The Flash: Familiar Formula that Works! The CW Network's “The Flash,” which was a spin-off from their “Arrow” series incorporates the superhero formula to the nines, which could have been as disastrous as letting Solomon Grundy handle fine china - but hasn’t been so far. Why the Flash is Getting Rave Reviews One reason for the series initial success is the nonthreatening likability of actor Grant Gustin, who plays the title role of Barry Allen/ The Flash. Barry is a nerd and he is cute (according to my eight-year old daughter) who is transformed by lightning when a particle accelerator explodes and endows him with an amazing supercharged metabolism - allowing him to run faster than the lightening that struck him. This show is great. I love that my entire family can watch it and are thoroughly entertained. I am also not afraid that what is happening on the screen is inappropriate for my kids. The themes and situations presented on other superhero shows like Gotham, Arrow and even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are simply not appropriate for kids under 13. The Flash is obviously a CW production, that is, the style and direction is familiar. Barry, like so many superheroes before him, is an orphan (so to speak). His father sits in prison, convicted for the death of Barry’s mother, who was really killed by some mysterious yellow and orange lightning thingy. Barry is taken in by his parents’ best friend, Central City Det. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin). As a grown man, Barry now works as a crime scene investigator for the cops. He’s also secretly in love with Joe’s daughter, Iris (Candice Patton), but since they have grown up together, as siblings almost, Barry keeps his true feelings for her to himself. Once Barry regains consciousness after being struck by the lightening, and realizes his new super abilities, the particle accelerator inventor, Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) wants to “help” Barry figure out the limits of these powers. Along with his assistants, … [Read more...]
Welcome Home Spider-Man
Spider-Man to Join the Marvel Cinematic Universe In the event that you've been hiding under a rock, the Marvel machine and Sony have finally agreed to work on Spider-Man movies together. This brings web head back home and means he can now be seen in future Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies like "The Avengers" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" - and that MCU characters could possibly now show up in Spider-Man flicks as well. This is the most exciting comic book news story of the year thus far, even more awesome than Marvel's Phase Three plans which were revealed a couple of months back. Sony and Marvel's arrangement will most certainly change superhero motion pictures from here on out. Spider-Man in the MCU offers a viewpoint that hasn't been explored yet in the MCU. One of the reasons Spider-Man is such a hit as a comic book character is due to the fact that Peter Parker dealt with genuine issues, he wasn't simply a superhero. None of the current film heroes are normal in any way: Tony Stark manages a billion dollar business while thwarting baddies as Shell Head, Cap is the archetypical all American hero "re-born" to protect the free world and Thor is a god. Peter Parker, on the other hand, is still in high school for crying out loud, which allows for a very different kind of narrative that is lacking in Marvel's current films. The agreement between Sony and Marvel hasn't been completely revealed as of yet, so it is unclear if just Spider-Man will show up in the Avengers films or is Kevin Feige (Marvel Studios President) permitted to include other members of Spider-Man's entourage like Norman Osborn, Venom, or Electro into other Marvel pictures? I'm hoping that character swapping will be permitted and that the arrangement will be straight forward allowing for as much character cross-over as possible! Marvel's foray into television, especially the upcoming Defenders shows on Netflix, could benefit greatly from this new arrangement as well. The … [Read more...]
Batman Versus Darth Vader?!?
Holy Dark Side Batman!!! Recently on You Tube a fan made film popped up which saw Batman take on Darth Vader. It was epic to say the least. There, on the screen in front of me was Batman, flying towards the Death Star in a space modified Batwing, on his way to save Superman from the Empire. It was everything I had dreamed of as a kid. The detail was awesome in this video. The costumes and sets were solid, the actors were top notch and the whole thing was held together with solid sound effects and soundtrack. If you haven’t seen it yet go watch it now: The premise of this short was really cool. Superman is being held in the Death Star! Instantly my first thought was in what world could Superman be caught by the Empire? What kind of battle occurred between Superman and Vader? How did he take him down? I want to see that movie! If Vader took down Superman how is Batman going to stop him? All of this in the first minute. Batman gets aboard the Death Star pretty easily, but then again A New Hope taught us that security aboard this massive war machine is pretty sad. Han, Chewie, Ben and Luke didn’t get caught after they are brought into the hanger, Batman is going to have no problem here. Batman gets in and hacks the computer and is on his way to get to Superman. It’s here where he is discovered by Vader and the fun begins. Now, hopefully, you have just watched the battle and I don’t need to go into to much detail, but it is epic. When Batman pulls out the lightsaber and starts to battle Vader you can‘t help by but get excited. I had staged battles like this as a kid with my toys and now I was watching it. Batman is able to outsmart Vader almost ever step of the way. This back and forth battle is one you could watch this go on for hours! It just had these characters bring it all to the table and they stay true to what we have seen in the movies and comics. Then it ended (huge spoiler) and Batman was defeated. The geek in me was outraged. How could Batman have … [Read more...]
Daring to bring Daredevil to the Small Screen
The Marvel machine will be releasing their Daredevil Series on Netflix sometime in 2015. I always thought that comic book shows would be most successful on such stations as HBO, AMC and now Netflix. If the Walking Dead is any indication as to how well shows based on comic books can do...Daredevil certainly has a shot. While Marvel's foray into television has been somewhat lack lustre so far with Agents of Shield, it has churned out hit after hit on the big screen, here's hoping that this series follows in the footsteps of its silver screen predecessors. Daredevil's first stint outside the pages of his comic book was in the third season of the animated series Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends in 1983 (one of my favs as a kid). In the episode, Murdock appears primarily as himself, and only dons his Daredevil costume in a flashback. Daredevil is seen next in the popular NBC live-action series, the Incredible Hulk, starring Bill Bixby as Bruce Banner and Lou Ferigno as the Hulk. This production was the second of three made-for-TV movies that aired six years following the cancellation of the weekly show in 1982. In The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989), Matt Murdock, played by Rex Smith, tries to help prove David Banner's innocence when he is arrested. The biggest complaint from fans in this interpretation of the man without fear is his costume; gone is the iconic red costume with horned mask, and in its place is a drab ninja-style black get up. Daredevil is next seen in two more animated series. First he assists the Fantastic Four against Dr. Doom in the 1994 series, the Fantastic Four and in 1996 he appears in two episodes of Spider-Man: the Animated Series, defending Peter Parker when he is framed for industrial espionage by the Kingpin. Daredevil on the Big Screen Daredevil pops up in a cameo during a chase scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and finally in 2003, Daredevil is granted his very own feature film starring Ben Affleck in … [Read more...]