In #Trending I’ll highlight and offer my opinions on any comic-related news that occurred during the week. This will included news about comic books, comic-related movies, TV shows, video games, etc. while also highlighting various Comic Book Cosplay (one female and one male). I’m combining two Weeks into one with this edition which means I’ll be doubling up on the Main Stories and the Cosplay. Let’s begin:
Cast In A FlashIt began with a shortlist as to who would play Barry Allen on Arrow and potentially get his own spin-off show: James Mackay, Matt Barr, and Grant Gustin. In the end, the role was awarded to Gustin, most known for his role on another TV show, Glee. Gustin commented: “I’m unbelievably excited. I’ve been a lifelong fan of DC Comics, so I can’t be more honored and can’t wait to get started.” The CW describes the character as follows: “BARRY ALLEN is a Central City assistant police forensic investigator who arrives in Starling to look into a series of unexplained robberies that may have a connection to a tragedy in his past. A comic book fan boy, Barry is obsessed with the Arrow unaware that working with Oliver and Felicity to solve the crime has brought him right into the dangerous world of the vigilante.” Now for my thoughts: I’m keeping an open mind but the actor (23 years of age) is a tad too young in my opinion for the role. Regardless, as long as they capture everything that makes the Flash the great character he is, I’ll be happy.
Harley Quinn In Hot WaterIt started with a harmless announcement: DC Comics was having a talent search with the winner being allowed to draw one page in Harley Quinn #0. Harmless enough, right? Well then came the script for said page…and it caused an uproar. During the page, Harley is depicted as trying to humorously kill herself over and over again but failing each time before ending with her naked in a bathtub with her ready to drop a toaster in. The American Psychiatric Association, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Alliance on Mental Illness released a joint statement accusing DC of “making light of suicide” and being “potentially dangerous” for young readers. Writer Jimmy Palmiotti tried to explain himself: “That the tryout Harley Quinn page went out without an overall description of tone and dialogue is all my fault. I should have put it clearly in the description that it was supposed to be a dream sequence with Amanda and I talking to Harley and giving her a hard time. I should have also mentioned we were thinking a Mad Magazine /Looney Tunes approach was what we were looking for. We thought it was obvious with the whale and chicken suit, and so on, but learned it was not. I am sorry for those who took offense, our intentions were always to make this a fun and silly book that broke the 4th wall, and head into issue 1 with a ongoing story/adventure that is a lot like the past Powergirl series we did. I hope all the people thinking the worst of us can now understand that insulting or making fun of any kind was never our intention. I also hope that they can all stop blaming DC Comics for this since It was my screw up. The idea for the page to find new talent is an amazing one and we hope that can be the positive that comes forward from today on…that we get some new talent working in our field because of this unique opportunity.” DC added: “The purpose of the talent search was to allow new artists an opportunity to draw a single page of a 20-page story. True to the nature of the character, the entire story is cartoony and over-the-top in tone, as Harley Quinn breaks the 4th Wall and satirizes the very scenes she appears in. DC Entertainment sincerely apologizes to anyone who may have found the page synopsis offensive and for not clearly providing the entire context of the scene within the full scope of the story.” Lost in the controversy is that they have found their regular ongoing artist in Chad Hardin.
No Marriage For Batwoman…Or Anyone Else For That MatterOh look! More controversy for DC…and this time it concerns Batwoman, yet again. Last time on #Trending I mentioned how the regular creative team on the series were walking off the book thanks to DC interfering with their plans last minute, stopping her from getting married. Their last issue was going to be #26…until DC decided to scrap that plan and replace them two issues earlier by new writer Marc Andreyko. Regardless, the media exploded globally focussing on the fact that DC was against same sex marriage and the PR nightmare continued. Then we learned that DC wasn’t against same sex marriage…they were against any marriage in general! Dan DiDio stated: “Heroes shouldn’t get married, as they have to sacrifice their personal lives and personal happiness.” The New 52 reinforced that idea by ridding us of Lois & Clark’s and Barry & Iris’ marriages but at least we still had Aquaman & Mera…right? Nope. Apparently “November’s Aquaman #25 one way or the other addresses the issue. And marriage fans might not be too happy.” What? An unnamed Senior DC Executive added: “Aquaman is not married in New 52. And never was.” There you have…DC just hates the concept of marriage. PR nightmare over…
New Marvel TV ShowThere’s a new Marvel-ABC collaboration coming our way…and it is one that I never would have guessed. What is it? I’ll give you a hint, it’s has a female lead. Captain Marvel? Spider-Woman? She-Hulk? Nope. It is an Agent Peggy Carter TV show. Surprised? Apparently the short starring the character and included on the Iron Man 3 Blu-Ray is acting like the pilot much like Item 47 acted as the pilot for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deadline reports: “A Marvel action series with a female lead would fit right into ABC’s wheelhouse of female-skewing dramas with a strong lead and would be a throwback to such network series as Alias.” At first it was unclear if Haley Atwell would reprise the role (if she wasn’t, why even bother) but a new source claims that “she will be back, with shooting to take place next year.” Louis D’Esposito added: “We want to tell more stories because she’s so good. I remember when we first met her to play the role of Peggy Carter, and I was with Joe Johnston and we were in London and you try to keep a poker face, but I couldn’t hide and Joe couldn’t hide our feelings. ‘She’s the one! She’s the one!’ She has a certain quality, you just can’t articulate that. People gravitate to her, love her performance, even when she’s beating up people.” While I loved the character, I’m not sure how she could support an entire season of television. Are we going to have her face off against Baron Zemo and rest of his ilk or is it just going to be her going against various non-powered agents of Hydra over and over again? Call me apprehensive…________________________________________________________
