Two-Fisted Trailers for Batman V Superman

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The superhero movie genre continues to rule the cinema world. From the wish fulfillment of childhood to the mythology of the modern world, superheroes aren’t just commercial properties, they have deeper meaning to the general population, not just comic book fans. Two of the most iconic characters in comic books are undeniably Batman and Superman. Batman is the self-made man, an embodiment of vigilante justice while Superman is the super-powered hero of the people. The upcoming feature film will pit these two legends against each other. This will be the first time these two titans have shared the screen.

It’s also the first time (to my knowledge) that a comic book creator has received creator credit in a trailer.

Pro-Superman trailer

Pro-Batman trailer

Following the events of an alien assault that left devastation in its wake, Batman blames the Man of Steel for the death toll and is determined to make Superman pay. Armed with an impressive array of weaponry, the Dark Knight pits himself against the Man of Tomorrow who has nearly unimaginable power. An intense all-out action film that also will introduce the entire Justice League with Wonder Woman as a co-star and cameos from Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern and Cyborg.

BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE is in theaters March 25, 2016

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Is the Boy Wonder Already Doomed in the ‘Snyderverse’?

The upcoming Batman V Superman film directed by Zack Snyder will lay the groundwork of the DC Cinematic Universe by introducing Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, Cyborg, Lex Luthor and possibly more. In addition, it is possible that not only will Robin be introduced but he’s already dead!

(I wrote an article about the history of the boy wonder – and DC’s obsession with killing him – that may be worth a read)

The brief appearance of a glass case storing a Robin costume covered in graffiti hints at the demise of Batman’s sidekick at the hands of his nemesis the Joker (as seen in Death in the Family). Even more interesting is the rumor that Robin will be seen in a flashback.

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Via IGN:
As the Comic-Con trailer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justicerevealed, Robin exists in this new DC cinematic universe. Or did exist since we see his costume, riddled with taunting graffiti, hanging in the Batcave, presumably because Joker killed him.

But will we actually see the Boy Wonder on the big screen?

According to Heroic Hollywood, we will and they also claim to know who plays him.

The site reports that BvS director Zack Snyder’s 19-year-old son, Eli Snyder, portrays Robin in a flashback depicting his death at the hands of Jared Leto’s Joker.

“Eli Snyder is quite the athlete. He is 6’0″ and weighs 174 pounds. As the starting quarterback, Eli put up good stats at Maranatha High Varsity Football. Watching Eli’s senior highlight reel, he certainly has the youth, athleticism, and physicality to be Robin in real life!,” says Heroic Hollywood, which also posted the photo below of Eli Snyder.

The young Snyder is no stranger to being in his dad’s movies having previously played little Leonidas in 300 and young Rorschach in Watchmen as well as a solider in Sucker Punch.

UPDATE, July 23: BvS set photographer Clay Enos shared Zack Snyder’s Instagram photo below of him with his son Eli. The caption coyly hinted at the aforementioned casting rumor: “Boy wonder?”

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So what do you think? Can this film get any darker?

Quick Review: Superman #32

If you have frequented a comic shop for the past few months you have no doubt noticed the poster announcing that Romita is coming to Superman. Today, he arrived. Was it worth the hooplah? Does this book make Superman a series that you should be reading?
JR_Superman_JohnRomitaJrAllow me to tell my story (it’s my blog, so you kinda have to indulge me).

As a kid, I was a fan of Superman on TV and film (plus those awesome cartoons), but only sometimes in print. I admired the character of Superman but there was something about the execution that I found lacking. It was too clean, too safe and too boring in comparison to the John Byrne’s X-Men or Fantastic Four, Frank Miller’s Daredevil or even George Perez’s New Teen Titans. It took the Crisis of 1985 to get me invested in DC Comics and the aftermath was designed specifically for readers like me. It wiped the slate clean and brought in top talent to their series, updating them for a new audience. John Byrne, Marv Wolfman and Jerry Ordway created a new Man of Steel in their trilogy of monthly books that was more engaging than ever before and even paid homage to the radio serials and classic TV series while paving the way forward. It was an awesome time that was also short lived.

