Comic Related Part 2

Ok, so I put forward my thoughts on the best DC properties that could and should make it to fil, but now for something different, looking at non-DC/Marvel properties and seeing what out there would make for a decent TV series. With so much quality TV out there from Dexter to Mad Men, it's time for comic properties to break live action TV. Will any of these get taken up? Unfortunately, I doubt it, it just depends on who's willing to take an expensive risk. Not something production companies are really known for.

1) Preacher

Preacher was briefly touted as a TV series when HBO bought the rights a few years ago, but unfortunately that has since been forgotten and any sign of a Preacher series/movie/anything seems long gone.

Preacher, Jesse Custer, a man with the literal voice of God and seemingly fists of Chuck Norris. Coupled with the love of his life,the gun toting Tulip O'Hare and Irish vampire Cassidy. They set out on their mission to find and confront God. Preacher is infamous for its off taste brand of humour and violence, but the heart of the graphic novel and for any potential TV series is the relationship between these three characters and their personal journeys up and down, with and without each other. The characters, like the storyline have a definitive opening and ending, but the journey between the two could be told in various ways, tweaked and tuned for more appropriate television. With various groups of villains looking to get their hands on Jesse Custer including being stalked by one of the greatest comic book characters ever created, The Saint of Killers...kinda like the Terminator meets The Man With No Name. Add to that their original mission and you've got space for several seasons worth of storylines.

2) Powers

Cop shows, work. Whether it be humour, drama or even reality, you can change the setting and the time and you can shift focus from on the street to homicide to forensics, it doesn't matter, because cop shows work.

Deep down, being a damn good cop drama is what makes Powers so good and addictive. Throw in the hook that these cops work in a homicide departemnt that deals specifically with people who have "powers" and investigate these crimes through down to Earth police procdeural work.

With the right casthing Powers could be as successful as something like The X-Files. Like The X-Files, for many it wasn't the aliens and freaks that kept them tuning in it was the relationship between Mulder and Scully and the way they took to investigating each case. The same is true of powers, you want to see the character side of things, see how they investigate the crime and handle the wild card of powers being thrown into the mix.

3) DMZ

DMZ stands for demilitarised zone and in this case, New York City. Set in the near future where America is split by a civil war between the United States of America and the Free States. Now, I haven't read much of this as yet, but the premise alone gripped me straight away and would make for a great TV series given the right budget, bringing war back to the US, following an intern reporter as he tries to aclimatise life in the New York City no-mans land, which is treated like another character in the storyline. Creating a powerful drama and running the gamut of emotions as the lead character Matty Roth goes from being abandoned to finding his own place.

4) Ex Machina

I recently picked up the first HC collection and I am totally hooked from the get go. Murder, mystery, politics and...superpowers. All centered around one man, Mayor of New York City , former super hero The Great Machine, Mitchell Hundred.

Written by the brilliant Brian K. Vaughn who already holds sway with a successful TV series credit under his belt as a writer on the hit show, Lost. There are few similarities between Ex Machina and Lost, though one of which is telling the story through Hundreds time in office and the filling in and updating the story through flashbacks to his time as The Great Machine which works effectively woithout damaging the pacing of the story. Ex Machina would probably make more a cross of The West Wing and Lost than like anything in particular. The storyline is exciting and fast paced for such a political drama.

5) The Boys/The Authority

The Boys and The Authority seemingly couldn't be more different, but I consider them two sides of the same coin. Both attempting to better humanity by dealing with power, abuse and control. The Boys would probably be easier to produce for a TV series, with more black ops work and less super powers, just plenty of sweary violence. The Authority would be high budget, special effects, taking on other heroes, whole armies and interdimensional monsters, which as fun as would be to see and to see The Authority issuing their own brand of arrogant, brutal smackdown it just wouldn't quite work on a TV series budget. The Boys is less superhero centric and you could pull off the occasional hardcore throwdown between The Boys and a group of superheroes without blowing a seasons budget on one episode.

