Super-Villians of DC Comics: A Necessary Evil

It can be said that a hero is only as important or powerful as his or her enemy. Don’t believe me? Superman was great, but Superman II which introduced super-powered foes who could match the man of steel was far better. Everyone liked the Super Friends cartoon, but when it became Challenge of the Super Friends and each installment opened with the Legion of Doom plotting their next scheme, the cartoon became downright iconic. Ask anyone what their favorite film, cartoon or comic is and dollars to donuts it centers on a villain going all out to destroy the hero.

A good villain makes a good story all that much better but a great one an make it a classic. From twisted and brilliant to demonic and monstrous, the super-villains of DC Comics are a necessary evil.

Official press release below:

Necessary Evil-SuperVillains of DC Comics

Click to order

“Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics,” an all-new documentary produced by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC Entertainment, arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD today — Friday, October 25, 2013 — at a retailer near you.

["Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics," features...] Kevin Conroy, the fan favorite voice of Batman; Zack Snyder, director of “Man of Steel”; and Dr. Andrea Letamendi, renowned geek psychologist; as well as the recognizable voice of ultimate villain Christopher Lee, who provides the narration for the documentary.

“Necessary Evil: Super-Villains of DC Comics” explores the thin line between right and wrong, the nature of evil and how super-villains can reflect society’s dark side as well as our own personal fears. It also offers keen insight as to the reasons why comic book fans are so fascinated by the very characters they hope to see defeated. Featuring interviews with such luminaries as directors Richard Donner (Superman), Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim) and Zack Snyder (Man of Steel), the film focuses on DC Comics’ most terrifying villains, including The Joker, Lex Luthor, Bane, Black Adam, Black Manta, Catwoman, Darkseid, Deathstroke, Doomsday, General Zod, Sinestro, the Suicide Squad, and more.

DC Nation – Sword of the Atom

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The Atom is one of several; characters revived as Silver Age science/fantasy heroes alongside Green Lantern, Hawkman and the Flash. Initially a short of stature kid with a chip on his shoulder fighting alongside the rest of the Justice Society of America through the second world war, the Silver Age Atom was a size-changing scientist. Back in 1983, DC tried something new by reducing him in size ‘permanently,’ and set him up as a Conan-meets-McGyver-type protector to a tribe in the Amazon.

DC Nation took this up as inspiration behind a series of short cartoons. It’s innocent breezy fun and is also based on continuity, so parents cam actually get just as excited as kids. It’s so brilliant I wonder why it had not happened earlier.

Currently, fans of DC Comics are still reeling from losing Young Justice and are unsure of what to make of Beware the Batman. Likewise, the Atom is nowhere to be seen in the monthly comic books. As a parent, I can see that my son is eager to pick up any new colorful character and while I’m glad that this kind of cartoon exists (even in limited form), I have to wonder why there isn’t more of this kind of thing out there?

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

The real tragedy is that my son is a big fan of Robin, a sidekick hero to a younger generation who has become 30 miles of rough road in comics. Damian Wayne was gutted in the pages of Batman Inc., Dick Grayson, the original Robin , is rumored to be on the path of evil, Jason Todd is a gun-toting loon and who knows what to think of Tim Drake’s awful Red Robin costume. There are toys out on the shelves of the rest of the JLA (in various iterations of their iconic or New 52 looks) but no sign of Robin. Because that cat is deader than disco.

I like these short cartoons, even the goofy Animal Man ones, but there’s a part of me that wonders how much more DC could accomplish with more content that is less invested in reaching slasher flick fans or those who need a Batman comic to feature severed heads, chopped off faces, etc. I’m not saying we need to go full out Teen Titans Go! but what about books that are not one step away from a brown paper cover?

What kind of cartoons or comics would you like to see come back?

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.

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

wonderwomanDespite the inclusion of many female creations, comic books and the action adventure pulps that inspired them are mainly a man’s world. However, that’s not to say that there is not an audience that is entertained and inspired by woman heroes. The role of the superherone is firmly established today, but once upon a time that was not the case.

The most popular and successful superheroine has to be Wonder Woman, a creation by William Moulton Marston, also inventor of the lie detector. Marston felt that young men needed a strong female role model to protect them. Princess Diana of Themyscira was created by Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons from the very clay of the island itself. Her desire to have a daughter in a society populated entirely by women was granted by Athena. One of the few characters of her ilk, Wonder Woman was on a mission of peace, yet also a trained warrior princess. Earning her place as an ambassador to the ‘world of men,’ she left Paradise Island for a n unknown world of danger.