Since 1985 there have been many creative changes to Superman including some stand out runs such as those by Kurt Busiek, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns and others. Johns is a big name at DC Comics. His career is emblazoned with accomplishments that re-invigorated Hawkman, the Flash, Green Lantern and most recently Aquaman. While he has taken a hand at Action Comics, this time he is taking on Superman in a brand new way. As a comic book fan, it is incredibly frustrating to witness a rotation of creative teams come on and off a book in quick succession. On it’s 32nd issue since the New 52 reboot, this marks the fifth such change for Superman (don’t get me started on Action Comics). Despite several books on the shelves featuring big red and blue and a blockbuster movie on blu-ray/dvd, DC Comics just can’t seem to get the formula right for their most recognizable superhero in print which boggles the mind (unless you are reading the outstanding Adventures series). Much like Scott Snyder’s Batman book, this series should be a regular must read that excites fans and draws media attention on a regular basis.

And that is just what Johns plans to do.

To pull this off, Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns has teamed up with an icon of Marvel Comics, John Romita, Jr. JRJR (if it’s okay that I call him that) is popular for his landmark runs on Daredevil, Spider-Man, Uncanny X-Men, the Hulk, the Punisher, and many more. His distinctive style has a visceral punch to it that has a love/hate reaction with readers (never a bad thing in my opinion). Klaus Janson (a collaborator from the Punisher and Daredevil days) is inking the book and the colors are by Laura Martin. The new Superman team promises new threats, a new dynamic and plenty of excitement without losing touch with the source material. John Romita Jr. put it well when he said he had to ‘act’ in Shakespearean plays plus Stallone action films and that comes across in his line work.  This feels epic and visceral.  The result of this collaboration is a tightly written, richly colored book with some strong dynamic art.

In short, the kind of Superman book I’ve been waiting ages for.

The opening chapter on what promises to be a major turning point for Superman is named after the Ulysses Project, a failed experiment involving strange matter. As the installation was enveloped by deadly energy, two scientists faced a similar choice that Kal-El’s parents did on Krypton many years ago. Placing their infant son into a protective pod, they jettisoned him into another dimension for safety. 25 years later he has returned from that dimension to his home world, which he thought destroyed, to defend it from an alien invader. He and Superman team up, showing how similar they are in abilities as well as back story. But will Ulysses be a friend or foe to the Man of Steel? And who is the shadowy figure watching the action from afar? Subsequent issues will tell the tale.

Are you along for the ride? I am.

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Batman vs. Superman becomes a trinity with Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman

The Amazon Princess is joining the still untitled ‘Superman Vs. Batman’ movie from Zack Snyder and David Goyer that will pick up from the events of The Man of Steel. Henry Cavill returns as Superman and will be facing off against Batman played by Ben Affleck, the latest in a growing line of actors to take up the cowl of the caped crusader.

The plot remains a mystery, but may be influenced by Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns comic from 1986 since Snyder has been meeting with the author.

The addition of a third hero to the film could make an already busy movie all the busier, but it could also quicken the pace toward a fully fleshed out Justice League of America, thus fulfilling many a comic book fan’s dreams.

Announcement below via SuperHeroHype
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Warner Bros. has announced this morning that Gal Gadot, most well known for appearing in the “Fast & Furious” films, has landed the role of Wonder Woman/Diane Prince in Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman vs. Superman film.

In a statement, Zack Snyder stated: “Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role. We look forward to audiences discovering Gal in the first feature film incarnation of this beloved character.”

Batman vs. Superman will feature the return of Henry Cavill as Superman, facing off against Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Also starring Amy Adams, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne, the Zack Snyder-directed Batman vs. Superman hits theaters on July 17, 2015.

The Superman – Batman movie

comics-batman-superman1-3Close friends, co-workers and more are contacting me about the major announcement at SDCC regarding a Superman – Batman movie. I can’t help to roll my eyes as this has been in development since 2001 and has struck me as a bad idea from the get go. That’s not to say that I don’t think a good batman/Superman (or Superman/Batman movie is possible, I just don’t trust the WB to pull it off.

Look at the animated Batman series, the Superman cartoon and the Batman/Superman movie and you will see a series of sophisticated character-driven tales paying homage to decades of comic books and more with plenty of action and the eventual development into the Justice League followed by a full blown animated DC Universe.

