The League takes on a villain destined to be one of the greatest threats to the DC Universe: the mysterious Cheetah! But who is she? What is her connection to Wonder Woman? And how will this fundamentally change relationships within the team?
Written by Geoff Johns, the interior art team of Tony S. Daniel and Richard Friend were also tasked with coming up with this brilliantly detailed cover of carnage, featuring a rather angry Cheetah taking on pretty much the entire Justice League!
Superman’s effectiveness as a superhero and a deterrent comes into question with the arrival of a teleporting superhero group known as The Elite, led by the media hungry telekinetic, Manchester Black. The Elite are not afraid to kill in order to stop the bad guys – permanently, putting them on a direct collision course with the Man of Steel, whose refusal to put a final end to the problems plaguing the world seems to have alienated the people who once adored him.
Is there still a place in our modern day world for the kind of superhero ideals that Superman embodies?
Superman vs. The Elite is an animated superhero film based on Joe Kelly’s “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?”, a story published in Action Comics #775, back in March 2001. The movie is directed by Michael Chang and features the return of George Newbern as Superman, and David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen, reprising their roles from the DC animated universe. It is the 14th film in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line.
After not quite enjoying the last Superman solo outing that was 2011’s “All-Star Superman”, I’m pleased to report that I genuinely, genuinely enjoyed Superman vs. The Elite. The pacing, the story, the character development – everything is right on the money, and the threads all combine beautifully to create a strong story that reaffirms just why we need the classic superheroes to still exist.
It’s a fairly simple and straightforward story that is told, but it has plenty of the necessary drama and twice as much action as that, making for an exhilarating comic book story that is both sure to entertain, as it is to get you thinking.
The animation is solid and bold (though it does feature a slightly off, British Pop sort of musical start intro sequence which doesn’t quite fit in with the film in my opinion), with very smooth choreography and great looking character designs – though admittedly Superman does come off a little too goofy at times thanks to his big eyes and silly chin. Nevertheless, for the most part this is a brightly coloured, strongly animated movie whose style is most certainly good on the eye.
In terms of the aural experience, it feels good to have some of the classic voices return to the characters they voiced so long ago, and mixed with with a very solid soundtrack, Superman vs. The Elite is certainly a polished package.
Overall, there is very little not to like about this film, as it looks good, sounds good, has plenty of superhero action to share around, and most important of all, tells an accessible, thinking man’s story which is guaranteed to entertain. Definitely recommended if you can lay your hands on it then!
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Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman_vs._The_Elite
Following DC’s massive late 2011 New 52 line-up shake-up and relaunch, constant fan favorite Barbara Gordon found herself able to walk again, which of course meant flying high in the boots of Batgirl once more. Issue 5 of the relaunch was written by Gaile Simone and featured the interior art of Vicente Cifuentes.
From the press release: “Still reeling from the shocking return of a major figure with secrets from her past, Batgirl goes on the hunt for the terrifying killer Gretel, whose eerie and violent power over the men of Gotham City leaves no one safe – not even guest star Bruce Wayne!”
Veteran cover artist and a personal favorite of mine, Adam Hughes was roped in to provide the cover, and he came up with this doozy, featuring a bloodied gloved hand approaching an obviously hurting young Batgirl.
Eisner award-winning writer Brian Azzarello returned to DC in 2005 with his gritty western Loveless, which has been described as a cross between the bloody action and atmosphere of a Sergio Leone film, and the provocative storytelling of HBO’s Deadwood.
From DC: “Wes Cutter is a wanted man running from a violent past – the horrors of the Civil War, a brutal stint in a Union prison camp, and the savage fallout of Reconstruction. Now he’s on a quest for the one thing in short supply: peace. Joining Wes is his beautiful wife Ruth, a woman who has been to hell and back herself – and hides dark secrets of her own. The road they travel will be a bloody one, leaving a trail of bodies stretching from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean.”
Artist Marcelo Frusin of Hellblazer acclaim handles the artwork for the book, but before we even got a glimpse of the interior art, we were floored by this absolutely stellar, fully painted piece of cover art for issue 1!
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loveless_%28comics%29
The loveable, accessible to all ages but aimed at the younger viewer, Teen Titans animated television series is certainly is a lot darker than normal with the show’s 13 episode long fourth season outing, this time focusing on a far more evil and powerful entity that is tied to Raven’s destiny, and who is for all intent and purposes, completely unstoppable and most likely the bringer of the end of the world as we know it!
Despite this rather dark premise for the season, the writers go out of their way to balance the run with a run of much lighter, more comedic episodes in the middle, resulting in a series that once again manages to cater to a much wider audience than just its core target demographic (i.e. young kids) and in the process manage to be a completely fun and action-packed outing that everyone ought to be able to enjoy and probably pull a good number of laughs in the process as well.
All the same goofy looking characters are brought back into the mix once again (i.e. Robin, Cyborg, Beast Boy, Raven and Starfire), and the wonderfully fun, loose and often super-deformed, cutesy anime-inspired, animation style is retained, making for a visually light show, that funnily enough works across the rather wide spectrum of both serious and silly episodes that the season throws at us.
