A New BAPE x DC Comics Collaboration Is On The Way

A Bathing Ape and DC Comics are bringing out a new collaboration, after their last joint effort way back in 2007.

Earlier today, the official BAPE Japan Instagram account teased the new collab, sharing images of subtly camouflaged Batman and Superman logos superimposed over gray and blue camo backgrounds, as well as the BAPE and DC logos side by side in red camo.

DC × BAPE®? Coming soon! #bape #dc #batman @dccomics

A post shared by A BATHING APE® OFFICIAL (@bape_japan) on Mar 26, 2019 at 10:06pm PDT

DC × BAPE®? Coming soon! #bape #dc #superman @dccomics

A post shared by A BATHING APE® OFFICIAL (@bape_japan) on Mar 26, 2019 at 10:02pm PDT

The original collaboration comprised Batman, Superman, and The Flash sweaters. As yet, we don’t know what the new collab will entail. Whether it will contain only Batman and Superman pieces or a wider range of DC characters remains to be seen.

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Another Australian in Berlin.

From: https://www.highsnobiety.com/p/bape-dc-comics-collaboration/

Zack Snyder Never Really Understood Batman, Or Superman

U.S. director Zack Snyder poses for photos during the red carpet event promote the film “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

During a recent QA session, Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder discussed his ultra-violent interpretation of Batman, a vision which deviated dramatically from the virtuous figure seen in the Dark Knight trilogy.

Snyder stated:

Someone says to me, Batman killed a guy. I’m like, ‘f—, really? Wake the f— up. I guess that’s what I’m saying. Once you’ve lost your virginity to this f—ing movie and then you come and say to me something about like ‘my superhero wouldn’t do that.’ I’m like ‘Are you serious?’ I’m like down the f—ing road on that. It’s a cool point of view to be like ‘my heroes are still innocent. My heroes didn’t f—ing lie to America. My heroes didn’t embezzle money from their corporations. My heroes didn’t f—ing commit any atrocities.’ That’s cool. But you’re living in a f—ing dream world.

Snyder’s incredibly eloquent defense certainly doesn’t clarify his creative decision, other than the fact that Snyder thinks the idea of a crimefighter who never kills people is ridiculous. Which it is, as is the concept of a billionaire in a bat costume.

What Snyder seems to be saying is, there are no real heroes. Something along the lines of what his previous superhero film, Watchmen, was all about. Watchmen, however, was a clever deconstruction of the superhero genre; it was a strange move to try something similar with archetypal characters like Superman and Batman.

Admittedly, Batman has killed people in the comics before, but that’s in the context of thousands of increasingly imaginative stories all featuring one character – of course some artists are going to make their Batman a murderer; it doesn’t mean that is the natural evolution of the character.

The interesting aspect of Batman is the fact that he knows he’s walking a very thin line between hero and unhinged vigilante, fully aware that he is one bullet away from becoming his enemy. Sure, Batman could burn Arkham Asylum to the ground and prevent countless civilian deaths from future supervillain attacks, but that would forever change who he is and how he operates.

If Batman was to finally murder the Joker, it’d be too easy to kill a street thug, the kind that once gunned down his parents. And Batman is not a Second Amendment fantasy like the Punisher; he’s a psychopath suppressing his murderous instincts, not a killing machine. His unbreakable rule is the crucial element that differentiates him from the chaos of the Joker.

And Snyder’s interpretation of Superman is just as limited; the director went on to discuss the scrapped original script for the Justice League movie, and the story was much darker than the forgettable film we saw in the cinema.

… Chris Terrio and I had finished the script to Justice League before Batman v Superman came out. Some people didn’t like the movie. A vocal minority. So they said ‘There’s a lot of stuff we don’t want you to do,’ so we did a rewrite from that script. We were really nervous after the response. The truth is that, the Knightmare sequence in this movie was always my idea that all of that would eventually be explained and we end up in a distant future, where Darkseid has taken over Earth…[and] a few members of the Justice League that had survived in that world…were fighting.

Reports from the QA session confirm that the film would have seen Superman corrupted by Darkseid (the Thanos of the DC universe), resulting in a dystopian future that would eventually be saved through time travel. In retrospect, those bizarre dream sequences certainly make a lot more sense.

But it’s clear that Snyder was itching to weaponize Superman, to highlight the frightening implication of the character rather than focus on the “white knight.” And I’ll admit, I’m personally not a fan of Superman; he’s more interesting to me as a villain than as a flawless hero. But treating him like a ticking time bomb goes against the grain of why people love the character.

