Ryan Reynolds to appear in Justice League film?

It’s like the old days all over again as rumor and hearsay surround the Zack Snyder cut of the Justice League. It can be seen in the trailer that Alfred is addressing a character who gives off a greenish hue in one scene so I always suspected that GL was going to turn up and was disappointed when that didn’t happen.

While the Green Lantern movie was a dud, Reynolds has new cache as a film star thanks to the Deadpool movies. Having him appear as the emerald guardian could be easier than re-casting the part. But we shall see.

More below via ScreenGeek:

Ryan Reynolds has morphed into an A-list actor, becoming a box office staple in films like Deadpool and Detective Pickachu. His journey to becoming a beloved star wasn’t always the easiest for Reynolds, who was often straddled with underwhelming big-budget projects early in his career. Along with playing a bizarre version of Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Reynolds starred in DC’s long-awaited Green Lantern adaptation. While the star brought his usual charm to the project, he was sadly straddled in a thankless blockbuster that did little to reinvent its familiar formula.

Considering its’ been nearly a decade since that film bombed with critics and audiences alike, many assumed that Reynold’s time as Hal Jordan was over for good. Well according to Grace Randolph, Ryan Reynolds could potentially return as the Green Lantern, with the actor rumored to have a cameo role in the Snyder Cut of Justice League. The YouTube personality goes on to explain how Reynolds has always been a vehement supporter of Zack Snyder’s original vision for Justice League, believing that Reynolds and Warner Brothers are close to finalizing a deal.

Green Lantern encounters the orange light, Young Justice on the Hunt

Images and video from the latest Young Justice and Green Lantern the Animated episodes premniering this weekend below…

Via Newsarama

This week’s DC Nation sees Hal Jordan get greedy when he encounters a new alien and seeks a secret weapon to help/battle Aya-Monitor.

Then on Young Justice, Lex Luthor is… saving the young heroes?

Green Lantern reinvented as gay superhero

Green Lantern by Alex Ross

DC Comics has announced recently that they will ‘out’ one of their iconic superheroes as being gay. There has been lots of speculation and a kind of knee-jerk reaction/guess that it would be Batman, along with a litany of other guesses all the way down to Vibe, who was so surprised he jumped out of comic book limbo and then fell back asleep just as quickly.

Alan Scott was a train engineer who nearly died when a strange meteorite crashed into his train. Thinking quickly, he carved a ring and power battery from the rock, donned one of the weirdest superhero costumes ever and fought crime with a magic ring that created giant green boxing gloves. His associate was the bumbling and obese Doiby Dickles.

Comics back in those days embraced the inventive lunacy that is mostly absent from modern comics.

Green Lantern disappeared in the 1950’s when funny animals took over the stands after Fredric Wertham’s assault on superhero comics reduced them to subversive perverted trash… oh if only he were alive today he would laugh himself giddy. When DC Comics introduced a new spin on an old idea by creating a new Flash, it was only a matter of time before the other classic heroes followed suit, including Green Lantern.

Borrowing heavily from EE ‘Doc’ Smith’s Lensman novels, the new Green Lantern was a space policeman that guarded the galaxy from evil using a sci-fi spin on the magic ring. In time, a parallel world was located where the original superheroes still lived on, aged and even had children. There were a number of team-ups between the two world until it all got a bit silly and DC decided to smash all of their continuity into one world.

In the new DC Universe, Alan Scott was one of the very first superheroes and his ring slowed his aging process, allowing him to fight alongside the kids of today. The Alan Scott Green Lantern gained a massive support base during this time and went on to star in not just the JSA, but also as leader of Checkmate.

Totally bizarre drawing of Green Lantern and the Pillsbury Dough Boy by Martin Nodell

But that even that version of Alan Scott is gone forever, wiped clean away from the comic book annals of history by that great equalizer known as the editorial process. In a new ongoing series called Earth-2, the Golden Age versions of the Flash, Hawkman, Green Lantern, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman are being introduced. Rather than serving as elder statesmen of the DCU, as they had in the past, they are entirely different characters.

Most notably, Alan Scott is now DC’s high profile gay superhero.

Alan Scott makes his debut as the Green Lantern in Earth 2 #3

BleedingCool has outed the hero first by revealing that it is none other than Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern. There are a few things to keep in mind here, of course. This version of Alan Scott has no relation to the original Green Lantern created back in 1940. This version of the character is from a parallel Earth in a post-52 DC Universe. So DC hasn’t exactly taken a character who has been straight for decades and had them come out of the closet, they have in fact warped reality, rewritten time and launched an alternate universe comic book in order to create a gay character.

So… is this really a win for equality in comics?

There’s a lot of press and opinion out there on this as you’d imagine, but here’s one of my favorites from ComicBookResources

Green Lantern drawn by artist Irwin Hasen

DC and Marvel are shouting about going gay with a — well, with a straight face, and they’re doing so in 2012. Read between the lines of the public relations, and essentially the two biggest North American superhero comics publishers (and Hollywood IP farms) are proudly, cluelessly boasting about the fact that they’re not as out of touch with the rest of American pop culture and society as they were last month, and they’re accepting congratulations for it.

It’s a bit embarrassing, really, and not just for DC and Marvel — I mean, all of us readers-of and writers-about these publishers get to share in guilt by association.

I’m not sure which of the Big Two comes off worse in this week’s campaigning.

Marvel’s big, gay news is, of course, that mutant superhero Northstar proposed to and is set to marry his civilian boyfriend, Kyle. This plot point has been hinted at by Marvel since at least March, when the publisher started its “Save The Date!” advertising campaign for Astonishing X-Men, and the February-released solicitation for the May-shipping Issue 50 included a line about Northstar having to choose between his boyfriend and the team, and another read “Don’t miss the end of this issue – it’ll be the most talked about moment of the year!”

Pretty obvious that Northstar was going to get married, right?

