batman

Trailer Thoughts

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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.

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Batman v. Superman is the Truth

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So, at least until WB gets it pulled from everywhere, there’s a leaked trailer for Batman v Superman. In case you haven’t seen it, here you go (UPDATE: it looks like the vid.me link has automatically updated to the actual trailer, after removing the leaked video):

Anyone who’s familiar with me or my work probably won’t be surprised to discover that I’m all sorts of hyped about this. When Man of Steel came out a couple years ago, many people were seriously ticked off that Superman didn’t…well, act like Superman. He trashed Metropolis. He snapped the shit out of Zod’s neck. Many said that director Zack Snyder went too far, and lost sight of what Superman is.

My argument is that if you want old-fashioned, Boy-Scout-from-the-start Supes, that material is all still there. The original Superman movies stand the test of time. Smallville’s been finished for nearly five years, but is still highly regarded–not to mention it’s lasting influence on comic-based television programming. And of course there’s the comics. But the origin story set forth in Man of Steel rings true to me.

How much dumb shit have we seen young people doing, immortalized on video, and in photographs and on social media? Most people my age or older have thought at least once in our lifetimes, thank God we did all our really dumb stuff before the invention of camera phones. Bottom line is, growing pains are a fact of…growth. Spider-man’s origin story is iconic, and is anchored by Peter screwing up shortly after getting superpowers and learning an expensive lesson that stays with him for life.

Now, the appeal of Spider-man is that he’s a very human character. It goes without saying that Peter is much more vulnerable and mortal than Clark. Losing his uncle was enough for Spider-man. Superman, though, isn’t as street-level, and really can’t be. He’s not from this planet. He can’t be injured by most anything on this planet. I’ve even gone as far to say in conversations that Superman’s not really a hero, because there’s nothing at stake for him when he fights.

It makes perfect sense that someone with as much power as Superman would make a huge mistake early in his career as a hero–especially when he likely doesn’t feel connected to Earth and it’s people thanks to his origin being revealed to him, and after watching his father figure die early in his adolescence. The Kents were a huge part of the reason we had that Boy Scout Clark in the source material and earlier adaptations, and their influence was cut in half at a critical time for Clark. That’s why he wasn’t as grounded in humanity during his battle with Zod. And I doubt we’ve seen the last of those consequences–near the beginning of this trailer, it looks like Supes is setting himself up as a God!

So, the lessons Clark has to learn in the upcoming movie are going to be much larger than Peter’s. What better teacher than Batman? The one concern I have about this film is that with everything that’s being packed into it–the rivalry with Superman, of course, but also Lex Luthor, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, etc.–that the movie might end up short-changing the backhistory on Batfleck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy as hell we’re not getting yet another origin story (something that pissed me off about Spider-Man, since we’ve already mentioned that franchise). But I hope we’re able to relate with and understand him.

In the end, I see no reason why Superman has to remain damaged goods by the end of Batman v. Superman. One of the best things about superhero stories is that they’re able to tell human stories with larger than life plot devices and archetypes. Real people conquer their pasts and recover from their mistakes all the time. I think we’re going to get a kickass hero and crusader for Justice (as in League) out of all this.

The difference is, instead of him basically being “born that way,” something that made perfect sense when Superman was originally created in 1938, we’ll get a hero who makes sense for the time he’s currently living in.

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