DC Relaunch Johns & Lee Interview— Video

DC’s  Geoff Johns and artist Jim Lee inteveiwed by Newsarama regarding today’s relaunch of the entire DC Universe with the release of the new Justice League “#1”.
Johns, also Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment, has elsewhere (as in an ABC interveow last night) given the impression that changes to the characters’ onscreen adaptations and  appearances will likely be gradual.
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DC Re-Launches JLA, Entire Line

JLA_1_Jim LeeUSA TODAY reports that in the aftermath of its current Flashpoint multi-comic “event”, DC Comics will be re-vamping it’s entire line yet again. 

Starting with  JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 , due out August 31st, ALL of its superhero titles will be re-numbered as Number 1, despite the company’s 75-plus year history.
Superman, The Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, et al, will be re-started as younger, different versions of their former selves. 
Beginning in  September, 51 first issues titles will debut, with the stated intent of making the stories more relatable to the real world, always a dubious idea for characters whose essential appeal is precisely that they exist in a fantasy world of their own, with it’s own history and rules.

Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics, is quoted as saying:
“We really want to inject new life in our characters and line. This was a chance to start, not at the beginning, but at a point where our characters are younger and the stories are being told for today’s audience.”

As can be seen by the artwork, artist and co-publisher  Jim Lee has redesigned the Justice League heroes appearances to various degrees, Superman and Wonder Woman most noticeably. Superman’s been given a high collar that does not work well at all with the arrangement of the cape (and the idea that he wear the suit undernear his Clark Kent street clothes), and seems to have lost his trademark red shorts. The ‘S’ Symbol is also somewhat squared off. Wonder Woman’s costume appears to be a combination of her recent and controversial mini-series redesign and the similar costume  made for the failed TV pilot.
Interestingly, Green Lantern’s costume seems influenced by the new movie’s ‘peeled flesh’ look.  As Geoff Johns, creative head of Warner Brothers’  DC Entertainment is involved in the re-vamping, including writing the Justice League opening story arc, I would not be surprised if the whole venture was undertaken in part with modern and simplified (in terms of looks and continuity)  movie and television adaptations in mind.   
In a nod to changing times for the comic book publishing business, all of the re-numbered comics will be available digitally as downloadable apps and through a DC website, timed to be accessible the same day they are supposed to arrive in comic book stores.

Jim Lee told the site: “We’re allowing people who have never bought a comic book in their lives to download them on portable media devices and take a look. To give people access to these comics with one button click means we’re going to get a lot of new readers.”

That remains to be seen. Personally, all of these every few years total re-launches and make-overs have left me with less and less desire to keep up with the comics at all, and concentrate only on the film and TV output.


'Green Lantern' 3-D Trailer

Geoffrey Rush (Tomar-Re) narrates this latest (and very cosmic) GREEN LANTERN Trailer.
Directed by Martin Campbell, produced by Greg Berlanti, Donald De Line, Geoff Johns, Executive Producers: Andrew Haas
Donald De Line, Screenplay: Marc Guggenheim, Michael Green, Greg Berlanti, Michael Goldenberg .
Due in theaters June 17th, in standard and 3-D versions.
From Yahoo via kino.com

'Smallville: Booster' Pictures

SmallV_booster_BG3Here are some pics from the CW’s SMALLVILLE upcoming episode Booster, in which:

“…A fame-hungry superhero from the future, Booster Gold (guest star Eric Martsolf, “Days of Our Lives”), sweeps into town and begins making saves and posing for press ops, completely winning over the city of Metropolis. 
Booster begins his campaign to take The Blur’s place as the “World’s Greatest Superhero” and tries to charm Lois into writing a story about him, but she’s not having his antics and begins her own campaign for The Blur. 
SmallV_booster_BluB During one of Booster’s saves, an alien weapon in the form of a scarab falls from a truck and fuses itself to a boy named Jaime Reyes (guest star Jaren Brandt Bartlett), turning him into the Blue Beetle.  Unfortunately, Jaime is unable to control the suit and Blue Beetle starts attacking Metropolis. “

Also seen is what looks like an iconic moment for the future Man of Steel.

"Sup... er, The Blur!"
"Sup... er, The Blur!"

"This looks like a job for..."
"This looks like a job for..."

Series star Tom Welling directed the episode, written by DC’s Geoff Johns.
SMALLVILLE returns Friday April 15th, with Kent, which features some alternate Earth action. Booster is set for the following week.

Smallville — Booster Gold & Blue Beetle Pic

Smallville_BOOSTER1From TV Guide comes this first look at Booster Gold (Eric Martsolf) and the new Blue Beetle (Jaren Brandt Bartlett), in their upcoming appearance on SMALLVILLE. 
In Booster, scheduled to air April 22nd, Days of Our Lives star Eric Martsolf describes his role of Booster Gold as , “a glory-seeking showboat from the future.”  

“The episode takes place in Booster’s very early stages where he’s at his conceited best, where he believes he can do whatever he wants. He’s gonna stay for the photo op and bask in the glory of his heroic efforts.”

Episode author, DC Comics’  Geoff Johns says:

“The one thing Booster does prove to Clark is that people want to look up to this guy… They want to be inspired, and no one’s doing it for them.”

However. Clark Kent and his time-traveling rival have different values. 
“This guy (Booster Gold)  always shows up at the last second to make a dramatic rescue, which is really suspect,” hints Johns, now creative head of DC Entertainment.
See the entire article at the link above.
SMALLVILLE returns from hiatus  on Friday, April 15th at 8:00PM/7:00 PM Central on The CW.