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Look at Man of Steel and you can practically hear the screeching of gears as Zack Snyder struggles to modernize Superman into a harder, grittier hero more akin to Chris Nolan’s Batman.

This makes the meeting of Superman and Batman a moot point. Granted, this movie will likely require a new version of Batman, but the fun of having these characters meet is routed in their differences. As they are so dark and moody, this could be the most un-colorful comic book movie since the Dolph Lundgren Punisher flick… and that’s just weird.

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After Batman and Robin, Warner Bros was at a crossroads with several opportunities avaiulable to them from Batman Triumphant to Batman Beyond with Paul Dini, Neal Stephenson and Boaz Yakin all on board to adapt the cartoon of a possible future Batman for the big screen and Darren Aronofsky’s Batman Year One. In addition, there was the double-hitter of bad ideas, a Batman/Superman movie.

Why bad, you may ask? Check out the trail of tears regarding this monster compiled over on the Wikipedia:

Warner Bros. abandoned J. J. Abrams‘ script for Superman: Flyby, which had been greenlighted with McG to direct.[58][59] When McG dropped out in favor of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,[60]Warner Bros. approached Wolfgang Petersen to direct Superman: Flyby,[61] however, in August 2001,[62] Andrew Kevin Walker pitched Warner Bros. an idea titled Batman vs Superman, attaching Petersen as director. Superman: Flyby was put on hold,[61] and Akiva Goldsman was hired to rewrite Walker’s Batman vs. Superman.[46]

Goldsman’s draft, dated June 21, 2002, had Bruce Wayne going through a mental breakdown after his five-year retirement from crime fighting. Dick GraysonAlfred Pennyworth andCommissioner Gordon are all dead, but Bruce’s depressed emotions become resolved with fiancée Elizabeth Miller. Meanwhile, Clark Kent is struggling because of a recent divorce with Lois Lane. Clark and Bruce are close friends, and Clark is Bruce’s best man. After the Joker kills Elizabeth on the honeymoon, Bruce plots a revenge scheme, while Clark tries to hold him back. In return, Bruce blames Clark for her death, and the two go against one another. Part of the script took place in Smallville, where Clark goes into exile with Lana Lang. However, Lex Luthor is held to be responsible for the entire plot of Batman and Superman destroying each other. The two decide to team up and stop Luthor.[63]

Christian Bale and Josh Hartnett had turned down the roles of Batman and Superman. Bale, who was also approached to play Batman in the unmade Batman: Year One, would eventually portray the same role in Batman Begins.[60][64] Principal photography was to start in early 2003, with plans for a five-six-month shoot. The release date was set for mid-2004.[65] Within a month of Warner Bros. greenlighting Batman vs. Superman, Petersen left in favor of Troy (2004).[46] Warner Bros. decided to move forward on Superman: Flyby and on a Batman reboot.[46] A fictional billboard for the film could be seen in the background of the 2007 Warner Bros. film I Am Legend.[66] Petersen and Bryan Singer are interested in directing the project sometime in the future, with Bale as Batman.[67][68]

As you can tell, this news has prompted a rant, so be prepared.

I would like to point out that I adore the Nolan Batman trilogy as it modernizes the concept of a costumed vigilante and uses the myth of Batman to tell a story of the modern world’s decline. It’s a more of a brilliant set of movies on its own than it is a great Batman story and I applaud that. If a director can utilize a concept to tell an important story (much like Alan Moore did with Watchmen), that should be applauded.

But the stumbling block for me is that Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is being misinterpreted as how the DC Universe of heroes should be presented to a modern audience.

Very few details are available right now, but I just cannot muster up any excitement about this as anything that builds off of Man of Steel has a sharp uphill climb or a piercing downfall. I haven’t seen anything, so my judgement is based on a continuation of the look and feel of The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel. I envision a bloodied, armor-torn Batman surrounded by ash and debris with a CGi Darkseid gloating over him, holding a limp Superman who looks like a side of tenderized beef.

When we could have this-
Batman and Superman
I thought it was the fact that I am now a parent with a son who would love to see his heroes on screen that makes my frustration with these grimly violent films so palpable, but I am hearing similar stories from single childless friends. There is potential here to make a family-friendly action-drama that knocks it out of the park with mind-blowing visuals, iconic characters and a story that honors these modern mythological characters rather than cutting them down, brutalizing them into ‘our world’ where hope is buried in a sea of skulls and the Batmobile is no longer a technological marvel but instead a military assault vehicle.