Earlier in the week Marvel started hyping an announcement that would be made on The View, of all places. (Do you know what a Venn diagram of “People Who Watch The View” and “People Who Will Ever Buy An Issue of Astonishing X-Men” looks like? It’s two circles on separate sheets of paper, and about a mile and a half between each of those sheets of paper). And it turned out to be that, yes, as you’ve surely already guessed, Northstar would be the first Marvel superhero to be married to a member of the same sex. (An aside: I wonder if, in the Marvel Universe, if mutant/human marriages are considered a greater threat to “traditional marriage” then gay marriages …? Do Republican politicians in the Marvel Universe introduce Defense of Marriage Acts forbidding a homo superior from marrying a homo sapien?)

So Marvel’s big news of the week is that the publisher whose foundational, traditional identity has been that it was the edgier, more realistic and with-it alternative to DC’s staid comics line, is just now catching up to Archie Comics, traditionally the most conservative and slow-to-change of the extant publishers. (They still publish comics for kids! And sell them in grocery stores!) Archie’s Life With Archie #17, published in January, featured a wedding between Kevin Keller and his boyfriend Clay Walker (six months, by the way, is about how long it would take to plan, create and publish an issue of an ongoing comic book series, at least in the olden days of the 1990s).

The appearance on The View, corporate synergy or no (Disney owns both Marvel and the show’s network ABC), was at least pretty well timed. President Barack Obama publicly stated his support for gay marriage on May 9. That too would have (and perhaps should have) been a non-story, as Obama had publicly supported gay marriage in 1996, but changed his mind as he campaigned for the presidency the first time, were it not for the fact that he was a sitting president. Like the Marvel story, the Obama one was basically along the lines of a declaration that someone was not as backward as previously thought. It’s just too bad so many news cycles have occurred between the Obama’s announcement and Marvel’s; that guy has been great for helping Marvel sell comic books in the past.

DC’s big, gay news of the week wasn’t made in such a splashy fashion, so company gets some points for not jumping as high or shouting as loud about how totally not-homophobic it is, but it also seemed calculated to insert the publisher into the Marvel news, in the hopes of getting DC’s name mentioned in the mainstream media at least as often.

DC Comics Co-Publisher Dan DiDio didn’t call a press conference to make his company’s gay announcement, but it nevertheless seemed more cynical and calculated, given the timing.

DC’s announcement seems somewhat smaller on the face of it — DC will apparently “out” one of its “major iconic” (and male) characters as gay in a New 52 storyline that begins in June — and whether it’s actually a big deal will likely depend on the identity of the character.

My Word dictionary function is telling me the definition of “iconic” is “relating to or characteristic of somebody or something admired as an icon,” with “icon” being either “somebody … widely and uncritically admired, especially somebody or something symbolizing a movement or field of activity” or, more simply, “a picture or symbol that is universally recognized to be representative of something.”

DC no doubt has a pretty loose definition of the word “iconic,” which it often uses to mean “all of our superheroes, even Vibe.” If I were to list all of DC’s truly iconic characters, the ones most likely to be recognized in the streets of foreign countries and the ones that many other characters have been derived from, my list would end up being pretty small: Superman and all his derivatives (-girl, -boy, maybe Steel), Batman (and –girl) and Robin, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Captain Marvel (I suppose I’ll get used to calling him “Shazam” some day …) and Plastic Man.

There’s also an excellent article about gay superhero characters in comics here and the author has done plenty of research on the subject.

I’m kind of frustrated by this news as while as I have said on previous occasions I fully support diversity in comics, this changes the original character almost to the point where one has to wonder how much of Martin Nodell and Bill Finger’s character is left?

Why not just create a new Green Lantern who happens to be gay instead of warping reality in order to ‘catch up with times’? Is that level of modification really what is needed in order to inject something other than a white straight Anglo-Saxon into comic books?

It reminds me of the holiday specials of old where all of the characters are excited about Christmas, even Superman (well, his parents lived in the midwest, they probably took their space orphan to church). Are there no superheroes of different religious/cultural backgrounds? They ALL celebrate Christmas… SERIOUSLY?? And nearly every alternate future story has a Ken and Barbie match-up between superheroes who have gotten married and all have children. Not one of them remained single? None of them are gay? ALL OF THEM HAD CHILDREN?

It strikes me that comics have a very very long road to maturity and maybe all things considered they should remain places where thugs wear bandannas and caps and are knocked out by giant green boxing gloves. Save the social commentary for the pundits.

Unless you’re a socially conscious publisher like DC… way way back in the day.


Green Lantern: The Animated Series Premieres 11/11

The emerald guardian of the space ways will arrive in style, starring in his own animated series. The first computer generated program from Batman: The Animated Series, Superman and Justice League animator Bruce Timm, this should be quite the event.

Series producer Giancarlo Volpe spoke to Newsarama about Green Lantern: The Animated Series, his history with comics and what fans can expect from this ground breaking cartoon.

Newsarama: Giancarlo, you’ve worked on plenty of different animated series, but Green Lantern: The Animated Series is your first one that’s strictly comic book-based. Were you pretty well versed in the medium, or did this project require some amount of research?

Giancarlo Volpe: A little bit of both. I was really into comics when I was younger — early teens. My brother and I used to collect comics, and we would share them with each other so we could save on spending. [Laughs.]

I kind of lost track of it over the years; I’m not sure why. In recent years, especially with all these superhero movies are coming out, it’s really hit that nostalgia for me. I wasn’t the biggest Green Lantern fan. To be honest, I didn’t know a lot. Thankfully, a friend of mine told me, if you’re going to read Green Lantern, read the Geoff Johns stuff. So I ordered all of those graphic novels on Amazon and kind of caught up. It was actually really cool because of the way he sort of started with Hal’s origin, and then introduced all this color spectrum stuff. It was such a great introductory course to Green Lantern. I feel like a lot of what I get inspiration from is from those books.

Nrama: And very direct inspiration, it seems, as the Red Lanterns — who have only been around in the comic books for about four years — are the main villains for the first season. What motivated that decision?