If Superman’s story had been closer to Wonder Woman, with hope and earnestness highlighted as a strength rather than an outdated element, the DC cinematic universe might look very different indeed.

Now, it’s Aquaman and Wonder Women who are the face of the DCEU, because their respective films were proud to be optimistic (or silly, in Aquaman’s case). Patty Jenkins and James Wan understood that superheroes are a fantasy; deconstruction is certainly interesting, but it’s not the way you introduce them to an audience.

But Batman never dies; the talented Matt Reeves is soon to reboot the character with a new story, and given the director’s track record, it’s probably safe to assume that it will redefine the character for a new generation.

Superman, on the other hand, might need to lay low for a couple of years. He’s suffered from some bad publicity, despite the perfect casting of Henry Cavill.

But hey, at least Zack Snyder created the colorful aesthetic of the DCEU, directly inspired by the comics; the man managed to outdo Marvel in that department.

From: https://www.forbes.com/sites/danidiplacido/2019/03/26/zack-snyder-never-really-understood-batman-or-superman/

Shazam! finally lets DC superheroes be joyous fun

Shazam! takes place in the same universe as other films adapted from DC Comics, but writer Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo) and director David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) seem determined to turn that universe upside down. Or at least, they want to blow a raspberry at the glum-and-glummer world established by the Zack Snyder trilogy of Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman, and Justice League, plus their neck-tattoo-sporting companion piece Suicide Squad. The first big-screen starring vehicle for one of the oldest superheroes in existence, a kid who can turn into a superpowered grown-up with the help of a magic word, Shazam! would be tough to turn into a grim-and-gritty DC story.

And that’s because it’s too deeply based in childhood fantasy. One moment, Billy Batson (played as a teenager by Asher Angel, and in his superhero form by Chuck star Zachary Levi) is an ordinary kid with a difficult history. The next, he’s a beefy, cape-wearing hero capable of flying through the air and shooting bolts of electricity from his finger. He’s barely able to convey the joy he takes in his newfound abilities. It’s almost as if superhero stories were at heart about wish fulfillment. It’s almost as if they’re allowed to be fun.

It’s certainly easier for some superhero stories to tap into this kind of gleeful power trip than others. Created by artist C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, Batson first appeared in the second issue of Whiz Comics, which hit newsstands in late 1939 as part of the flood of comic books inspired by Superman’s success. In the original comic, a wizard grants Batson the ability to turn himself into the hero Captain Marvel by saying the word “Shazam,” an acronym of “Samson, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus and Mercury,” whose powers contribute to his might. Over time, Captain Marvel picked up a supporting cast that included other kid heroes and a talking tiger, as well as nemeses like the fiendish Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind, an alien worm who headed the Monster Society of Evil.

Fawcett Comics aimed Captain Marvel’s adventures squarely at even younger readers than those devouring rival superhero stories, and he became a hit, outselling even Superman for a good stretch of the 1940s. But interest in superheroes waned at the end of the decade, and a copyright-infringement lawsuit launched by the company now known as DC Comics proved an enemy even Captain Marvel couldn’t defeat. His adventures temporarily ended. But by the early 1970s, Captain Marvel and his extended family had been absorbed into the DC Comics universe. He’s stayed there ever since, though he’s been retrofitted as “Shazam” to avoid confusion with that other Captain Marvel, who’s also just gotten a big-screen debut.

Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Gayden and Sandberg’s film, though, Billy’s superhero alter ego remains nameless, even by the end of the story. Billy and his pal Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) keep cycling through name possibilities, which are mostly awful (“Thundercrack,” for one, is quickly rejected), which serves as a thematically appropriate running gag. Shazam! is the story of a boy trying to figure out what kind of hero he wants to be — and, by extension, what kind of man he should become. He screws up a lot in the process.

With or without the name, the spirit of the old Captain Marvel adventures is very much at the heart of Shazam!, even amid a lot of just-barely PG-13 violence and a couple of gags about a strip club. That’s part of what makes it such a gleeful alternative both to the grimness of past DC films — a tone the company seems eager to shed — and the cosmos-in-the-balance stakes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Whether played by Angel or Levi, Billy is just a kid. It’s fun to watch him take delight in his new powers, and a little frightening to realize how little control he has over them. And where Batson’s earliest comics adventures gave him a big city to treat as a playground, Shazam! does the same with Philadelphia. His pleasure at bouncing around the city proves infectious, even though he always seems to be on the verge of accidentally leveling a city block.