You could say that the Tim Burton Batman movie began this trend toward grittier more grounded heroes, but at least his movies had a weird sense of style and cartoon-ish madness to them. What spun out of this was a Batman who killed, and a deadbeat dad Superman who broke the neck of his opponents and struggled to maintain anonymity from the public that he should have been protecting, thus assuring that they suffer for his inaction.

And these are two of the more colorful and popularized comic book characters  known all over the world. Not so much today. Are we, as a culture, so cynical that we cannot conceive of a world where real heroes are possible?
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Superman: Man of (cold) Steel – 2013

This marks the 50th anniversary of the man of steel. Created by a pair of poor immigrant kids Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman was from a far off world, an alien who landed on our planet to protect the innocent, fight corruption and soar above the concerns of the everyday. After a radio show, several animated features, weekly cartoons, a TV program and five movies, it was decided by Warner Bros. to modernize their most popular and recognizable character. Using the production team of the Dark Knight series and the director of Watchmen, they have released one of the most successful versions of Superman on the big screen.

A simple farm boy who grew up Smallville, Clark Kent was frustrated to find that he was different from the other kids. Encouraged to hide his ‘gifts’ by his parents, Clark Kent tried to lead a quiet life. His father told him that the world was not ready for someone like him and he must never let anyone know the real him. As the story of Clark Kent unfolds, Man of Steel also shares the details of his true home on Krytpton with the viewers.

A once proud and vibrant power in the universe, Krypton is on the brink of extinction. Its genetic pool dry, its many outposts on other worlds forgotten, only the brilliant scientist Joe-El can see a ray of hope for his peoples’ future. By sending his son to another, younger world, he hopes that the Kryptonian blood line will survive, albeit as part of a hybrid race with the humans. Stealing the genetic codex from the core of the breeding center, Jor-El imprints the data into his only son and sends him off, a last hope.

As Jor-El fights for the future, General Zod passionately fights to preserve the legacy of Krypton, taking up arms in a violent coup. The revolution is quelled and Zod is sent to the Phantom Zone along with his followers, but not for long. The very destruction that Jor-El predicted comes to pass and its violence tears open the Phantom Zone, freeing its occupants. Finally escaped from their prison but without a home, Zod leads the few survivors in a quest to rebuild the empire from Krypton. Salvaging relics from colonies on other worlds, he builds an arsenal and a scheme to make his world live again at any cost.

When Clark finds a forgotten colony ship frozen in the ice, he inadvertently sends a signal to Zod who comes to claim the planet Earth as a new Krypton. But Clark has gone native and even though he is an outsider, he is determined to fight for his adopted home.

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The plot of Man of Steel is interesting in that it circumnavigates the troublesome ‘origin story’ issue by inserting flashbacks throughout the film. It also uses ideas and characters that are almost too familiar to viewers such as Jor-El in new ways. I have to give credit to the film makers for cleverly combining the introduction of the hero and an opposing force worthy of his mettle.

The only major drawback is that Man of Steel lacks soul. The character of Superman is so empty that his most common expression is one of slight concern. He has been cited as being brooding or grim, but I think that’s giving him far too much range. Whereas the Christopher Reeve Superman exuded wholesomeness and purity no matter what he faced, this version was barely present.

Likewise, Amy Adams is a mere shadow as Lois Lane, a character who should appear as feisty and full of life is mostly limp. For as reporter, she doesn’t do much writing and what research she does is discarded to hush up her story. She does play an active role in the events of Man of Steel, but she barely makes any impact on the viewers so that when she has the inevitable kissing scene with Superman it feels fake and forced.

This does make the drama and danger of Man of Steel much more dynamic, a quality where the movie excels. The visuals, pacing and camera work are inspired. This is a very well crafted motion picture. As many others have pointed out, the fight sequences between Superman and the invading Kryptonians is awe-inspiring… but as the level of destruction heightens and our hero fails to save a single person not named Lois, it all gets very stark and hopeless. This is weird given that the meaning of the House of El’s symbol is said to be ‘hope,’ there is very little to hope for. Smallville and Metropolis are nearly reduced to rubble, the Kryptonian race exiled forever and our hero must become a killer to protect his new home.