Volpe: I guess that partially had something to do with the fact that Geoff Johns is so involved with DC creative right now. When I was brought on for this project, it was already sort of decided that it would be Red Lanterns, but I wouldn’t be if surprised if Geoff maybe made that suggestion. I actually really kind of believe in keeping it modern and keeping it current. If we would have gotten a little too nostalgic, then I think that the show would have contradicted the comics, or felt like a different world. The ideal is that kids will watch the show and see Atrocitus and Zilius Zox as Red Lanterns, and Kilowog as a green, and hopefully fall in love with them, and then they can go to the comics and see further adventures — and vice versa.

Nrama: What’s the typical breakdown, then, of space versus Earth scenes for the series?

Volpe: I think Bruce [Timm] was really pushing for that. He’s been doing the superhero stuff for so long that he was kind of tired of Gotham and Metropolis and all that stuff, and was like, “Man, I just want to be on crazy planets where trees are purple and upside down.” The funny thing is that I was doing that for three years on Clone Wars, so for me I was a little bit like, “Oh, more space exploration, I guess.” [Laughs.]

It’s actually really fun. It’s very liberating; you can do anything within the budget. Like 95 percent of it takes place in space. We wanted to set up Hal as a human like any of us, who just happens to get whisked away on this much bigger universe and existence.

Nrama: So did the large amount of space scenes affect the decision to make this the first CGI-animated series based on a DC comic book?

Volpe: There’s this misunderstand on the Internet that CG is less expensive than traditional, and that’s actually really not the case at all. CG is actually — I would say, ballpark, twice as expensive as traditional. It’s quite an investment and a commitment to decide to do a show in CG. But the beauty of CG was obviously that you can get very dynamic lighting, and you can get very dynamic camera angles, and I think that lighting and camera angles can really make a sci-fi show soar.

One of the challenges, though, is that in CG you actually have to be very prudent with how many models you build. Every character, every set, every prop is money. We have to kind of tell these stories very economically, which is one of the Catch-22s — the very nature of the show is that they go planet to planet and explore these entirely different civilizations, entirely different species, and so every time that happens we have to create this new set, this new planet, and this new species. It can be challenging, for sure.

Nrama: Given that, can viewers expect to see the rest of the color spectrum beyond Green and Red Lanterns at some point?

Volpe: To me, just the fact that if you make a show about Green Lanterns, and you say there are Red Lanterns, even a five-year-old kid would go, “Well, are there Blue Lanterns?” It just seems like a natural question people would ask.

That stuff gets weaved in. Sinestro is a little bit of a tricky thing because we were asked not to use him very much at the time we were developing the show, because at that time his destiny wasn’t completely decided in how they wanted to play him in the future. Now that I’ve seen it, and the final scene is pretty obvious what’s going to happen to with him — that may give us some license in the future to get him.

Nrama: What about the other human Green Lanterns — Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner and John Stewart?

Volpe: Someone asked me that at Comic-Con, and my response was basically, “As long as the show is a hit, and it keeps going, sure.” I would imagine we would have to at some point.

With the CG restrictions, we have this very short wishlist of who we actually bring onto the show. We can’t just load it up with every human Green Lantern — but we would like to. And I understand that everyone has their favorite. It’s definitely on our radar.

Nrama: It seems like a natural thing to incorporate, especially given how John Stewart was the main Green Lantern in the Justice League cartoon.

Volpe: Yeah. Even Bruce has a particular affinity for John Stewart. It could happen.

Nrama: Wanted to ask about voice acting a little bit — Josh Keaton is Hal Jordan, who is known to comic book fans as Peter Parker in Spectacular Spider-Man. What made him right for the role?

Volpe: When we were auditioning it wasn’t really going across our minds, “Do we want Spider-Man to play Green Lantern?” Honestly, the audition was just like anything else, where we’re just trying people out, and seeing who gets the jokes, who delivers them naturally, who gets the subtle stuff that’s going on in the writing the best, who sounds likeable.

Josh just really stood out. I would say that the biggest difference between Peter Parker and Hal Jordan is that if Peter Parker is sort of a nerd, Hal Jordan is kind of a jock. Josh does both well. I’ve come to know him a lot better over the year, and he’s got both sides of him. He’s got this geeky side to him that really likes superhero stuff, but he’s also sort of got a little bit of this charming cockiness to him. I think that comes through. I like that there’s a little bit of vulnerability in his delivery, he’s not totally cocky, he’s not just one-note. He’s very well-rounded.

(read the entire interview here)

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Official Press Release

“Beware My Power…Green Lantern’s Light”

Based upon the DC Comics super hero, GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES follows Earth’s Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, who is used to being in dangerous situations — but never anything like this! In the farthest reaches of deep space, Hal patrols the Guardian Frontier, where he must face down invasions from the evil Red Lantern Corps., who have sworn to destroy the Green Lanterns and everything they stand for. With ever-emerging galactic threats, Hal is soon joined by an all-new group of heroes on a mission to protect Guardian Space — and the Green Lantern Corps itself!

In the first part of the two-part series premiere episode, ace test pilot Hal Jordan (voiced by JOSH KEATON), who leads a secret life as Earth’s guardian Green Lantern, is called back to Oa. Searching for the culprits behind a series of Green Lantern deaths in “Frontier Space”, Hal and his gruff fellow Green Lantern Kilowog (voiced by KEVIN MICHAEL RICHARDSON) “commandeer” The Interceptor, a prototype spaceship powered by pure Green Lantern energy and an advanced artificial intelligence system that Hal names Aya (voiced by GREY DeLISLE).

In the second half of the two-part series premiere episode, Hal and Kilowog discover that a group of Red Lanterns, including the conflicted Razer (voiced by JASON SPISAK) and the vile Zilius Zox (voiced by TOM KENNY) have been targeting and eliminating Green Lanterns in Frontier Space. Along with the help from a surviving Frontier Space Green Lantern Shyir Rev (voiced by KURTWOOD SMITH), Hal and Kilowog must stop the Red Lantern leader Atrocitus (voiced by JONATHAN ADAMS) from destroying Shyir’s home planet of Colony 12.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series premieres this Friday, November 11 7/6c on Cartoon Network.

