There have been some killer trailers dropping recently for comic-related shows and movies. I figured I’d pop a few of them in here, to get them in one place and also to offer a bit of commentary.
The Walking Dead Season Six
This looks fantastic, especially as a fan of the comic since the beginning. Morgan’s re-introduction last season was already a significant departure from the source material, and him apparently leading a mutiny against Rick’s probable leadership of Alexandria is even more of one. While there are certainly parts of the comic I look forward to seeing brought to life in the show panel-by-panel, surprises like this are what really keeps me interested. Along the same lines, check out the last 40 seconds or so. Daryl didn’t exactly have killer parts in the backend of season five, so I’m hoping the writers breathe new life into him–or kill him off, while enough fans still care enough for it to have a big impact. And speaking of things I’d like to see pulled straight from the comic–I’m liking the brief glimpses of Jessie, most likely speaking out in favor of the Ricktatorship. If that’s true, and a certain bit of the comic is also done in the show, this is going to make it all the more sweet.
Fear The Walking Dead Season One
Which brings us to the brand-new prequel show, scheduled to hit in another month or so. I’m still a bit wary at the whole concept. I mean, is another Walking Dead show necessary? Is there really anything new to say about the beginning of the apocalypse, as many times as that’s been explored in film and television? From the trailer, I’m pegging this as mainly “zombie apocalypse as family bonding experience.” Not being too confident about the show doesn’t mean I won’t be tuned in (and probably live-tweeting) every episode, however.
The Flash Season Two
There isn’t a whole lot going on in this trailer, but there doesn’t have to be, really. Anyone who watched the first season, who caught the finale and ISN’T foaming at the mouth waiting for more simply doesn’t have a pulse. The big takeaways here are the confirmation of Jay Garrick’s introduction (hinted at via the silver helmet coming through the time portal in the finale) and the ominous “ZOOM IS COMING.” I wonder how Zoom’s going to play out. I’m betting the show’s incarnation of Zoom is Eddie Thawne; I don’t believe he’s really dead, since the show made a point of showing him being sucked into the time portal, and his role as a police detective and friend of Barry’s strongly parallel the origin of Hunter Zolomon, the comics’ Zoom.
Batman vs Superman
As a consumer of comic properties on the small and big screens, I tend to favor television over film in most cases–I offer Daredevil’s handling as exhibit A. I also tend to favor Marvel over DC, when it comes to movies and comics–the playing field of my mind is pretty level when it comes to television, though. This particular film however, I’m more excited about than any other comic-related item except for possibly Walking Dead. Definitely more than Gotham, the Flash…even X-Men: Apocalypse, and I make a point of seeing X-films on opening night whenever possible.
The Flash season finale aired over a week ago, so this might not seem like the timeliest of articles. In my defense, however, I’ve been thinking on this since the show aired. I even live-tweeted during the show, as I frequently do.
Any parent sacrifices 4 their kids but Joe’s willing to undo 15 yrs & his own bond with Barry 4 him to have his mom back #TheFlash 2/2 — Lincoln Crisler (@lcrisler) May 20, 2015
But I really needed to give the matter more thought, before expounding on it. Fatherhood’s always been an issue for me, and probably always will be. My own father left when I was about the age my son is now, and I rarely saw him after. My mother’s subsequent choices of mate were so poor so as to make him look like a God amongst men. For most of my formative years, I didn’t see a man get up in the morning, go to work and earn a living. Certainly, I didn’t have one to regularly play catch with or teach me how to shave (for more on my childhood, read this and this). Fatherhood is the primary source of marital dissent in the Crisler home. We don’t argue about most of the standard issues, like money or intimacy, but parenting gives us enough grist to make up for those other areas. I’m most definitely not a television dad, and most days, in the back of my head, I’m 100% confident that I never should have spawned. Love me or hate me for it, it’s how I feel. I regularly envy those folks who figure out they’re unsuited for parenting before it’s too late. Like most parents, I’d die for my kids in a second, but the harsh reality is that dying for them is much easier than living for them.