His joy is all the more exciting to watch because joy doesn’t come naturally to Billy, who’s had more stacked against him than most teenage boys. He’s spent much of his childhood running away from one foster parent after another in search of the mother he hasn’t seen since he drifted away from her at a carnival at age three. Shortly after the film opens, he lands in what he expects to be another temporary living situation: a Philadelphia group home overseen by a married couple (Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews) who used to be foster kids themselves.

They’re also looking after Freddy (who’s developed a gift for wisecracks as a defense mechanism against those who bully him for using a crutch), college-bound overachiever Mary (Grace Fulton), hug-enthusiast Darla (Faithe Herman), and a handful of other kids. It’s a chaotic but loving environment that instantly embraces Billy — literally, in Darla’s case. Billy can’t wait to flee it. He’s been searching for a home so long, he can’t recognize it when he sees it, with or without superpowers.

That feeling starts to change after his fateful encounter with a wizard named Shazam (Djimon Hounsou, under a lot of facial hair). Confused by the new superheroic abilities Shazam grants him, Billy recruits Freddy to help him explore his own possibilities. After a poky start, Shazam! kicks into gear as the two try to figure out what he can and cannot do with his new powers, whether that’s flying, or buying beer without an ID.

Photo: Steve Wilkie / Warner Bros. Pictures

Gayden and Sandberg attempt a difficult balancing act with Shazam! They have to fulfill a lot of superhero-movie obligations, from introducing an evil arch-nemesis to designing a climactic showdown. Mark Strong — a frequent screen heavy easing back into superhero films for the first time since playing Sinestro in 2011’s misbegotten Green Lantern — makes for an unsettling Dr. Sivana, a man given powers by the Seven Deadly Sins. He’s never as clownish as the Sivana of the comics, but his unbending malevolence makes him a fine foil for the big-screen version of Batson, whose goofiness plays nicely off his nemesis’ scowls. But even when the filmmakers let their project come across as a little frightening, they also have to find a way to stay true to the original comics’ fun, kid-friendly spirit.

It wouldn’t be out of the question for the filmmakers to put a dark spin on this material. Alan Moore’s Miracleman found a definitive way to make the Billy Batson idea nightmarish and haunting. If Gayden and Sandberg truly wanted a film more in line with the Snyderverse entries, they could have made it. But Shazam! super speeds in the opposite direction while nodding at the other films in its franchise. Billy’s world is packed with Batman and Superman merchandise, but their adventures seem to take place far from the world where he lives. Gotham and Metropolis get superhero icons who rarely smile. Philly gets a goofball, and that turns out to be a lot more fun.

Sandberg draws on the horror skills he developed through films like Annabelle: Creation. Sivana’s allies include manifestations of the Seven Deadly Sins that wouldn’t look out of place in a much more graphic movie. And though Sandberg retains the shadowy imagery of previous DCEU films, he uses that dark palette to make Billy’s shiny red suit and glowing lightning-bolt chest insignia stand out even more. If Batman branding criminals in Batman V. Superman has a polar opposite moment, it’s Batson’s unnamed hero identity smiling and dancing to “Eye of the Tiger” at the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s steps while shooting lightning from his hands, to the delight of the tourists around him. This is the rare superhero film that gets more whimsical as it goes along, up to and including the final fight, a battle royale that mostly unfolds at a Philadelphia Christmas carnival.

But whimsical isn’t the same as frivolous. Both Angel and Levi play Billy as a boy who’s never had the support he’s needed, and the film suggests there’s no easy fix for his traumas, even if he’s both dropped into a supportive environment, and suddenly able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Or in Billy’s case, almost leap a tall building in a single bound.)

That’s the subtext resting beneath Shazam!’s broad humor, fun spirit, and scary monsters. The film suggests that wish fulfillment will only get people so far, and power alone can’t change what’s damaged inside. Captain Marvel (or Shazam, or Thundercrack, or whatever you call him) might be one of the simplest superheroes ever created, but Shazam! both gets what makes that simplicity so appealing, and understands the complications stirred by the common wish to grow up too fast and assume powers you don’t know how to control.