Green Lantern extended cut, the verdict

I’m a big Green Lantern fan. From his days on Super Friends to the comics and the Super Powers action figure. Something about the Gil Kane-designed costume, green light constructions and devil-may-care attitude made GL one of the heavy hitters in my book. Tales of the Green Lantern Corps arrived at just the right time for me, showing Hal Jordan as part of a massive interplanetary force yet uniquely fearless and determined to defeat a threat so great that it could rewrite history.

(If you haven’t read it, pick it up)

When he was revived and brought into comic book prominence thanks to the Sinestro Corps War, I was overjoyed.

When a feature film was announced… I was nervous.

As ‘the comic book guy,’ I’m often the point of reference for this kind of thing. After all, that’s why I started this blog as many of the somewhat obscure hobbies (from super hero movies to cartoons and of course Doctor Who) were becoming relevant to the pop culture elite. Almost immediately I was met with the question ‘who’s Green Lantern?’ and my answer seldom made the situation better. ‘A guy with a magic ring fighting villains as part of an alien police force’ didn’t really make GL’s obscurity any easier to get excited about.  Romantic/comic actor Ryan Reynolds getting cast as the lead made my case even flimsier.

Developing an unknown superhero for the big screen is not an automatic flop. Look at what Marvel accomplished with Iron Man to see how it’s done. However, Warner Bros. missed the mark with Green Lantern, which is unfortunate for so many reasons. A mixture of super hero and sci-fi, this flick should have enjoyed an almost universal appeal. Sadly, that wasn’t the case. Nevertheless, a sequel is still planned so we have that to look forward to.

Finally out on DVD, Green Lantern has been released as an extended cut on Blu-ray.

Tony ‘G-Man’ Guerrero over at Comic Vine News has provided his own verdict… and it’s mixed.

Green Lantern is making its way to Blu-ray and DVD (as well as a 3D home version). Comic fans looked forward to the movie but it wasn’t quite all that we hoped it would be.

What really got me interested in this release was the fact that it includes an extended cut (not available in 3D or on the DVD). The movie was nearly two hours but a couple of my complaints was Hal’s time on Oa and his learning period before facing Hector for the first time felt too brief. It was my hope that the extended portions would address these issues and the idea of seeing more of Oa was exciting.

After watching the extended version, I almost didn’t notice what had been added. The extended version does run about nine minutes longer. It turns out the extra footage pretty much occurs at the very beginning. We see young Hal at home and sneaking off to see his dad’s test flight (and we know how that ends). A little of this footage was seen in flashbacks when Hal’s jet was about to crash. Seeing the full footage was reminiscent to Geoff Johns’ ‘Secret Origin’ issues.

Many comments I’ve seen about the extended version were questions asking if the extra footage makes the movie better. The answer is, not really. It helps to get a better sense of Hal. It helps you understand why he lives his life so recklessly and it was a nice touch seeing that Hal, Carol and even Hector knew each other since they were kids. The extra footage did not fix the timing issues or moments of silliness with Hector or Parallax. It was good to see but it didn’t completely change the movie. After the incident with Hal’s father, it goes to the present and original beginning of the movie.

Despite being an extended cut (only nine minutes), there were still just over seven minutes of other scenes not used. Some of them are not complete with special effects but there was some scenes with them. The strangest one involves Hector Hammond and one of his hamsters. There’s also a different scene with Hal arriving on Oa asking Sinestro for help on Earth against Parallax (it’s weird seeing the two in their filming suits rather than the shiny glowing ones in the movie), Hal talks to Carol about getting to safety before Parallax arrives and a scene with Hal’s brother and nephew preparing to seek shelter.

Another great move was the inclusion of a digital copy Justice League #1. While it might not be the best introduction for non-comic book readers, the fact that it features the first encounter between Batman and Hal Jordan could be enough to get some to seek out the comics. The comic reader operates similarly to comiXology’s reader but doesn’t fully zoom in on individual panels.

(read the entire review here)

But what do think?

Weigh in with your opinion by leaving a comment.

Green Lantern animated series debuts in NY, feature film DVD to include extra footage

New Green Lantern footage from Sam Register, Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs for Warner Bros. Watch as he walks the audience through the character and why he’s important. I have to wonder what kind of looks he’s getting from the dead silent attendees.  What’s interesting is that he explains how difficult it was to talk Bruce Timm into the project as the animator who gave us Batman the Animated Series despised CG cartoons. However, Register insists that CG is the accepted way to produce a kid’s cartoon and cites some odd examples to support his case (why not just name-drop Star Wars?).

In any case, now we finally have a clear glimpse of the Green Lantern Animated Series as it will appear in 2012. Featuring voice actor Josh Keaton (from Spectacular Spider-Man) as Hal Jordan, the series will also star Michael Clarke Duncan, Richard Green, and Robert Englund.

I imagine that many of you are not sold on the style of the CG animation. I agree, but the pacing and storytelling techniques are top notch. I suspect the style will just take some getting used to and the overall quality of the series will generate buzz and bring in viewers. If you are still in doubt, remember that Bruce Timm is involved and he has seldom steered fans wrong. If anything, he has brought the DC Universe to a new audience with his various animated endeavors.

This Saturday at the NYComic Con, there will be a special screening of the animated series followed by an appearance by Bruce Timm for a Q and A session. That should be great!


In other Green Lantern news, the GL movie is coming out and gaining another chance at impressing fans who may have found the big picture in need of something extra. They’ll get it… 14 minute’s worth of extra!

Leading up to the film’s release I cited that of all the ‘unknown’ comic book characters, Green Lantern had the most to offer in a big screen adaptation. A man with a magic ring flying through space, strange aliens in mind-blowing visuals combine the appeal of superhero and science fiction drama. Alas, the final product fell flat. Dwarfed by the success of Thor, Captain America and X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern was almost universally panned by critics for being too slow and impenetrable for the casual viewer.