Popularized in print, Wonder Woman is one of three superheroes to remain in circulation from her inception (alongside Batman and Superman). She has also been adapted into other mediums. appearing in the Super Friends cartoon series and in the live action Wonder Woman program.

From 1975-1979, Lynda Carter starred as the Amazon Wonder Woman. Rather than simply an exciting TV series full of action and skimpy outfits, Carter injected some positive messages of female empowerment and peace. It was a bold move, and one that the studio was reluctant to pursue (it was dropped later on), but the mere presence of a strong woman who more often than not saved her male companion rather than the other way around made an impact on young viewers.

Strangely, no modern version of Wonder Woman has appeared since her TV program aside from a stellar animated feature and as part of the Justice League animated series. Nevertheless, the superheroine is a vital part of Western popular culture and one that continues to inspire and empower people fro, various backgrounds. A PBS documentary explored the phenomenon to a great degree which I highly recommend.

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The full documentary can be ordered here.

Recommended:

Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess Archives Vol. 1

Wonder Woman: Amazon. Hero. Icon.

Wonder Woman: The Complete Collection

Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Gods and Mortals

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite

I have never let go of my love of toys. I know they are not for everyone, but playing can transport you from adulthood to a world of near-infinite possibilities. I was honestly not that into Legos as a kid, but being a dad I have found myself building rockets, monster trucks and robots out of thin air and imagination. The Lego Batman series is lots of fun and embraces the kind of innocent fun and inventiveness that I see in my son while he concentrates on a building project. The DC Universe is transformed into miniature toy creations where the rules of reality are entirely rewritten.

If you like comic books and still have that playful side, you need to see this.

LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Super Heroes Unite provides the ultimate blend of action and humor guaranteed to entertain fanboys of all ages. The film finds Lex Luthor taking jealousy to new heights when fellow billionaire Bruce Wayne wins the Man of the Year Award. To top Wayne’s accomplishment, Lex begins a campaign for President – and to create the atmosphere for his type of fear-based politics, he recruits the Joker to perfect a Black LEGO Destructor Ray. While wreaking havoc on Gotham, Lex successfully destroys Batman’s technology – forcing the Caped Crusader to reluctantly turn to Superman for help.

The film will be available as a Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and OnDemand starting May 21, 2013. It is now available to own via Digital Download. Initial Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD release will include an exclusive Lego Clark Kent/Superman figurine on pack while supplies last.

Earth 2 gets a new Batman this May!

James Robinson’s Earth 2 series has been gaining support in its short run to date. Set on an alternate Earth where Darkseid’s army waged a devastating war that robbed the planet of its Trinity of heroes (Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), the monthly book has depicted a gradual unveiling of new takes on classic heroes and villains such as the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, the Atom and this week, Doctor Fate.

This May, a new caped crusader will enter the fray as Earth 2 finds itself home to a new Batman.

(preview art below)

Earth2_Batman_1

Via Comics-x-aminer

A new age of “Wonders” is dawning.

This May, EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1 will fly into stores. Written by James Robinson and illustrated by Yildiray Cinar, CAFU, and Julius Gopez, EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1 features a stunning cover by Andy Kubert, and introduces the new Batman of Earth 2!

Today, THE SOURCE is excited to give you a first look at this new Batman. In the gallery above, take a sneak peak at the interior art for EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1, featuring the new Caped Crusader leaping into action and continuing the fight against crime. But who could be under the mask? And how will the “Wonders” react to a new Batman? Place your bets in the comments section below!
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Earth2_Batman2

Young Justice and Green Lantern the Animated Series end

This weekend, both Young Justice and Green Lantern the Animated Series are both airing their final episodes. I know that the Bruce Timm-helmed CGi Green Lantern series has had its detractors, but I am sad to see it go. In contrast, the Young Justice series remains one of my all time favorite toons. Utilizing every bit of inspiration and mythology from the comic books, Young Justice very quickly developed its own universe. A third season would be very welcome, but I have to say that I am happy with what was achieved in two short years.

Via Newsarama:

They were taken too soon. No, this time we’re not talking about one of the many kids DC Comics has killed off throughout the years; this time we’re talking about two of the best superhero animated series we’ve ever seen, both of which end on Saturday March 16, 2013.