The Authority is something I personally would love to see, but realistically The Boys has a much more apt chance of hitting the screen. Being the guys who take down the superheroes who get beyond their station leaves an open ended storyline suitable for a TV series, but would possibly work better as a big budget film (throw in Simon Pegg as Lil' Hughie).
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Comic Related

Comic films are massive business. This year so far we've seen five comic book related films which have grossed in total over $1 billion. Marvel seem to have their future films layed on for the next 3/4 years, leading up to the inevitable Avengers movie. DC on the other hand seem to be stuck in the traps, there have been many reasons cited for DCs lacklustre foray into cinema and I'm going to address...none of them. Instead I'm going to give you a list of the top 5 DC properties I believe should make it to celluloid.

1) Green Arrow

Green Arrow has had a helluva time over the last year or so. His marriage to Black Canary and their new book. A beautiful and exciting retelling of his origin in Green Arrow: Year One and his rising popularity thanks to the handsome young Justin Hartley on Smallville.

Now this actually looks viable, if reports are to believed and things don't get cancelled, with Green Arrow: Supermax. Originally I was incredibly skeptical about the premise of an unmasked and outted Oliver Queen thrown in prison with a number of "super"villains. DC so far have played it safe with their villains, especially with the more street level Batman and shyed away from villains with actual "powers". Will this actually work? I don't know, having David Goyer attached bodes well and I understand taking a risk on powers in a flick like this before bringing in a powered villain to the Batman franchise. However, when they have a perfectly good Year One story reimagined by Andy Diggle and Jock just sitting there waiting to be made into a film it makes me wonder whether this will really be a showcase for Green Arrow, or the villains.

Whatever happens, whether we're treated to a Green Arrow story that pays homage to the emerald archer or whether we're be attacked at all senses by a supervillain team up, I for one just want to see more of DCs characters up on the screen.

2) Green Lantern

If 3 is the magic number at DC, with Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, then Green Lantern is most definately number 4. Especially, Hal Jordan. Since Geoff Johns brought back the greatest Green Lantern in Rebirth, Hal Jordan has been front and center. Returned to the Justice League, played a massive role in the Sinestro Corps War one of the most successful crossovers/storylines for some time. Hal was also one of the big hitters to actually have a storyline in 52, yet luckily avoided Countdown, unlike poor Kyle Rayner. He even manages to be the poster boy for Final Crisis, gracing the cover of issue 1. Hal Jordan in his day job, civilian identity is a USAF Pilot. That's right, all your Top Gun fantasies come to life...well, besides the voleyball scene where they'r...nevermind. That is cool. The only thing cooler is that in his superhero guise he is a cop. A SPACE cop.

Space. Anything could come from space. In this case, a film following Green Lanterns origin, we'd see the gift of a Green Lantern power ring given to a man who knows no fear from a dying alien. Much like Green Arrow: Year One, Green Lanterns origin practically lends itself to film, a flyboy USAF pilot finds a power ring, gets schooled by some alien super cop add ending of some kind of threat, lay hints that alien super cop may not be all he seems for the sequel and bam. Blockbuster. The effects can be handled easily enough now-a-days, look at the likes of other recent comic book movies, Iron Man, Wanted and the Incredible Hulk.

Again, like Green Arrow a supposed movie is in the works, but we've been given nothing, no casting, no teaser, no hint of production and talk can only get you so far. I sincerely hope a faithful Green Lantern movie is made, if only to eliminate all memory of the talk of Jack Black playing a comedy version of the Lantern. This might be more deserving of a movie than Green Arrow, but Green Arrow just ticks the right boxes at present, street level hero, already popular on television and B-level Hero they can take a risk on.