The Extended Edition DVD release including fourteen minutes of footage could salvage the film from the recesses of the also-ran rating it received this past Summer. Also, Best Buy will be offering a Steelbook edition that should look nice in any fan’s collection.

Exclusive Sinestro Corps Skin for Batman Arkham Asylum

The Blu-ray edition boasts some stunning extra material including a downloaded Sinestro Corps Batman skin for Arkham City, a preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series and a ‘Digital Enhanced’ copy of the new Justice League #1.

For more info on all things Green Lantern, please visit the BlogofOa.com

Quick review: Green Lantern #1

Green Lantern #1

By Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy

When Geoff Johns revamped Green Lantern in his Rebirth mini-series, it was a major event for comic book fans. This is a character who has a massive fan following yet hardly made a blip on the radar of the ‘guy on the street’ or even your standard comic book reader. Green Lantern: Rebirth not only brought back Hal Jordan as the emerald gladiator, it also acknowledged all of the questionable choices that had been made that caused him to turn evil and also serve a short stint as the Spectre. Respecting and using continuity is what Johns does best and that is why his first issue if the New GL feels so strange.

DC’s new 52 is being billed as the ideal point for new readers to jump on board and dive into some superheroes without fear of back-story or a need to have read the past 20 issues on the rack (of course DC could easily package and sell dowloadable bundles that brought readers up to speed, but never mind). In some cases, the new first issues of DC’s characters are restarts from day one. Action Comics, Wonder Woman and Batgirl fit the bill as jumping on points for new readers. Green Lantern, by contrast, is a bit more difficult.

I have collected the new Green Lantern series myself up to Blackest Night, which prompted me to drop the series as it had become far too convoluted for my taste. Even with that wealth of knowledge, the new #1 is a mystery to me. Sinestro, the evilest and most dangerous Green Lantern to turn rogue and don a yellow ring of destruction, has been brought back into the Green Lantern Corps by the Guardians of the Universe. It is unclear how Sinestro earned the opportunity to redeem himself in their eyes or if he is even interested but he does have a green ring again. Traveling back to his home world of Korugar (which he had attempted to rule using his Green Lantern abilities), he finds it over-run by members of his own former Corpsmen. He begins to kill them off then thinks better of it and decides to call on an old friend.

Meanwhile on Earth, Hal Jordan finds himself penniless, friendless and without a job. The only person to take pity on him, his ex Carol Ferris, leaves him in disgust when he asks her to co-sign a lease on a car so he can get his act together. I’m not sure how Hal found himself in this situation or how it jives with his appearance in the recent Justice League where he meets Batman for the first time. Nor do I know if this is a direct continuation of the previous Green Lantern run that I stopped buying.

It’s very frustrating to not know what is going on while the issue is a number one and it has been promoted as a good issue to purchase for new readers.

I will say that the writing and art are very strong. I’m not sure how long Doug Mahnke is planning to stay on board, but he is a superb artist and draws some incredible scenes. It is also interesting that the relationship between Sinestro and Hal Jordan is (so far) the prime draw for the series especially since Mark Strong’s red-skinned villain stole the feature film from Ryan Reynolds in this Summer’s un-stellar Green Lantern.

Sinestro not only dominates the regular and superb black and white variant covers, he’s also on the cover to the second issue fighting his Sinestro Corpsmen in space! Maybe DC is gambling on Sinestro being a far more interesting character than Hal Jordan. It may even work in the long run.

Preview cover of Green Lantern #2

At this stage I’m not sure what to make of Green Lantern in the new 52-verse which is proving to be even more confusing that the previous DC-verse that was deemed so impenetrable that it needed a fresh start. This may be a book for the already converted… who can take the rest of us out to lunch and explain it to us. Alternately, a digital bonus would have been a great idea that would have promoted the service while also filling in any knowledge gaps.

Green Lantern #1, much like all of DC’s 52 #1’s, is sold out at most retailers but can be downloaded at Comixology. Despite wavering reviews online, it remains the most downloaded comic over at Comixology, beating out Batman, Fear Itself, Spider-Man and the new Justice League of America.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters

Official press release below:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment today announced the North American release of Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters. The action-adventure videogame, inspired by the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures’ superhero feature film Green Lantern, based on the DC Comics’ character of the same name, is now available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Wii™; and the Nintendo DS™ and Nintendo 3DS™ handheld systems.

The Xbox 360 and PS3™ versions are available to play in both 2D and 3D, and feature the likenesses and voice talent of Ryan Reynolds who reprises his role as Hal Jordan from the movie that opens nationwide June 17.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is set in the universe of the film with an original story by award-winning comic book writer Marv Wolfman. Players will take flight across the universe to planets Oa, Zamaron and Biot, and utilize an arsenal of constructs to restore intergalactic order by wielding the ultimate weapon: the Green Lantern Power Ring. Gamers playing the Xbox 360 or PS3 versions will also have the option to join forces with a friend to play as Hal Jordan or Sinestro to battle the Manhunters.

The Nintendo 3DS version of the game is designed specifically to take advantage of the system’s stereoscopic 3D capabilities and deliver multi-plane graphics that delve players further into the Green Lantern universe.

In addition, players on Xbox 360 and PlayStation®3 system will be given the option to play in anaglyphic 3D with technology that is compatible with high definition TV sets and visible to players wearing the 3D glasses that will be available for the video game. Fans can also enjoy the game in stereoscopic 3D when playing on any 3D HDTV while wearing active shutter glasses that are compatible with the television.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters is developed for Xbox 360 and PS3 by Double Helix Games, and for Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS by Griptonite Games. For more information and game updates visit http://www.greenlanternvideogame.com/.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters (official trailer):

Nathan Fillon on voicing the animated Green Lantern

Official press release below:

Entertainment Weekly’s “Geek God” returns to the animated superhero realm in All-New DC Universe Animated Original Movie Coming June 7 to Blu-Ray™, DVD

Entertainment Weekly dubbed him a “Geek God.” TV Guide seems to document his every move. Firefly/Serenity fans follow him in any direction he goes.