The conclusion to Man of Steel is written and performed in a mostly light-hearted manner, but after all of the carnage that I had been exposed to, I couldn’t join in the humor. Lois welcomes awkward Clark Kent to ‘the Planet’ and I almost expected a knowing wink from Cavill targeted at the viewer. But… why was there no humor or any sign of a light touch elsewhere in the film?

Like many others, I was drawn in by the trailers for Man of Steel. One of my main complaints of past superhero films such as the Tim Burton Batman film and the Richard Donner Superman flick is that they both lacked a string opponent. I felt like I was being force fed these words in Man of Steel, a movie brimming over with overwhelming odds, but sadly lacking in charisma, flair or heart… which is what Superman means to so many.

I am familiar with Superman mostly from the comics, but am a fan of the serials, TV show, cartoon and the first two feature films. Almost all of them lack some quality or another, but one thing that they all had in common was strength in character. In each of these other Superman projects, the hero is a beacon of hope, a sentinel of justice and an avatar of tomorrow, of what we can only dream of achieving. My best guess is that somewhere along the way the production crew decided that these were old-fashioned and hackneyed concepts that a modern audience would reject. These qualities are missing entirely here and in their place is a disaster movie of epic proportions, daring the viewer to watch.

The modern day superhero has become far cooler and acceptable than ever before which is a good thing. Comic book heroes are, after all, out modern mythology. But that mythology is built on wish fulfillment and escapism, on fantastic adventure and the hope of a better world. In this vision of Superman, there is no fantasy (despite breathtaking imagery) and no escapism, only devastation on a cataclysmic scale that is both terrifying and close to home for some.

It is true that the Avengers movie also had a very loud and violent invasion similar to the attack from Zod’s forces. But in that case, humor and character were seeded along the way so that the viewer had someone to cheer on, and a reason to hope for a positive resolution. That is lacking here. I had no investment in Lois Lane, Perry White, ‘Jenny’ Olsen or any of the other supporting cast. And as for Clark Kent/Superman, he seemed confused with Bruce Banner, a lonely outsider obsessed with keeping his ‘other side’ a secret.

I wanted to like this movie and am very impressed by the skill that was put into this project but in the end it is such a joyless experience that I can’t join in the excitement. Recently news broke that a sequel has been fast-tracked, but the much-anticipated Justice League movie that many expected to spawn from this film is not coming.  All I can say is that, if this is true then I am glad. A Justice League movie set in a world this empty is not something that I would want to witness.

Happy 75th Birthday, Superman!

It’s Superman’s birthday this year and he’s not only going to be celebrating on the big screen, with the press release below his 75th anniversary will extend into various mediums from cartoons to video games and yes, even comic books.

thumbnailOfficial Press Release

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Superman, Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment have revealed plans befitting one of the most popular and enduring Super Heroes of all time.

To honor Superman—the world’s first Super Hero—for reaching such an incredible milestone, the companies are kicking off a year of celebration including a new commemorative Superman 75th anniversary logo as well as an animated short tribute chronicling the rich 75-year history of the character, it was announced today by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

First appearing in the comic book Action Comics #1, dated June 1938, Superman quickly became a cultural icon, winning fans around the world in live-action and animated form in nearly every known entertainment medium. In feature films, TV shows, radio, video games, publishing and merchandise, he has battled some of the greatest villains ever created in his endless pursuit of truth, justice and the American way.

Tsujihara stated, “Warner Bros. is privileged to be home to the global Superman brand, which has had an unparalleled impact on popular culture for 75 years. We are proud to commemorate this milestone with exciting entertainment across the entire Studio and across the globe, ensuring this enduring icon reaches new generations of audiences.”

DC Entertainment and the Studio’s various divisions, including Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will mark this extraordinary anniversary with a range of highly anticipated events and products, kicking off with the release of the much anticipated summer-blockbuster “Man of Steel.”

The new animated short, currently in production, is being produced by Zack Snyder and pays homage to Superman and many iterations of the Super Hero throughout his 75 years. A sneak peek of this short is planned for Comic-Con International: San Diego in July and the finished version will debut late summer.