Great voice acting mixed up with a good sound track and the same energetic plus insanely cute theme song as always, adds the final bits to what is yet again a totally worthwhile and fun animated series to pick up and watch with the kids.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teen_Titans_%28TV_series%29
When a mysterious ghost ship appears in Los Angeles harbor, Mister Terrific must investigate his strangest case yet! Supernatural horror quickly gives way to a nuclear nightmare as L.A.’s protector uncovers a terrorist plot to destroy the city. But while Mister Terrific fights for the City of Angels, a shocking new villain rises from the ashes of betrayal. Get ready to meet Digitus, the unstoppable monstrosity who can out-think Mister Terrific!
Eish, didn’t really enjoy this one all that much. Writer Eric Wallace packs what should be a much longer storyline into a short twenty odd pages, leaving us with a story filled with a spur of the moment saving a life, stopping a getaway car act of heroism, investigating a high-tech break-in and then an entire saving the city from a nuclear bomb planted onboard a mysteriously appeared ship and guarded by invisible Russian-trained terrorists.
One suspects that the big rush may very well be attributed to the fact that Mr. Wallace learned that his title was to be canceled the very next issue, but to be honest, packing all of this in one issue hurts its pacing – and impact – a lot.
Mister Terrific, Michael Holt, is actually a pretty likable hero, but the book’s insistence of using heavy (mostly bad/comic book) science actually detracts from it slightly, as you’re bogged down by first having to go find some online references to make any sense of what is actually happening. On top of that, the reliance on the almost magical T Spheres which appear to be able to do just about anything, is almost too much of an easy crutch to lean on, basically solving any problem at hand without any explanation as to how they are doing what they are doing whatsoever. (A little silly whe n you consider just how “scientific” the book tries to be.)
Gianluca Gugliotta handles the pencils, with Wayne Faucher on inks, while Mike Atiyeh lays down the color. To be honest, the art isn’t horrible and funnily enough, Gugliotta’s pencils really do have a sort of hip hop, black urban feel to it, which suits the Mr. Terrific environment perfectly given the LA setting. However, that said, I don’t know if it is because of the pencils, inks or coloring style (no wait, actually I’m pretty sure it’s the colors), but often the pages come across as being very busy, too busy if you know what I mean. This “frantic” look detracts from the good linework and to be honest, doesn’t leave you with an entirely awesome visual experience at the end of it all.
In any event, Mister Terrific #7 certainly isn’t a bad book, but I can’t say that I truly enjoyed it, and am thus not entirely surprised that DC canned the series as quickly as what they did.
Turkish comic book artist Mahmud Asrar (M.A.Asrar) first grabbed attention through his work on the independent anthology Digital Webbing Presents, before moving onto much bigger and better things in both the American and non-American comic book markets.
Primarily associated with Image comics thanks to his run on Dynamo 5 in America, Mahmud is also known for producing some wonderfully muted palette pieces, like this beautifully rendered Zatanna with Giant Bunny bit of artwork as a prime example of his skill.
Filipino Canadian comic book artist Francis Manapul has put in some great work for Top Cow, Aspen, and Image (most notably Witchblade) and is currently signed on with DC busy handling the art chores for their rebooted Flash series.
He has an enjoyable art style to take in and is certainly capable of producing some stunningly beautiful and striking pieces of work, one such beauty being this depiction of Diana, Princess of the Amazons, and better known to us as Wonder Woman of course!
The newly rejuvenated Green Lantern series (courtesy of the New 52 DC event) reaches the issue 7 mark, kicking off a brand new story arc from writer Geoff Johns, with pencils by the impeccable Doug Mahnke, inks from Keith Champagne, Christian Alamy and Mark Irwin, and if you are still reading this far down, colors by Alex Sinclair.
The Secret of the Indigo Tribe, part one, sees Sinestro trying to get Hal to join him on a mission based on what Sinestro has witnessed in the Book of Black. Needless to say, Hal wants nothing to do with this and the obligatory fistfight (or should that be ring fight) ensues. However, things get interesting when the secretive and cult-like Indigo Tribe shows up to capture Sinestro, whisking away Hal in the process and leaving a very confused Star Sapphire behind!
There’s a lot of good dialogue here as Geoff sets about laying down the bricks for what looks like it is going to be another epic story arc, and again the focus of the issue is not necessarily Hal Jordan, which broadens the appeal of the book and also sets up some very intriguing scenarios.
Of course, Doug Mahnke lays down some fabulous and well detailed artwork which is very pleasing to the eye, delivering some great action sequences as well some pretty dark moments towards the latter stages of the issue. It must be mentioned that the trio of inkers do a fantastic job in highlighting Doug’s great pencils, and truth be told, the three work so well together that you would be hard-pressed to actually spot the fact that there were multiple inkers working on this book in the first place!
(And yes, the colors are pretty awesome as well).
Anyway, overall issue 7 is an enjoyable setup issue that does enough to hook and reel you in, inviting you to hungrily look forward to the next couple of forthcoming issues!