And all the while, Nathan Fillion contines to go his own way, his boyish charm and “ruggedly handsome” exterior constantly reflecting the enchanting attitude of the proverbial kid-in-a-candy-store.

Make no mistake, Nathan Fillion is having the time of his life.

Fillion’s primetime series Castle is enjoying its best ratings, cracking Nielsen’s Top 10 as the popular ABC drama culminated its third season. And despite the five-plus-days-a-week grind of 14-plus hours on set, Fillion still finds time to fulfill his own guilty geek pleasures.

Thus, on the Sunday of the Martin Luther King Day holiday weekend in 2010, the Edmonton-born actor could be found recording the voice of Hal Jordan for Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, an all-new DC Universe Animated Original Movie coming to Blu-Ray™, DVD, On Demand and for Download June 7, 2011.

Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, and distributed by Warner Home Video, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights weaves six legendary stories of the Green Lantern Corps’ rich mythology around preparations for an attack by an ancient enemy. As the battle approaches, Hal Jordan mentors new recruit Arisia in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, telling tales of Avra, Kilowog, Abin Sur, Laira and Mogo. In the end, Arisia must rise to the occasion to help Hal, Sinestro and the entire Green Lantern Corps save the universe from the destructive forces of Krona.

Fillion has starred in several primetime television series, including Desperate Housewives, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He has also developed a popular cult following as a pair of Joss Whedon’s heroic captains: Capt. Mal Reynolds in the space-western series Firefly and follow-up film, Serenity; and Captain Hammer in Whedon’s internet sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. Fillion returns to the DC Universe after his successful turn as Steve Trevor in the animated film Wonder Woman, having also performed voice work on Justice League, Robot Chicken, The Venture Bros., and several Halo video games.

The ever-genuine Fillion spent some time following his initial recording session to discuss comic book justice, the perils of space travel, his love of comic books and the origin story behind his famous Green Lantern t-shirt. Read on …

Among the superhero role play games of your childhood, did you ever pretend you were the Green Lantern?

As a child, when you’re pretending you’re different super heroes, Green Lantern was the easiest because all you needed to light the fire in the imagination was the ring. Superman, you need a cape; Spiderman, you need a full face mask. That wasn’t tough to come by in a winter town like where I’m from, but they’re just too hot to wear in the summer. So to be Green Lantern, all you needed to do is suck a lifesaver down to the right size, and to make sure it’s a lime one – slip it on your finger, and you were good.

What is it about Green Lantern that most appeals to you?

As a kid, what I liked about Green Lantern was that he could do anything – anything you could think of. It’s like “Wow, all I need is a giant mallet, or a catapult circa 1200s,” and suddenly he had it. I just thought that would be pretty cool to have anything you could kind of imagine. Imagination was always a big thing for me.

You fit comfortably into animated super hero roles. Why do you think you keep getting chosen to play these comic book legends?

I will say that I’ve been very fortunate. I can’t tell you why people are willing to offer me the opportunity, but I can say how it pleases me because as a kid collecting comic books, I had a great time with the way it kind of lights the fire in the imagination.

I always thought I had an overdeveloped sense of justice. Now looking back on my comic book days, my world kind of was formed around comic book justice. I think I have a very strong sense of comic book justice. Maybe that has something to do with how you take on a role. I mean, I’m steeped in the history of these characters. I know it and I love it.

Between Firefly/Serenity and Green Lantern, you seem to spend a lot of acting time in space. Did you ever have desires to be an actual astronaut?

I fear space the same way I fear drowning. I would think it would be a little bit claustrophobic. Sure, you have the vastness of space, but yet you’re probably going to be in some kind of little miniature (capsule) and, you know, anything could go wrong. I mean. if you’re scuba diving, let’s say you’re 10 feet underwater – if something goes terribly, terribly wrong, you’ve got 10 feet to swim to the surface, and you’re good. If you’re in space, you’re boned. That’s like being in a submarine at the bottom of the ocean. Uh-oh … Oops. (he laughs) Things you don’t want to hear in space or in submarines: “Oops.”

Castle is a runaway hit. You’re a cover boy for national magazines with great regularity. There’s never been greater demand for Nathan Fillion. How do you stay humble through all this adoration?

I’ll tell you there sure is nothing like being an actor and having something to do every day. Get up 5:00 a.m. – I’ve got someplace to go and I’ve got a place I need to be. I’ve got stuff I gotta do. I’ve got stories I need to tell. This career that I’ve chosen, I’m employed gainfully in it – so I’m living the dream every day. That’s a good feeling. It does good things for how you feel about your choices.

There was a period of time, I’ll say it was 1998 approximately, where I didn’t work for nearly a year. I was really questioning my judgment. What have I done? I’ve made a colossal error in judgment. I’m paying my rent on credit. What am I gonna do?

It’s a much, much nicer feeling to know that you’re doing something — that you’re playing some music that people want to hear. So I’m gonna play these notes – you tell me if you like them and we’ll keep playing if you keep liking them. That’s a good feeling. It’s nice to walk down the street and have someone stop and politely say “I love your show.” That’s always great. As opposed to doing plays, where there’s immediate feedback, you don’t get that so much in television. So it’s really nice to hear. It doesn’t get old.

You’re on the Castle set at least five days a week, upwards of 14 hours each day. Given all that work, what makes you take time – on a Sunday of a holiday weekend – to record the voice of an animated superhero?

I take the time to (voice characters in DCU films) exactly for the reason that it’s fun. I get a call saying “Hey, how would you like to come on down to record Green Lantern?” And I’m asking back, “Can we squeeze it in on a Sunday because that’s pretty much my only day off?” I want to make it work because I love doing it. More than that, I love being part of this lore. These are great characters – you’ve got Green Lantern, you have Superman, you have Batman, you have the Flash, all these wonderful pieces of American pop culture. And now I’ve got a little piece. I can say, “Oh yeah, I was Green Lantern for a DVD movie.” Not a lot of people can say that. “Oh, Steve Trevor? Funny you should mention him.” (he laughs) It may sound silly, but it means something to me.