(#1) The Flash #25 will sadly be the last issue of Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul’s run. Buccellato stated that: “Francis and I will be moving on to a NEW regular DC series that will hit stores in MARCH 2014. We can’t tell you what the series is (yet), but we are super excited about this new sandbox we get to play in! We want to thank everyone who was involved in helping us shape Barry’s world for the last three years. A HUGE thanks to the powers that be at DC, for taking a chance on two “new” writers and giving us the room to grow. We love Barry… We’ll miss Barry… and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for him. Francis and I still have some story to tell before we hand Barry off…” I’ll just sit in the corner and cry a little now…
(#2) And the hits just keep coming: Geoff Johns is leaving Aquaman with his last issue taking place in November. The new writer is going to be Jeff Parker with Paul Pelletier sticking around on art duties. Parker said that “in short the upcoming stories are about HIM KICKING ALL GRADES OF AQUATIC ASS.” Johns got me to actually care for Aquaman, so Parker has some mighty huge shows to fill. And with a free spot on his schedule, what series will Johns write next?
(#3) Apparently, those rumored weekly DC titles starring Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and the Justice League are going to have at least one actually happen. Superman Weekly is lining up for a March release date. All I have to say…no love for the Flash?
(#1) The lawsuit between Gary Friedrich and Marvel over the character of Ghost Rider has come to an agreement. Apparently they have “amicably agreed to resolve all claims between, among, and against all parties.” Maybe this signifies that Ghost Rider will start popping-up in the pages of Marvel comic books again?
(#2) The long rumored Marvel NOW 2 has been given an official name: All-New Marvel NOW. Apparently this will affect new and existing series: “Existing books will be refreshed with a point.NOW designation, such as Avengers #24.NOW. And those titles will have a digital code to give readers the last batch of issues for free, digitally, to let them catch up.” A new series was also revealed called All-New Invaders #1 by James Robinson and Steve Pugh. I’m not a fan of this insane numbering strategy but free comics are always a welcome sight to behold!
(#1) Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man movie has moved from its original release date of November 6, 2015 to July 31, 2015 instead. They wanted to avoid the newest James Bond movie as Ant-Man is rumored to have espionage elements to it but now the movie is set for release a mere two weeks after Batman vs. Superman! What are they thinking…?
(#2) Joss Whedon was discussing his choice of hiring James Spader to play Ultron in The Avengers movie sequel:”Spader was my first and only choice, he’s got that hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling. But he’s also very human and humorous. Ultron is not Hal, Spader can play all of the levels. He’s the guy to break the Avengers into pieces.” Ever since the initial casting announcement happened, I’ve been super excited as I thought Spader would be brilliant. Looks like Joss and I are on the same page.
(#3) Hugh Jackman revealed that Wolverine was originally going to have a cameo in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movie: “In the first ‘Spider-Man’ — Kevin Feige reminded me of this — we really tried to get me to come on and do something, whether it was a gag or just to walk through the shot or something. The problem was, we couldn’t find the suit. The suit was stuck in some thing. And so when they were in New York, when I was there, we couldn’t get it together.” What could have been…
(#4) AMC announced they are in the initial stages of creating a spin-off to The Walking Dead TV show with a proposed 2015 release date. AMC President Charlie Collier had this to say: “Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer. We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.” Robert Kirkman added: “After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.” I just hope this isn’t a case of too much of a good thing and that they don’t run the risk of burning out the audience.
(#5) Actress Christian Serratos is joining the cast of The Walking Dead for Season 4. She’ll be playing the character of Rosita Espinosa and will start off as a recurring role with the option to become a series regular in Season 5 (if she survives that long).
(#6) Speaking of casting, actress Ruth Negga has signed up for a recurring role on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Who she is playing is unknown at this point.
(#7) The director of the Thor movie sequel, Alan Taylor illuminated us to the fact that he got some help from Marvel’s go-to guy: “Joss Whedon came in to save our lives a couple of times. We had a major scene that was not working on the page at all in London, and he basically got airlifted in, like a SWAT team or something. He came down, rewrote the scene, and before he got back to his plane I sort of grabbed him and said ‘And this scene and this scene?’ and he rewrote two other scenes that I thought had problems. And we shot the scenes and they were just much better and much lighter on their feet. Much more fun, much more surprising than what we had been trying to do.” DC must still be kicking themselves about that failed Wonder Woman movie with him…
Comic Book Cosplay of the Week ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
And that concludes #Trending. Thoughts on any subjects discussed? Anything else worth mentioning? Comment below!