From: https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/23/18277617/shazam-movie-review-dc-comics-captain-marvel-zachary-levi-mark-strong

Batman: Peter Tomasi says his Detective Comics #1000 story shows a villainous Batman

DC mainstay, Batman writer, and The Death of Superman animated feature scripter Peter Tomasi has been writing Detective Comics since issue #994 and now, with Batman’s 80th anniversary and Detective Comics‘ 1000th issue on its way, he stopped by C2E2 for a panel.

SYFY WIRE attended his live stage discussion about the incredible landmark, which comes a year after Superman’s Action Comics hit the same one and will feature the beginnings of a new arc from Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke. The arc, focused on Batman: Arkham Knight‘s comic book version of the mysterious title character – a sword-wielding bad boy (or is it bat boy?) – is here to get all futuristic on Gotham, though with fewer robotic accessories than the video game.

Tomasi explained that working on the upcoming comic wasn’t a nervous undertaking. However, with Arkham Knight’s first appearance in the DC Universe, Tomasi explained how “it was the perfect time to bring the character in.” The writer called the story “visceral” and “unexpected.” While the other contributors will be writing their stories with Batman as a hero, his story sees Batman as a villain (at least, from Arkham Knight’s perspective) – something unique to the issue, which he teased would also have plenty of Joker antics. He also mentioned Brad Walker would be doing the art for the next few issues of his run.

The rest of the creative teams coming to #1000 include Kevin Smith and Jim Lee; Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev; Warren Ellis and Becky Cochran; Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen; Christopher Priest and Neal Adams; Geoff Johns and Keeley Jones; Tom King, Tony Daniel, and Joëlle Jones; Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo; James Tynion IV and Alvaro Martinez; and Denny O’Neil and Steve Epting.

The huge issue drops on March 27.

You can find all of SYFY WIRE’s C2E2 coverage here.

From: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/batman-peter-tomasi-says-his-detective-comics-1000-story-shows-a-villainous-batman

Marv Wolfman calls Man and Superman a perfect ‘culmination’ of the character

Marvel and DC legend Marv Wolfman created comics on both sides of the big two superhero houses, making things like the vampiric Blade and a massive Crisis on Infinite EarthsHe’s been making comics since the ’60s and he’s still kicking – which is why at this year’s C2E2 Wolfman had some new work he wanted to discuss.

SYFY WIRE attended his live stage interview, which featured the creator explaining his new Superman story. Recently, the writer has been tackling Raven and the rest of the Teen Titans, but Man and Superman (which hit stores back on Feb. 6) was a hot topic of conversation. The book has so far had only positive reviews, which have stemmed from his innovative approach to a fallible Clark Kent. He wrote the story back in 2006, but the magazine it was supposed to appear in was cancelled before it went to print.

Wolfman said he thinks this story is his best, since it was a “culmination of everything [he believes] Superman should be” that had the creative freedom to express all his ideas about his favorite superhero. “There’s not a word I would change,” the writer explained. Wolfman also mentioned that the Bullseye from the Daredevil Netflix show was a great version of the character – which sadly seemed to end before it began.

Wolfman finished the talk by teasing that he has a forthcoming novel – and a few comic projects so early in development that he can’t talk about them.

You can find all of SYFY WIRE’s C2E2 coverage here.

From: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/marv-wolfman-calls-man-and-superman-a-perfect-culmination-of-the-character

Louise Simonson reminisces about killing Superman ahead of Ithacon 44

This is a guest contribution by Bob Proehl, who is a writer living in Ithaca. Proehl interviewed Louise Simonson about her career as a comic book writer and editor. Simonson will speak at Ithacon 44, which will take place March 23 and 24 at Ithaca College.

In my own nerdy equivalent of “trying not to think of an elephant,” I was determined not to ask comic book writer Louise Simonson what it was like to be one of the people who killed Superman.

In the end, I couldn’t help myself.

“Here we go again, playing that record,” Simonson said, chuckling.

Simonson, who will be at Ithacon 44 this weekend, began her career in 1974 as an editor at Warren Publishing, working on horror comics like Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. She moved on to Marvel where she penned iconic runs on X-Men spinoffs X-Factor and New Mutants, and created characters including kid superheroes the Power Pack, X-Men villain Apocalypse, and the time-traveling mutant Cable. And yes, in 1992, she and a team of mild-mannered writers, artists and editors killed the Man of Steel.

Simonson was nice enough to tell me how it happened.