You have been seen – on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, walking around Comic-Con on a Saturday, at your initial Green Lantern recording session – wearing a Green Lantern t-shirt. Did you own that shirt before being cast as Hal Jordan for Green Lantern: Emerald Knights?

Debbie Zoller is the head of my makeup department on Castle. She saw that fan-made Green Lantern trailer and thought the t-shirt would be an appropriate Christmas present. And I wholeheartedly agree with her. I’ve been known to wear a few superhero shirts … and where better than a Green Lantern recording session to wear it today? So thank you Debbie – I told you it would come in handy someday!

Pre-order Green Lantern: Emerald Knights


Official press release below:

Singer/Actor/Spoken-Word Artist provides back story for Beloved Drill Sergeant in All-New DC Universe Animated Original Movie Coming June 7 to Blu-Ray™, DVD

Henry Rollins is so many things to so many people.

Henry Rollins voices Kilowog in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

One moment, he’s the uber-tattooed punk rock front man for Black Flag or The Rollins Band; the next, he’s stealing the spotlight as one of the memorable cast of Sons of Anarchy; and while that’s airing, he’s ranting live for hours to sold out crowds as one of the most popular spoken-word artists of our day, easily translating that mad-as-hell attitude and undying curiosity into his thought-provoking KCRW talk show. His quarter century of globe-trotting has recently added National Geographic to his resume, the latter day Renaissance man now filming documentaries for the renowned publication.

Intelligent? Beyond your dreams. Intense? Absolutely. Restless? Without a doubt. But does Henry Rollins ever pause long enough to be playful? Animation fans know it all too well.

When he isn’t perusing the Sudan, performing in Prague or recording for public radio, Rollins takes to another of his true passions: voiceovers for animated projects.

Rollins’ latest animated incarnation is in the guise of Kilowog for the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights will be distributed by Warner Home Video on Blu-Ray™, DVD, On Demand and for Download June 7, 2011.

Rollins voices one of the most beloved characters in the entire universe of Green Lanterns – Kilowog, the hardcore drill sergeant-style trainer of Green Lantern recruits. Written by Peter J. Tomasi (based on “New Blood” by Tomasi & Chris Samnee) and directed by Lauren Montgomery, the “Kilowog” segment of the film depicts the gruff character’s initial days as a young recruit under the abusive tutelage of Deegan, an equally gruff character who shows Kilowog the true “tough love” principles of training. As the segment play out, Kilowog must assume an integral leadership role within the ranks.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is far from Rollins’ first venture down the animated path. For Warner Bros. alone, Rollins has recorded over the years for Batman Beyond, Teen Titans and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. And then there’s his more recent forays into voiceovers for series like Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time and the primetime series American Dad!

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights weaves six legendary stories of the Green Lantern Corps’ rich mythology around preparations for an attack by an ancient enemy. As the battle approaches, Hal Jordan mentors new recruit Arisia in the history of the Green Lantern Corps, telling tales of Avra (the first Green Lantern) and several of Hal’s comrades – including Kilowog, Abin Sur, Laira and Mogo. In the end, Arisia must rise to the occasion to help Hal, Sinestro and the entire Green Lantern Corps save the universe from the destructive forces of Krona.

Rollins is joined in the voicecast of the intergalactic animated film by Nathan Fillion (Castle), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter films), Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy), Kelly Hu (The Vampire Diaries), Wade Williams (Prison Break), professional wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper and Radio Hall of Fame commentator/talk show host Michael Jackson.

No stranger to the spoken word, Rollins spent some significant time after his initial recording session chatting about his character, his love of great literature, Too Much Coffee Man, his need to travel the Earth, and much, much more. Read on …

How did you approach the character of Kilowog for this story?

For me, Kilowog is a man who’s pure of heart. He’s a warrior. He’s a soldier. And he loves his rookies. Deegan is the guy who broke him in – in boot camp – and kind of brought him into command position. So Kilowog came up through the ranks by being brave and by being a take-charge leader. In the Kilowog segment, you see that he had a grasp of the leadership idea from the get-go. He’s with other recruits and he immediately takes the leadership position. So I think he’s a good guy, but he always knew he was gonna be running things.

Were there any challenges to finding the character for you?

I assumed what the character needed before we went in. I said, “Andrea (Romano), this guy has a flat top, thick neck, but he’s a good guy and if you get past all the yelling, you know he’s got a good heart.” She said, “You got it. That’s, that’s the guy.” So I kind of had him dialed in and then we went forth.

It was really just finding his subtleties working with the great direction of Andrea. The character, for me, wasn’t all that hard to find. He’s not a complex guy. He takes his orders. He gives orders. He knows right and wrong. He takes care of bad guys, and keeps people alive. On that level, his life is pretty simple.

You’re so often a one-man show, or at least the leader of the band. What’s it like to be directed by Andrea Romano?

I’ve been working with Andrea for well over a decade, and it is one of the fun moments of my year when I get the call. Watching her work with a whole group of people is like watching a combination of air traffic controller, director and producer all at once. And she has as much fun or more fun than all of us combined. Her level of energy is quite remarkable. I’ve done every kind of voiceover with her – entire casts, one on one, Batman Beyond, Teen Titans – and she always brings a tremendous bolt of energy. It’s infectious and it’s fun. It’s like she always says, “Thanks for coming in and playing.” Andrea really allows you to have fun with it and not take yourself too seriously, which allows you to work really hard.

You’re such an intense, intelligent, driven individual who actively lobbies for so many worthy, worldwide causes. Do voiceovers for animation fulfill some sort of need for play, or does it offer another challenge?