Young Justice lasted two (albeit disjointed) seasons, finding its voice, taking huge risks, and presenting a DC Universe that included Wally West, Tim Drake as Robin, & even a cameo by Stephanie Brown.

Green Lantern: The Animated Series only got one season, but somehow fit in Anti-Monitor, a tease to Sinestro’s turn to fear, Red & Blue & Violet Lanterns, the rogue Guardian Scar, & so much more amazing mythos.

Here are your final preview images for both series. In blackest night, indeed.

Is Chris Nolan in charge of Justice League? Will Christain Bale return as Batman?

The Justice League motion picture, a project that would potentially depict the heavy hitters of the DC Universe, made most familiar to members of my generation by the Super Friends cartoon. A Justice League movie would feature Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern and possibly Martian Manhunter and Aquaman (they’d be fools to not include the King of Atlantis no matter what anyone says) all on screen at the same time fighting some monumental foe(s).
challenge of the superfriends
However, there have been numerous setbacks including budgetary concerns and the unimpressive results of the Green Lantern movie which was intended to pave the way for the JLA as Iron Man took the first steps toward an Avengers project. Warner Bros. is now hoping that Zack Snyder and Chris Nolan’s Man of Steel will fill that role and the movie can finally get underway. Rumor is that the script is a mess and the casting still in wraps. Will the team consist of all new faces or will there be any returning actors?

Take a massive cube of salt with these rumors… but here they are.

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Image from Injustice: Gods Among Us

Via Forbes.com

The impossible may be happening, fans — we could be returning to Gotham City at the same bat-time, same bat-channel. Latino Review is reporting that director Christopher Nolan is in talks to come back for more. More Batman, that is. But in what manner? Not what you’d expect — read on for details!

Keep in mind, the reports are that negotiations and talks are still ongoing and nothing is set in stone yet. So, this news is all tentative at the moment, but the reports from Latino Review jibe with what I’ve heard from some of my own sources. Batman-On-Film (BOF) has some additional insights in Bill Ramey’s report as well.*

The director would reportedly bring Batman back to the screen in the same overall “world” that existed in the previous three films… and Christian Bale is reportedly expected to return as Bruce Wayne!

But if that’s not enough of a shocking revelation for you, try this on for size: the new film would actually be a team-up film, putting Nolan’s Batman alongside Henry Cavill reprising his role as the new cinematic Superman (introduced in this summer’s upcoming Man of Steel from Nolan, Zack Snyder, and David Goyer) and possibly/probably additional superheroes as well.

Superman

Image from Injustice: Gods Among Us

That’s right, dear readers, the Nolan Batman may be teaming up with the rebooted Superman, in a Justice League movie (or, possibly, a Superman-Batman team-up movie, but Justice League seems more likely at the moment).

At this time, Nolan is reportedly in talks to be involved as producer, with Snyder as a producer and possible director, and it might involve a story by Goyer.

This is among the biggest film news of the year, along with the announcement of Disney buying LucasFilms to develop new Star Wars movies. And it would involve one of the most powerful filmmaking teams, coming aboard what could potentially become the biggest superhero franchises in cinema.

The story is getting lots of momentum, including IGN:

Christian Bale is in talks to reprise his role as Batman in DC’s upcoming Justice League movie, Christopher Nolan will oversee the project, and Man of Steel-helmer Zack Snyder will produce – and possibly direct – if a new report from Latino Review is to be believed.

The website claims that Nolan is now in charge of the entire DCU at Warner Bros., and is in discussions to act as a sort of Godfather to the project, as well as produce alongside Zack Snyder. The studio allegedly wants the film to be set in the same universe as Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, which naturally means a return of Bale’s Batman. Not only that, but Justice League would also tie in with Snyder’s gritty Man of Steel, which means – you guessed it – Bale’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman would appear in the same universe, in the same movie, at the same time.

As the website correctly notes, Bale wouldn’t be against reprising the role, as long as the story was right. “I would love the challenge of making a fourth one work,” he told Empire Magazine last summer.

So what is your opinion?

Do you think Bale will star in a Justice League movie? If so, it would grant some credibility to the project and generate lots of excitement rather than recasting the part once more.

The JLA by Alex Ross

The JLA by Alex Ross

Justice League has a tentative June 2015 release date.

