. These young heroes' struggle to prove themselves was quite profound for me. Along the same note I also have issue with DC's handling of these heroes since the book's cancelation. Gypsy was turned into a whorish streetfighter in JLTF, but according to DCU chronology she should only be about 18 years old. Where is her pain? What has happened to her relationship with J'onn? Where is the mystery that first defined her character? My second gripe is with the other survivor, Vixen. Here is one of the most potentially interesting heroines in the DC canon and she has constantly been pushed to the sidelines or totally ignored. Can anyone help me justify this? The only thing I can chalk it up to is that a bunch of middle-aged white guys have no idea what to do with the ONLY powerful black woman in the DCU. Does this reek of racism/sexism to anyone else? I know the character couldn't maintain a regular series, there's little market for her in that way. But I would think she would be a staple as a supporting character throughout the DCU. She would provide so much depth to any book, as she did in the league and the Suicide Squad.
The Detroit-era JLA DID defeat Despero, although it was through the deus ex machina of the Flame which Vibe wiped out. Gypsy's character in JLTF was so different from previous appearances that even her ethnic group was different! As for Vixen, she was in the recent Hawk and Dove mini. However, someone screwed up and actually showed her metamorphosing into animals!
RE: ADAM STRANGE SPRINGBOARD
I like the idea of using Adam Strange again, he's a great character that has been pretty much forgotten recently. However, this story seems forced. It reads like fan-fiction and doesn't read enough like a true comic story. There are just too many convenient coincidences like the "cloaked ship that's been in orbit for years." And they're just now discovering it? I liked the concept of using Adam Strange, but the plot still needs expanded and worked on. With some work though, it could be revised into a good proposal.
On the whole I thought it interesting and I would buy it because it is an Adam Strange story. There were a couple of things in it that bothered me though. Obviously, it uses the Kuberts' Adam Strange miniseries as a prerequisite for following this story. I suppose that is unavoidable, but I really didn't like the direction that miniseries took. Also, what happened to Ranagar being lifted off the planet at the end of that story? The idea that Alanna was the last fertile woman on Rann and that the daughter is somehow necessary to the survival of the race is scientifically invalid. One female is not enough to sustain a genetically viable population. For humans, a minimum population of 300 is needed to provide the genetic diverstity needed for a healthy population. The inclusion of elements from the Hawkman series made the story less workable for me, since I have never read Hawkman and am totally unfamiliar with the villian and other technology referenced. Finally, having Sardath pull out just the invention needed at exactly the right moment is too much deus ex machina. I know it was common in the original series, but that was one of its few faults.
RE: D.C. JOHNSON INTERVIEW
I was excited to discover the interview with D. C. Johnson because his is the only comic that i buy, and the stories are fantastic.
Thanks for this,
Read your interview with Dan Johnson. Based on that, and the good review you gave Chase earlier, I picked up the 1st 2 issues. I think I'm going to start getting it on a regular basis. I had a question though: I heard that Chase made her debut in one of the Batman comics. Do you know which comic and which issue, so I can go look for it?
Hear that, Dan? One more person reading Chase! [Sound of a crisp $50 bill] Thanks, Dan.
Yes, indeed, Brian. That was Batman #550 in which Chase first appeared.
RE: HAWKMAN (AND COMICS IN GENERAL)
I really like your take on the Hawkman timeline. Do you think you can do the Seven soilders of victory since now they are so screwed as well?
Thanks for publishing my letter. I'm not usually so down on things. It just annoys me that the industry is struggling and its problems are self created. I am encouraged that there seems to be a growing realization that gimmicks, new #1s, variant covers and four titles a month featuring the same characters are not good things.
There seems to be a trend towards putting solid teams of creators on titles and letting them go. Four months of Busiek and Perez on Avengers is enough to erase the whole previous year. (What I wouldn't give for Busiek and Perez on JLA)
Anyway, thanks for an entertaining read. The rundown of the Hawks' 'current history' was interesting. If the Legion required a reboot then the Hawks positively demand one. Maybe DC could bring back Hawk woman as a solo character. They clearly need more solid female leads, especially human ones. (Wonder Woman and Supergirl have their problems in this area)
The review of the Hawks' World's Finest stories gave me a nostalgic buzz. DC has lots of back-ups and story arcs which are worth remembering. Wally Wood's JSA in All Star; the Calculator back ups which preceded the Englehart/Rogers Batman; the Englehart/Rogers Batman (my favourite interpretation of the character); remember the twelve 'tests' the repowered Wonder Woman took before she rejoined the JLA?; The Secret Society of Super Villains. Maybe some of these are of interest.
Thanks for all the hard work.
RE: LOOK, UP IN THE SKY!
Nice little article about flight in the DCU.
One of my favorite quotes (that unfortunately you did not mention) is from when Batman and the Outsiders teamed with the Teen Titans. Batman says to both groups with all the seriousness of Norman Schwartzkoff, "Let's go! Those that fly, carry those who can't!"
Only in comics .
What can I say, that was one of the coolist things have ever read or seen in my entire life. One thing though, It could have used a few more pictures. Other than that it was great. I loved the Superman picture by Christian Moore the best.
RE: CHASE/CHRONOS REVIEW
Dear Fanzing guys,
RE: BACK ISSUES OF FANZING
I have been to your site and I like it. I was wondering if you could put something in your site so a person could look in past issues of The Fanzing DC Comics Magazine. That would be cool!
RE: BATFILMS ESSAY (STILL A HOT TOPIC!)
Michael Hutchison's essay about the ways that the "Batman" films have ruined comic book fans' visions of him on screen is brilliant. It is the most intelligent, thought-out, persuasive essay I have ever read. I am not an avid comic reader, and, admitedly, I never got into the "Batman" comics very much. However, I am a film buff, and I recognize half-baked attempts to cash in on a franchise when I see one. I whole-heartedly agree that Shumacher destroyed "Batman" fan's vision of the series. I also found Mr. Hutchison's pitch for the fifth film to be insightful and impressive. If more filmmakers had his mentality and integrity, Hollywood would not be the disgrace that is today. After being blown away by this essay, I found it imperative to write and express my feelings. Also, if Michael has any scripts or story ideas for original or comic-based films, I would be honored to read them.
I am very flattered! It's been ages since I tried my hand at screenwriting. In fact, I had a Black Lightning screenplay all plotted out and had started writing the first few scenes when another project sidetracked me. Since then, I've discovered how possessive Tony Isabella is of his character and figured there's no possible point to finishing it. Even though my plot's framework followed Tony's original stories, I figure that, if it was ever possible to sell a Black Lightning movie, Tony would insist on writing it. Just as well, since I'd want to direct it. Until I fulfill my dreams of film school, it wouldn't matter if Tony gave me his blessing and struck me on the head with his magic wand!