The reason why I come and do voiceover, for animation or documentary or whatever, is because I’m really not suited for it. And so I have to somehow pass myself off as someone who can actually pull this off. It makes me work really hard, and I love the challenge. I’ve been in a lot of films, and yet I’ve never taken an acting lesson. I’ve done a lot of voiceovers for all kinds of things, and I’ve never taken any lessons there. I’ve just shown up with a whole lot of enthusiasm, a great fear of failure, and a desire to please the people who have somehow trusted me to do the work.

I come from the minimum wage working world of the late ’70s, early ’80s, so stuff like this, to me, is gravy. It is so not standing on my feet, carrying something to the back of a truck. I know how to do all of that. Many of us do. So, for me, it’s just a really fun thing. There’s pressure certainly to perform – not the same pressure that I take out on stage every night, when there’s a lot of people who are there to hear me or see me.

The voiceover thing, in order to be good at it, you have to have a laugh at yourself. I mean, you’re doing funny voices. We’re larger than life here. So you have to throw your seriousness away and be able to laugh at yourself. You have to throw out your ego. The more I do it, the more I realize that you have to approach it that way – and then you get super involved in the moment. I think that’s what the job requires. You have to think “Oh, no, here comes the meteor storm. We’ve got to go.” When I’m doing something like that, believe me, I’m really in that moment. When you can throw away your self-importance and have fun with it, that’s when you really deliver.”

What’s your motivation to perform in this odd world of entertainment?

Like many of us in the entertainment world, I think we are making up for the lack of attention that we did not get as kids through the need for attention and approval from an audience. I tell audiences now that I’m only here for your attention and your approval. I need you way more than you’ll ever need me. And you’ll be done with me way sooner than I’ll ever be done with you. It’s a pity. And welcome to the show. (he laughs) And it’s so true.

Are you more comfortable performing in front of large groups or alone in a studio with you and the microphone?

I love being in front of tons of people, and I really enjoy being one-on-one with the microphone. I love both micromanaging the part, and having the ability now to give the director exactly what he or she wants, and then really being able to nail it. In the booth it’s fun because they’re directing you, and you’re trying to hit those notes. It’s like Andrea will say “Can you lighten it up just a little? Remember, you’re kind of sad, because on page 11 you had that thing happen.” And then you can dial in with such extreme subtlety that she can hear it and go, “That’s what I needed. Thank you very much, we’re moving on.” To be able to deliver that is really enjoyable.

Did you read comics as a kid?

I was not a comic book-guy growing up. My stepbrother had them. I would look at them with not a great of interest. My first job was throwing newspapers for the long-defunct Washington Star. I’d throw 80,000 tons of newspaper a year for about $4.60. So I’ve got maybe $12 to my name, but I was a kid, I didn’t know what to do with it. And so I went to the drugstore and I bought a couple of comics. I dragged them home, and I looked at them. Quite honestly, it didn’t do much for me, and I’ve never gone back except for when someone sends me the odd modern comic.

A few years ago, I did come across this character called “Too Much Coffee Man.” And he used to worry about the world. He had a coffee cup strapped to his head. I eventually made friends with Shannon Wheeler, who draws the comic. He illustrated a book for me – putting some illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. And Shannon used to kindly send me these collections of “Too Much Coffee Man.” But that’s the only comic I would really pay attention to, because I like the idea. “Too Much Coffee Man” has a lot to say. He’s a great apocalyptic philosopher for our very troubled times.

Comics don’t have an impact on you, but do you believe they have a social relevance for society?

I think that it’s important for young people who are maybe sensitive. Maybe they’re not gonna be the quarterback and they’re not gonna get the pretty cheerleader to go to the senior prom. But it’s great for them to have an escape. Because some people who are often aren’t the one who can throw the football the furthest, they have interesting minds. And I think that comics help someone with an imagination have fun and play around … I think anything that inspires young people to have imagination – it’s what gives you things like, oh, the Internet and renewable energy. And progress. So I think anything that is a seed to imagination, that enhances imagination, I think is safe.

Growing up, I loved great literature. I lived for your Steinbecks and your Hemmingways as a kid, and I read them all again as an adult and got the better version of the story. My comic books were reading things like the The Grapes Of Wrath, and stuff like that that my mom turned me on to. So I understand anything that makes the imagination go as being a good thing.

You spend more days of the year on the road than you spend at home, and mostly in places few would consider a vacation spot. Why?

Because the world is interesting. I’ve been touring since I was 20, living all over the world as often as possible. Being home is nice for about 72 hours. Make the dinner I’d like to make, open up the things I got on eBay and Amazon.com, eat at the favorite sushi place. And then after about three or four days of that, I start feeling it’s a grind, and the world is waiting for me. It’s life on pause. Meanwhile, time is ticking by. And I figure at some point when I’m 80 or 90, there will be time to sit around and go, “Oh, man, I’m tired.”

But as long as I have sap in my bones, the African continent is going like, “Henry, you haven’t come to Gambia yet. How come you haven’t gone to Chad yet?” Or Yemen is calling and saying, “It’s a little rough, but you should check it out.” That’s why I go into the world as often as possible. Thankfully, my work takes me far and wide. And then I just invent stuff. I just come up with ideas. I know people in different places. I do a lot of travel with the USO, so that gets me to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, etc.

I’m the first and only ever USO performer in Egypt. They’ve never sent anyone into Egypt before. But I said, “Let me be the first.” And so I went in across the Sinai. For me, this is all fantastic – to go to these places, meet people, dig the culture, dig the music, dig the food, get lost in souqs and bazaars and streets. And so far I have not had to run for my life. A mortar attack in Baghdad wasn’t the best thing that ever happened to me.

But by and large, my travel has enriched my life. Coming from the minimum wage working world of the last century, this is all great opportunity. So I don’t “no” to the work, and I don’t say “no” to my curiosity.

Is there a super hero or villain role you truly covet?

No. I’m happy for anything that would come my way. And I’ll be so happy if someone said, “Here is three years work on this series and you get to be that guy.” It’s all been so much fun. There’s nothing I’m wanting to do but more.

Pre-order Green Lantern: Emerald Knights