Wonder Woman (fan trailer)

Created by the inventor of the lie detector, Dr. William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman was created by the Queen of the Amazons, a society of only women. Longing for a child, Hypolita crafted a baby from clay and prayed to her Gods for the gift of life (this was later changed to twins when another similar child was introduced much later). Born from women in a society solely made up of women, it is no surprise that Wonder Woman became an icon of the women’s movement. She even traded in her eagle-emblazoned bodice for a WW-bearing one in the mid 1970′s to show her support for women’s lib.

Along with Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman is the only superhero to have remained in print since her first appearance back in 1939. She is also the most popular superheroine around, made all the more familiar by the outright feminist TV program in the 1970′s starring Lynda Carter in which the statuesque actress espoused sexual equality while defending the free world from its enemies.

So, uh… why is there no big budget Wonder Woman movie in the works?

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wonder-woman-perez-1A live action movie has been in production Hell since 2001 when producer Joel Silver of Lethal Weapon fame decided it was time to bring the Amazon Princess to the big screen as a ‘flawed hero.’ From what I can gather, the problem seems to be that no one attached to the project can understand the character or gain a foothold on a story, fan favorite Joss Whedon in particular who, when he was involved in a Wonder Woman film development back in 2005 said ‘there’s nothing from the comics that felt right 100 percent, no iconic canon story that must be told. Batman has it made — he’s got the greatest rogues gallery ever, he’s got Gotham City. The Bat writes himself. With Wonder Woman, you’re writing from whole cloth, but trying to make it feel like you didn’t. To make it feel like it’s existed for 60 years, even though you’re making it up as you go along.’

While studio execs continue to bungle a Wonder Woman feature film, this gem arrives from a fan…

Actress / performer Nina Bergman & director Jesse V. Johnson wanted to shoot a fan trailer for their favorite super hero.
Director: Jesse V. Johnson: facebook.com/jesse.johnson.942
latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-package-capsule-20130215,0,7843640.story
WW: Nina Bergman: n-i-n-a.com/
Representation: Kailey Marsh – Station 3 – Kailey@stationthree.com – 323-848-4334
Cast:
Peter Stormare facebook.com/pages/Peter-Stormare/11096889471
Timothy V. Murphy facebook.com/Tadhgomurchu?fref=ts
Matthias Hues facebook.com/mathias.hues.3?fref=ts
Crew:
Cinematography – Van Urfalian urfalian.com/URFALIAN.COM/HOME_PAGE.html
Producer – Hugh Daly facebook.com/Hugh.Daly?fref=ts
Effects supervisor David Kenneth ieeffects.com/
Editorial Harry Frishberg harryproductions.com/
DISCLAIMER: Wonder Woman is a non-profit film for private use only, and is not for sale or resale. It is strictly for the promotional use of the filmmaker. It is in NO way endorsed by Warner Brothers or DC Comics nor is it intended to undermine or compete with any existing or forthcoming material. Wonder Woman is created for fun and should not be sold, rented or used for anything of the sort. Station 3 and Jesse V. Johnson make no claim to any of the characters, locations, storyline, props, costume designs, logos, names or situations that are trademarked, copyrighted or otherwise protected by the federal, state, international or other intellectual property law. This film is produced solely for the personal enjoyment of the cast, crew and any other Wonder Woman fans. No copyright infringement is intended or implied.

Wonder Woman Day Steve LieberTo date, Warner Bros and DC Entertainment are holding off on a JLA movie until after Superman: The Man of Steel is released and deemed a success or failure (the same stance was made before the Ryan Reynolds Green Lantern film). Previously, the general consensus was that films based on the Flash and Wonder Woman would precede the Justice League movie much like Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America and Thor led into the Avengers, but now the story is that a team movie will simply arrive without any build-up. In fairness, the characters of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Flash and Green Lantern are much more familiar to the general than the Marvel Superheroes and don’t exactly require character development… but it still strikes me as peculiar.

Wonder Woman by Greg Moutafis

Wonder Woman by Greg Moutafis

The fan film is not perfect, but it’s a damn sight better than what has been attempted to date and successfully sells the notion of a female action hero in a period setting (I think… I can’t figure out if the modern skyline and WWII setting are mix-ups or intentional), thereby modernizing the Lynda Carter version for a new generation.

Thoughts?