“We had one of these meetings where we work out the next year’s continuity,” she said. “We were working up to the point where we were going to marry Lois and Clark off. And then Jeanette (Kahn), who was the publisher, came down and said, ‘You can’t do that, because they have a TV show in which they’re not married and we don’t want to confuse our audience by having them be married.’”

The show, “Lois Clark,” was set to debut the next fall. It was the culmination of several years of efforts by Kahn to get Superman onto America’s television sets. As the title implied, it was more rom-com than super-heroic action, focused on the flirtation between co-workers Lois Lane and Clark Kent. But television is a bigger market than comic books and the needs of the upcoming show won out. (“Lois Clark” was cancelled at the end of a four year run when its weekly viewership was an abysmal nine million. By contrast, the best selling comic that year sold under a half million copies.)

Related: Walter Simonson reflects on nearly 50 years of drawing comics

“We were somewhat flummoxed,” said Simonson. “Then Jerry (Ordway, writer of Adventures of Superman) said, as he often did, ‘Well okay then, let’s kill him.’ And we all said ‘Yeah, okay, let’s kill him. What else are we gonna do?’”

In short order, the writer and artists in the room sketched out plans for a story that would culminate in Superman dying to save Metropolis from destruction. The announcement of the Man of Steel’s imminent demise was picked up by national media.

“It must have been a slow news week,” Simonson said. “Because…it’s comic books. But I guess Superman sort of transcends comics.”

The issue sold six million copies, a remarkable number even in the boom days of 90s comics. The media and fan reaction to the story came as a surprise both to the writers involved and to the publisher.

“I think DC hadn’t quite realized we were actually going to kill Superman,” Simonson added. “All around the world, he’s being licensed to sell things. There was, I believe in Life Magazine, a big spread with Superman breaking his chains and ‘Energizer batteries: They last as long as Superman’ and the same issue announced Superman was dead. Some advertisers were not pleased, as I understand it.”

Before writing Superman, Simonson worked at Marvel Comics in the 1980s, first as an editor then as a writer. Certain comic book fans like to imagine that comics used to be a boys club, back in some halcyon days gone by, but Simonson said it wasn’t so, even in the legendary Marvel Bullpen, the nickname for the Marvel creators who worked in the company’s New York offices.

“Virginia Romita ran the Bullpen!” Simonson said. “There were a few women in editorial. There were a batch of assistant editors. There were some women there. There weren’t as many as there are now.”

Asked if being a woman in a primarily male industry was difficult, Simonson said she didn’t think it made any difference. “There was maybe one editor who was kind of appalled at the idea of me touching any ‘real’ Marvel stuff,” she said. “The Avengers characters or maybe even Spiderman. But that was rare, and it was more funny than it was awful. Heck, they gave me the X-Men.”

Speaking of the X-Men, the last few years have seen a number of characters Simonson created make the jump from the comics page to the big screen. It’s not the first time: the generally-forgotten 1997 movie “Steel” starred Shaquille O’Neal as a superhero somewhat liberally adapted from a character Simonson co-created with Jon Bogdanove in the wake of “The Death of Superman.” The titular villain in 2016’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” was created by Simonson and Jackson Guice.

“I’m both pleased and horrified,” she said. “I always look at these things with my hands over my eyes, looking through the cracks. And so far, it’s been a good idea to look at things this way.”

Featured image provided by Ithacon 44. 

From: https://ithacavoice.com/2019/03/louise-simonson-reminisces-about-killing-superman-ahead-of-ithacon-44/

DC Comics reveals June release for Superman: Year One from Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.

X-Men Monday (featuring Jordan D. White) #4 – Editorial decisions, Psylocke’s katana and C2E2

Comic Books

From: http://www.adventuresinpoortaste.com/2019/03/15/dc-comics-reveals-june-release-for-superman-year-one-from-frank-miller-and-john-romita-jr/

Man, 39, Arrested In Modesto Comic Book Store Break-Ins

MODESTO (CBS13) – Detectives have made an arrest in the case of thousands of dollars worth of rare merchandise stolen from a Modesto comic book store.

Modesto police say 39-year-old David Garcia has been arrested in connection to the break-ins at Invincible Comics back in February. About $5,000 worth or rare comic books and other merchandise was taken.

David Garcia's booking photo. (Credit: Modesto Police Department)

David Garcia’s booking photo. (Credit: Modesto Police Department)

The thefts happened over the course of two break-ins within a 48-hour period.