I have three children myself. My first, from a historical perspective if not in age, will be eleven this year, lives in Canada with my ex-wife and her new boo (who rapidly impregnated her after they met on an otaku forum), and I haven’t seen her in about four years. I can email and Skype, and have a couple times, but it’s a one-way street and I’m not one to ram myself into someone’s life. I’ve basically resigned myself to being a willing and open book whenever she’s ready to talk to me. I adopted my wife’s daughter shortly after we got together, and she is now in college and starting a family of her own. Finally, my wife and I have a son together, who’s seven. He’s a lot like me, and a lot like I was as a child. This is by turns a source of pride and exasperation. Incidentally, we watch The Flash together, without fail. I don’t watch it without him, and even at an impatient seven years old, he won’t watch it without me–if I have duty on a Tuesday night, or even if I fall asleep in the middle of an episode after a long day at work, which I’ve done once.
All of this gives me a certain perspective through which to view a show like The Flash, which to even a casual observer has fatherhood as a major theme.
Barry & Henry
There’s only so much to talk about here, because their relationship is obviously strained by Henry’s imprisonment. Henry’s unjust incarceration took Barry’s father away at a time when he truly needed him most. The loss of a parent is horrible, but under most circumstances, the child at least as their other parent to anchor them. It would be very easy for Barry and Henry both to feel emotionally disconnected from each other, but they don’t–Barry’s drive to clear his father’s name is a major plotpoint in the show, and during the finale, Henry’s primary argument hinges on how proud he is of the man his son has become, and how changing the timeline might make him a different person entirely.
This is obviously no way to raise a kid…
Barry & Joe
Which brings us to the relationship between our hero and his surrogate father. Henry’s not a fully-developed, fleshed-out character, per se, and it’s not really his fault–he’s in the hoosegow, after all. So we really don’t see much of him in who Barry is, other than circumstantially. Joe, on the other hand, is a more realized character. He has a relationship with people other than Barry, and he has a career and some backstory. His influence on Barry is undeniable, starting with his chosen civilian career as a police forensic scientist (shades of Dexter, here, between the adopted cop-father and forensics career angles. But I digress). Joe is just as proud of Barry as Henry (and having Joe in his life is one of the things that Barry realizes is something good that came out of his childhood tragedy), but where Henry teaches us that a father’s pride and love can be unconditional and extend past any boundary, Joe teaches us about a father’s influence on his child. We wouldn’t have the same Barry (or the same Flash) without Joe West.
JOE: Run, Iris! Go get help! Barry, are you looking at my daughter’s ass?
Barry & Wells/Thawne
Sometimes, your father can be a challenge, an adversary to beat. Tough to measure up to, but when you do, that’s how you know you’re a man. Of course, on the flipside is the duty a good father has to push and motivate his children. This is exactly how I perceive the relationship between Barry and Thawne. Eobard Thawne is, unarguably, the father of the Flash. He went back in time and built the particle accelerator to create the Flash when he found himself stranded after killing Barry’s mother. Most of the first season of the show has been about Thawne, as Wells, pushing Barry to discover and exceed the limits of his abilities (for his own villainous reasons of course) and about Barry’s physical and emotional struggle with not being as fast as the Reverse Flash.
“Why you little…!”
Cisco & Wells/Thawne
Their relationship is similar to that between Thawne and the Flash, but it’s different in a few subtle ways. Thawne grew to look as Cisco as a son over the course of the past few years, as they worked together at STAR. It didn’t have to happen (i.e., he didn’t have the primal connection he has to Barry, though he’s not related to him, either) but it did. There’s a mutual admiration, at least for the first half of the season, and even when Thawne kills him in the alternate timeline Barry undoes, he seems to have genuine feelings for Cisco. When they have another solid chunk of time together in the finale, it’s Cisco again who lets us see some actual humanity in Eobard–one-percent of something to relate to in a character we otherwise love to hate. If I’m going to impute a moral to their relationship like I have with the others, I’d say it’s that our children–and being a father–can bring out the best in us, sometimes even despite ourselves.
I’ve written before about Heroes—how much I adored the first season, how disappointing the follow-ons were in comparison–and the closer we get to the relaunch, Heroes Reborn (anyone else think the title is extremely meta, by the way?) the more hope begins to swell in my breast.
“Whosoever holds this katana, if she be worthy, shall possess the power of Hiro.”