'Smallville' Casts Booster Gold, Blue Beetle

eric-martsolfEntertainment Weekly reports that SMALLVILLE has cast Eric Martsolf (DAYS OF OUR LIVES) as time-traveling superhero wannbee Booster Gold for the episode Booster.

Jaren Brandt Bartlett

Also in the episode will be Jaren Brandt Bartlett (THE TROOP) as the current alien armor-wearing Blue Beetle, Jamie Reyes.

According to TV Guide,  Sebastian Spence (FIRST WAVE) will appear as previous comic book Blue Beetle, Ted Kord. He was the second version of the character (inspired by the golden age  Beetle, Dan Garett), begining in the 196o’s for Charlton Comics, and later acquired by DC and teamed with Booster Gold as humorous team for a Justice League run in the 1980’s.  Sebatian Spence
Producer Brian Peterson describes the SMALLVILLE Kord role as a “captain of industry who has lost a valuable weapon…the scarab. He’ll cross paths with Booster Gold, Jaime Reyes, and, of course, Clark.” So at a guess, not appearing  in costume as a Blue Beetle.
DC Entertainment creative honcho Geoff Johns wrote the episode.

Geoff Johns On 'Smallville', DC Animated

Booster_Gold_25DC’s Geoff Johns had a wide-ranging interview over at ComicBookResources, where among many other things, he discused some of DC’s TV productions.
Regarding the episode of SMALLVILLE featuring Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle that he’s writing:

“Yeah, I literally just finished the script before Christmas. Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle too.
…I love the Blue Beetle. We introduced (the alien-suit powered version) back during “Infinite Crisis.” I always liked the chemistry between him and Booster, so when I was going to do this episode, I wanted to do those two together and I think the story that we came up works really well. It’s very Booster 1.0, meaning he’s in the early stages of his career as a hero — and is pretty self-serving.
You’ll see Beetle’s origin, Booster first meeting Clark and Lois and maybe a cameo by someone from Kord Industries.”

It seems a shame to this writer that we won’t get a chance to see the classic teaming of Booster Gold and the Ted Kord Blue Beetle, but such is life.
Regarding what coming up in the animated DC Universe:

“There is already a series that we’re working on that I can’t get into yet but yes, you’ll definitely see more animated series coming from Warner Brothers Animation. Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett and Sam Register really love DC and DC is in really, really good hands. ”

Graphic Novel Clue to Superman Reboot?

Super_SO_CropContributor “superkal” at Comic Book Movie claims to have discovered hints at what may influence screenwriter David S. Goyer’s (BATMAN BEGINS) script for the Superman reboot film.
In the introduction to the Deluxe Edition of the Geoff Johns (SMALLVILLE)-penned Superman: Secret Origin, Goyer wrote the following.

“There is a heart breaking moment halfway through the first chapter in which young Clark is told the truth about his heritage. He races out into the night, sobbing, stumbling through the cornfields. Eventually, his foster father, Jonathan, finds him.”
‘I don’t want to be someone else,’ says Clark. ‘I don’t want to be different. I want to be Clark Kent.’
[And here’s the kicker…]
‘I want to be your son’
“Right there in that moment, Geoff contextualized Superman in a way that I’m not sure has ever really been done before. I had an ‘aha’ experience when I read that. For the first time I was able to grasp how lonely Clark must have been when he was growing up. And what a sacrifice Clark must continually make by being Superman.”
“As I write this, I am midway through my first draft of a new Superman screenplay. It’s a task that has stymied many talented fimmakers in the years since Donner’s film. And for all I know, it will end up stymying me as well.”
“But I’ve got one advantage that the screenwriters who came before me didn’t have– and that’s access to all the wonderful Superman stories written by Geoff Johns– first and foremost being the SECRET ORIGIN issues reprinted in the very volume you are now holding.”

Sounds interesting. Whether this indicates yet another reiteration of Superman’s origin story, or simply a similar thematic approach to the character, is as yet unknown.


Changes at DC Comics, Entertainment

dc_75 MUSIC CDThere’s been a lot of information, some contradictory, going around the internet about organizational changes at DC Comics and DC Entertainment.
From what I glean from various sources, this much seems to be true:

  • DC’s Digital and Administration departments will be moving from New York to Burbank, CA.

  • DC Comics Editorial Department will remain in New York.

  • WildStorm Comics (headquarted in California) will cease as a seperate imprint, and some of it’s staff and the largely web-based Zuda will be integrated into DC Digital.
    Wild Storm’s licensed titles will be picked up by DC Comics.

  • There will be some staff reductions. The L.A. Times and Washington post speculate that this could run as high as 20% of current positions, though this figure is in dispute.

  • DC Entertainment /Warner Brothers Prictures will NOT be making a public announcement of their feature film plans this month. Plans for specific productions will be announced over the next few months.

  • Their strategy will most likely not mirror Marvel Studios’ approach of interconnected films, to culminate in THE AVENGERS cross-over. Instead, stand-alone films are envisioned. (So don’t look for a big Justice League multi-franchise cross-over movie.)

See Comic Book Resources for an interview with DC Entertainment President Diane Neslon as she comments on thes matters.
See DC Universe’s  ‘The Source’  for  an announcement by DC Comics co-Publishers  Jim Lee and Dan Didio.