Garcia has been booked for burglary of the comic book store. An alleged accomplice, 37-year-old Danett Hansen, is still sought by detectives.

Some of the rare comics, including an “Amazing Superman” and “Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134,” were later returned after being spotted up for sale on eBay, Letgo and Offer Up.

Anyone with more information relevant to the investigation is asked to contact Modesto Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636.

From: https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019/03/20/modesto-invincible-comics-arrest-david-garcia/

Portland writer’s Jesus comic sees revival after cancellation

A Portland comic book author’s series about a Jesus who returns to Earth — and gets lessons on how to use powers from a Superman-like hero — has been revived at a new independent publisher after DC Comics cancelled the six-issue title last month following a backlash at Fox News and other conservative websites, including a petition that gathered more than 230,000 signatures and even a fact check from Snopes.com.

“Second Coming,” a series by writer Mark Russell and artist Richard Pace, was originally set for publication this month by Vertigo, a DC imprint that focuses on mature adult titles rather than mainstream superhero fare. But after Russell declined to make changes in already approved scripts amidst the outside pressures and requested to take “Second Coming” to another publisher, AHOY Comics, a company that began last year and focuses on comedic titles, announced last week it will take up the series this summer.

Russell said in an email that it was best for all parties that he “take the project somewhere else where it could be published in its original intended form rather than risk endless delays and dilution of the story to a point beyond recognition.”

Russell said the series was initially announced in July 2018 without much negative reaction until Fox News began to report on the book, which he describes as both a deconstruction of superheroes and Christianity.

“There’s a government shutdown that everybody’s blaming on Trump, and Mueller is handing out indictments like they were Arby’s coupons, so not wanting to report on any of that, they look around for culture war stories, both as a distraction and to rally their base,” Russell said. “It’s a common tactic of theirs — it just happened to be our turn on the distraction throne.”

Russell said the series began as an idea for a Superman story, one that Vertigo editors suggested he re-pitch as an original creator-owned idea. So, Russell said, Superman became “Sunstar,” a superhero counterpart to the returning Christ and “much more of a flawed and tragic figure than Superman could possibly be.” In the series, the two characters are roommates as the son of God returns to Earth to find a place much different than the one he left and a religion perhaps unmoored from his teachings.

While Russell said “Second Coming” was initially a good fit at Vertigo given the imprint’s history with controversial titles with religious themes such as “Preacher” and “Hellblazer,” he said he’s happy with the book’s new home at AHOY.

“The thing I like about AHOY is their focus on the book itself,” Russell said. “Almost every conversation we’ve had has been about making ‘Second Coming’ the best comic it can be. That, and they are 100 percent committed to seeing this story through in its original vision.”

Second Coming interior art

“Second Coming” interior art

Tom Peyer, AHOY’s editor in chief, said in an email that “Second Coming” fits right in with the publisher’s line that includes anthology series “Edgar Allen Poe’s Snifter of Terror,” the superhero parody “The Wrong Earth,” science fiction dramedy “Captain Ginger” and “High Heaven,” another religious satire about a man who visits the afterlife only to find it profoundly underwhelming.

“A human story with larger-than-life elements and a satirical bent, paired with ambitious, confident art — it’s exactly what we try to do every time,” Peyer said. “Some people I know guessed that we would acquire ‘Second Coming’ before we made the announcement, which would convince me it’s a good fit if I needed convincing.”

“Second Coming” isn’t the first comic to face some sort of public outcry — the 1950s saw an entire moral panic devoted to them — and it’s not even the only comic with religious themes that Fox News has recently criticized. But Peyer said the controversy over the series is different because people are objecting to the book without even reading it.

And as to the petition to get the series cancelled, Peyer said it was like the organizers were trying to help “Second Coming.”

“235,000 signatures on the petition to get it banned? That’s a lot of brand recognition,” Peyer said.

With “Second Coming” now at a new publisher, Russell can continue working on what he said is a personal project.

“I grew up in an evangelical church that was very focused on ‘the last days’ and were utterly convinced that Jesus Christ would be returning to Earth at any moment,” Russell said. “They seemed equally convinced that when he came back, he’d be some Charles Bronson character, bent on revenge and violence.

“This seemed odd to me. That a man who came to Earth and gave his life to teach us about mercy and forgiveness would come back only to refute all his earlier beliefs. I wanted to write a story both about these people getting the sort of messiah they wanted and of Christ returning to be appalled at the sorts of things his followers were expecting from him.”