The new commemorative logo takes its cue from the iconic Superman costume, featuring predominantly blue coloring with a splash of red and highlights a bold silhouette of the Man of Steel with his cape waving behind him and the block-style lettering of “75 Years.” The mark will be rolled out by all the divisions on Superman-related promotions, products and initiatives. DC Entertainment will be the first to feature the new logo on the upcoming Superman Unchained comic book by artist Jim Lee and writer Scott Snyder, on sale Wednesday, June 12.

“Superman is undeniably the greatest Super Hero in the world and likely the most influential comic book character of all time,” according to Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment. “In addition to being an enduring presence in pop culture for the last 75 years, he continues to be a commanding global icon. DC Entertainment and all of Warner Bros. look forward to celebrating this important, year-long anniversary for Superman.”

In tandem with the various special celebrations comes the release of this summer’s tent pole action adventure feature “Man of Steel,” opening in theaters nationwide June 14.

Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, stated, “Superman is a larger-than-life figure, making the big screen the perfect place to experience his adventures, and ‘Man of Steel’ delivers with first rate story-telling that is broadly entertaining. It couldn’t be more fitting that the centerpiece of our summer slate hits theaters during this commemorative year.”

“It’s a great honor for all of us involved in ‘Man of Steel’ to carry on the tradition of Superman for longtime fans as well as a new generation of moviegoers,” director Zack Snyder said. “I’m so excited to share the movie with them and to be a part of this celebration.”

Superman enthusiasts can also look forward to much more, including:

  • “Injustice: Gods Among Us,” a new fighting game franchise that allows players to experience the power, gadgetry and unparalleled strength of some of the most popular DC Comics Super Heroes and Super-Villains such as Superman and Lex Luthor, was released on April 16 from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
  • “Superman: Unbound,” an all-new DC Universe Animated Original Movie that pits Superman against Brainiac—a devastating force of flesh and machine with Earth squarely in his sights—was released on May 7 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
  • “Man of Steel” and Superman products are available for fans of all ages, including toys, costumes, apparel, party goods and publishing from Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
  • “Superman Unchained,” the much anticipated new comic book series that centers on a mystery that is frustrating the hero in both the Superman and Clark Kent aspects of his identity ultimately revealing a brand-new villain, debuts on June 12 from DC Entertainment.
  • “Infinite Crisis,” an all-new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that delivers a heart-pounding competitive player vs. player battle experience set in the legendary DC Multiverse, a world in which familiar DC Comics characters such as Superman have been reimagined in startling ways, debuts in fall of 2013 from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
  • “DC Nation” Superman Shorts, a series of all-new Superman-themed animated shorts produced by Warner Bros. Animation and airing on Cartoon Network’s DC Nation block throughout the year.
  • DC Entertainment’s “We Can Be Heroes” giving campaign launches its second crowdfunding initiative in June focused on Superman and featuring one-of-a-kind experiences and limited edition merchandise to engage, excite and empower legions of fans. Get something good. Do something great.

To stay up-to-date on all things Superman and the celebration activities, please visit www.Superman75.com.

Superman battles Brianiac in this new Superman Unbound clip

Official press release and clip below:

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Click to pre-order

Based on the Geoff Johns/Gary Frank 2008 release “Superman: Brainiac,” SUPERMAN: UNBOUND finds the horrific force responsible for the destruction of Krypton – Brainiac – descending upon Earth. Brainiac has crossed the universe, collecting cities from interesting planets – Kandor, included – and now the all-knowing, ever-evolving android has his sights fixed on Metropolis. Superman must summon all of his physical and intellectual resources to protect his city, the love of his life, and his newly-arrived cousin, Supergirl.

The film’s stellar voicecast is led by Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Superman, John Noble (Fringe, The Lord of the Rings films) as Brainiac, Stana Katic (Castle) as Lois Lane and Molly Quinn (Castle) as Supergirl.

Supervising Producer James Tucker (Justice League, Batman: The Brave and the Bold) also directs the film from a script by Bob Goodman (Warehouse 13, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns).

SUPERMAN: UNBOUND is coming to Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and For Download via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on May 7, 2013.