I don’t think at all that the superhero genre on television and film is going to die any time soon (the current slates for Marvel and DC easily put that thought to rest). However, there’s a sub-genre of the genre (which itself could be considered a sub-genre, but I digress) that could use some building up: original superhero material. By which I mean, of course, television and film not based on an existing comics property. Especially not based on one from the major companies, and already heavily exposed to the market.
I enjoyed the movie Hancock. I enjoyed Chronicle. For television, The Cape wasn’t too bad (though I’d probably have to watch through again to make sure it wasn’t simply a case of any port in a storm) and No Ordinary Family had potential (I still wish to God I could do something with that property). And I honestly think that more, and better stuff, in that vein would be a good way to capitalize on the existing trend without risking even more of a burnout with the fanbase then what’s already been predicted.
My personal assessment of Heroes’ plunge hinges on two things that shouldn’t end up plaguing this new show: 1) the writer’s strike that completely screwed season two and 2) Creator Tim Kring’s departure from his original concept of each season being a completely different story with all-new characters. I can’t see him making the same mistake twice, personally–something that appears to bear out, with Reborn being advertised as a miniseries. Also, biting off small chunks at a time like this should help keep outside concerns from being big problems–if there was another disaster like the strike, they could simply push back the production of a second, separate miniseries.
All in all, I’m seriously excited about this, and you can totally expect I’ll be live-tweeting during every episode.
For those of you who’ve met me recently at World Horror, the Augusta Literary Festival, and a few other places:
I’m Lincoln Crisler. I write about unreal things (superheroes, zombies, killers with supernatural powers…you get the idea) in as realistic a manner as I can. I’ve been doing it since 2006, though I’ve been writing all my life. My most recent books are in the sidebar. Those, along with all the anthologies I’ve appeared in are available on my Amazon page via the header menu. I’ve edited a couple of anthologies, as well–one about dark rituals and another about dark superheroes. I’m dark. Oh so very dark. I am the night. Or Batman. Or something.
I’m married with three kids. I’m a staff sergeant in the United States Army, and I’ve served in South Korea, Qatar, Afghanistan and Iraq. On the side I moonlight a bit on web/graphic design, social media and document editing and formatting. I love talking about all the peripheral stuff that comes along with my writing, like blogging, Reddit and other promotional tools, and programs that help me sell books. These days, I’m liking Flint.
You can follow me here and on Twitter and Facebook for updates, cool things my author friends are doing, the occasional book reviews and sometimes, to be completely honest, just me going off about something stupid, funny, or truly frightening. These days my blogs are usually about comic books and superhero culture, with occasional forays into scary stuff and philosophical talk.
If you’re into this sort of thing, you’re probably not hearing it here first, but WORLD HORROR’s in ATLANTA this year! I’ve only missed one World Horror since 2010 (last year’s in Portland, since I couldn’t convince them to change the venue to Seoul). Usually, it costs me a nice chunk of (tax deductible) dough for a plane ticket, but this one is two hours from my HOUSE. I’m pretty damn excited.
My schedule is pretty light this year, but I’m fine with that. I’ll have copies of all my newest books (the ones in the sidebar) and I’ll be sitting on a panel on Friday. Other than that, you probably can get me jaked on car bombs and get me to do a dramatic reading of a story about a ghostly bankrobber or a nascent serial killer losing his virginity. Yanno, if that’s your sorta thing.
FRIDAY, MAY 8
10-11 AM Panel: WEIRD SOUTH: From Voodoo to Rattlesnake Revival: Southern Folklore in Horror Literature – SARNATH
From the African Diaspora to Christian fundamentalism, Southern literature has been haunted by exotic religions, practices, and superstitions. Explore how writers have and are using the mythologies and belief systems of this diverse region to add to the disturbing dimensions of horror and Southern Gothic fiction.
Moderator: Thomas Drago. Panelists: Bill Bridges, Lincoln Crisler, Brad Hodson, Vic Kerry, Jana Oliver, Catherine Scully
6:30-8 PM Mass Author Signing – THE BARRENS
Convention guests and attending authors will be available to sign their books.
The PUBLIC are also cordially invited to attend, free of charge so, if you have friends in the metro Atlanta area, invite them!