Russell said he wanted Christians to take from “Second Coming” that the real Jesus is in the Gospels and comes without “all this extra baggage churches have thrown onto him over the last two millennia.”

He also said he’s excited to finally publish it.

“Now that everyone has formed an opinion about it,” Russell said, “I couldn’t be happier that they’ll actually be able to read it.”

“Second Coming” #1, from writer Mark Russell, artist Richard Pace and publisher AHOY Comics, will go on sale July 10.

From: https://www.oregonlive.com/books/2019/03/portland-writers-jesus-comic-sees-revival-after-cancellation.html

DC Films Finally Admits Marvel Studios Was Right All Along

A lot of information has been trickling out about the future of Warner Bros.’ DC comics film franchise—not least of which is the fresh news that WB C.E.O. Kevin Tsujihara is resigning in disgrace, following a report about some scandalous text messages. But long before Tsujihara’s controversy, Warner Bros. had already started to pivot its comic book movies away from the dark and dreary ethos that characterized the Zack Snyder era of films, including Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. With James Gunn essentially rebooting Suicide Squad before returning to his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, the purported rivalry between Marvel and DC may finally be put to rest. In other words, from the outside, it certainly seems as though DC has seen that it can’t beat the fun, brightly colored vibe of Marvel Studios—and has decided to join it instead.

For a time there, the DC Extended Universe, or DCEU, endeavored to create a kind of counter-programming to the warm-hearted antics of the Avengers. At the world premiere of Suicide Squad, in 2016, director David Ayer shouted “Fuck Marvel!” His film—though profitable and even Oscar-winning—was roasted by critics and ridiculed by moviegoers, to the point where Gunn is now reportedly rebooting the franchise. That’s a bit confusing, given that Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn is set to appear in at least one (if not several) new DCEU movies. But Forbes reports that Robbie may not appear in the next Suicide Squad at all; that, plus Idris Elba reportedly taking over Will Smith’s role as Deadshot means the Gunn version of this comic book Skwad may have nothing at all to do with Ayer’s gritty, gruesome take.

A lighter, zippier Gunn film would also be in keeping with the current trajectory of the DCEU, where Jason Momoa’s stand-alone Aquaman was hailed as bonkers good fun and turned into one of the studio’s most profitable efforts. Early word on Zachary Levi’s Shazam! is that this Big-esque take on a superhero origin story is ever more light-hearted. And even Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman—which arguably kicked off the studio’s profitable turn toward warm, Marvel-esque entertainment—will get a kitschier sequel in which the horrors of WWI will be replaced by the pastels of the 1980s with comedian Kristen Wiig in the villain role.

The two leading men of the Snyder era, Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck, have (probably) already left the franchise for good. But above all else, DC seems determined to bury the hatchet in the comic book wars. Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran told JoBlo.com:

What I love about James directing for both Marvel and DC is he has
always espoused the view that that which unites comic book and
superhero lovers is much greater than that which divides us. Because,
there’s always been this Marvel/DC rivalry, which he has said, and I
agree, is absurd. There’s room for everybody and certainly that which
unites us all is far greater than that which divides us, so hopefully
they’ll see that you can be both a Marvel and a DC fan and the world
won’t spin off its axis.

Gunn has, indeed, been banging this drum for a while now. Even Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige told Vanity Fair that he sees DC’s success as helping, not hurting, the MCU. The average filmgoer—who might not know Captain Marvel from Mar-Vell—may not be keeping score as to which studio produced the comic book movie they loved or hated. So, as Feige predicted, Wonder Woman’s success may have just meant more movie lovers would line up for Brie Larson’s debut in Captain Marvel. (And they did.)

But not everyone is thrilled with DC’s new direction. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ezra Miller—who has been attached to star in a Flash standalone movie for years now—is displeased with the latest, light-hearted version of a script written by Game Night and Spider-Man: Homecoming comedy duo John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Miller, it seems, would prefer to pursue a version that hews closer to the DCEU he signed up for under the stewardship of Zack Snyder, and has partnered with comic writer Grant Morrison to write his own darker take on the Scarlet Speedster.

Miller has also reportedly nearly run out his holding deal on the film—which means that if this script doesn’t come together, his part could be re-cast entirely. With the studio so determined to have a new start and Miller still clinging to the DCEU of old, some fresh blood might be the best course of action after all.

From: https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/03/suicide-squad-reboot-ezra-miller-flash-dc-marvel

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