Superman: Man of Steel – new trailer

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Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel has, to date, been marketed as a moving drama showing an angst-ridden and tortured hero in a world where he is a complete foreigner. Finally a trailer has arrived that pits the hero against some tangible threat. General Zod hovers over the planet with a vast army demanding the return of their lost citizen, Kal-El. In the throes of an identity crisis, young Clark Kent pleads with his father to ‘just be his son,’ and his dad embraces him. Forever the outsider, Superman rises to the challenge of an entire invasion force, knowing full well that he will never truly belong among his own people or his adopted family. It’s a superb decision to blend drama and action with marvelous results.

Plus…

Superman has something to do!
No real estate scam!
No deadbeat dad!
All new!

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Man of Steel has a June 14, 2013 release date.

Quick review: Action Comics #19

actionComics_19_coverHybrid part one’
By Andy Diggle and Tony Daniel

Superman is yet another DC Comics property who is in perpetual flux. Action Comics was a major hit with the New 52 relaunch and the star power that Grant Morrison brought, but the concurrent Superman series has floundered in its attempts to follow wherever the Hell Morrison was going in his run. With the departure of Morrison, a bright future of possibility loomed for DC Editorial. The creative team of Andy Diggle (Daredevil, Green Arrow) and Tony S. Daniel (Batman) raised interest almost across the board and the marketing of the next run as drastically different was pushed in the back of every DC comic book. Almost as soon as the ink dried on the preview images, Diggle was off the book. A few days later, Daniel confirmed that he would be finishing up the three-part run using Diggle’s breakdowns.

So… we are back where we started with an uncertain future for the man of steel (though a Scott Lobdell filler arch has been announced). This strikes as decidedly bizarre since a major motion picture is due out this summer and the 75th anniversary of Superman is almost upon us (April 18th, mark your calendars). Why can’t DC editorial make this character the top seller he should be? I have no idea, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at Action Comics #19 and why it is the best thing to happen to Superman in years.

The story is set a year ago (no idea why) in the fictional Middle Eastern country of Qurac where Lois Lane is overcoming a total media blackout with her usual sassiness and know how… and a smart phone. It’s a very quick moment but one that got recognized by the fan community online almost immediately. The character of Lois Lane has been all but forgotten in recent years and the newspaper reporter angle of the Superman comic has gotten lost in favor of hypertectual storytelling by Morrison. But it’s back and in full force. Kent departs to deal with some reported arms smuggling.

The ‘illegal arms’ are mecha warsuits that Superman attempts to take down gently, but in the end his hand is forced into action. The battle is costly and reveals that one of the mech pilots is none other than Jimmy Olsen (as shown on the WTF cover), but it’s not Jimmy at all and the robot simulacrum explodes. This has to be the lamest moment in the book and could be a sign of why Diggle left. The Jimmy Olsen bot was obviously forced upon him by Editorial and feels very weird.

Superman is left with what appears to be a mystery and the scene shifts to Lex Luthor being psychoanalyzed. It seems that Lex is is imprisoned, but we soon see that he has actually trapped the psyhoanalyst (who hasn’t had this fantasy) and is holding her captive until she presents him with a statement on his character that he is happy with. Given that she diagnoses him as a brilliant yet twisted sociopath, things are not looking good for her. Along with the depiction of Lois, this is the strongest version of Luthor I have seen since the John Byrne days.

action-comics-19-panel-2-by-tony-danielLuthor reveals that the mech suit attack was orchestrated by him to infiltrate Superman’s genetic sequence and rewrite it, crafting a monstrosity. It’s a thrilling plot that leaves the readers with just a glimpse of Superman mid-transformation into some kind of horrific creature.

Let me be clear in saying that I appreciate the Morrison run on Action Comics and now that it is complete, can appreciate what it was accomplishing, a kind of modern silver age fantasy. Even so, it read poorly in monthly installments and alienated anyone who lacked the fortitude to re-read every issue and look deeply into the meaning (ignoring the filler issues and artist swaps). What Diggle and Daniel have accomplished in just one issue is stunning and uses the supporting cast to great aplomb. It also presents a modern dramatic action story without sacrificing the iconic nature of the series or enforcing any new creative direction on those concepts. It’s simply a great ripping Superman comic.

I am just sad to know that it will be over in just two issues and as far as I can tell, it is thanks to the inability of DC Editorial to work with Diggle. Sad, really. But enjoy this ride while you can.

Black and white images from Tony Daniel’s art page