3) The Flash

The Fastest Man Alive is no stranger to television appearances, Barry Allen had his own TV series and made for TV movies back in 1990, even including Mark Hamill as The Trickster! Flash forward, Wally West took up his uncles role from the comics as one of the founders of the Justice League in the epic animated series, again, Mark Hamill as The Trickster! Even Bart Allen donned a red tank top in several episodes of Smallville to take up the role of The Flash. General people know of The Flash, they know what he can do to a degree. He's fast. Very fast. What general people don't know about the Flash is that he has one of the best groups of rogues outside of Gotham City.

When you're dealing with the "Fastest Man Alive" there are always certain jokes that come up and as such, The Flash has often had a certain humour to it, especially in the animated series. A tongue in cheek Flash versus the rogues could work, leading to him proving himself in an eventual JLA film, or you could throw him in at the deep end. The Flash vs Zoom. The Flash's hardest test, set by a maniac convinced he can make The Flash a better hero by injecting a little trauma and misery into his life. Fitting this all in a two hour film, with a short flashback summary of his origin is plausible. Though there are still other methods you could employ, such as taking on a natural disaster. The Flashes powers lends itself to various scenarios as well as the humour and ultimate determination. The Flash is a loveable character, who could easily appeal to all ages, more so than even Superman. So put any ideas for a JLA film on hold and get the characters out there and treated right FIRST!

4) Wonder Woman

Ask anybody, comic fan or otherwise to come up with a female superhero and odds are the first name on their lips will be Wonder Woman. A name synonymous with female heroism, a literal Amazon, Wonder Woman well known and instantly recognisable the world over. She also holds her own in DCs elite pantheon of superheroes as part of the trinity with Superman and Batman. Yet the Amazonian princess has proved a complicated character to write and to especially bring to film. She has many physical characteristics that have to be reached for an appropriate casting. She is, obviously, beautiful, yet she is an intense warrior, taller than both Superman and Batman. She is mature and wise behind her youthful looks, with her long, thick, dark hair and then there's the costume, which she needs to fill out, while still maintaining a warriors air.

Storyline. I don't know all that much about Wonder Womans cast of villains beyond Cheetah, Circe and Giganta, with Cheetah heading out as most plausible villain for a big budget film. Avoid the furore of getting to deep into the mythological side of things with the inclusion of Circe and avoid the embarrassment and sexual connotations of the princess of the Amazons dealing with an attack of a 50ft woman. Oh. Who used to be a gorilla.

All this said, there have been writers who have made the most of Wonder Woman, Greg Ruckas run was lauded and Gail Simone has been dying to get her hands on her forever and I couldn't think of many people better, as for the film reins, Joss Whedon was reportedly interested in writing a screenplay, the man who took on one of the now predominant female icons, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Someone out there needs to take on the warrior princess and tame her onto the screen, she's a hero, a legend and an icon and she needs this as much as we need to see it.

5) The Question

Street level heroes work. The Question not only works as a street level hero who passes over petty crime and focuses on the corruption higher up the ladder, but as Vic 'Charlie' Sage, TV reporter acting as a voice of The Question, outing the corruption heading on right under the noses of the people of Hub City. With a simple to integrate back story and lack of a super villain, this could be done on a reasonable budget.

The Question himself has seen quite a resurgance in recent years, ironically up to and including his death, though again, with a character so open ended as Vic Sage you could tell the story of his death and his training and philosophical opening of Renee Montoya or even have it spin out of the next Batman movie. The Question was one of the most popular characters on the JLU animated series as well as in 52 and with the ultimate Question homage of Rorschach set to make his film debut Spring, 2009, what better time to start working on a film of The Question? That...and someone should show Frank Miller how to treat a street level detective character with a bit of damn respect.
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Jason Statham as Daredevil?

It's been five years since Daredevil was released and I must say, I actually enjoyed it. It suffered from some dodgy CGI and some dodgy Jennifer Garner and although Ben Affleck played Matt Murdock well, the same couldn't quite be said when he slipped into the red leather and horns. In its favour where the nods and injokes for the fans, the Kingpin, Foggy and the absolutely brilliant Bullseye, a delightful mix of the almost camp attention seeker who made his first appearance under Frank Miller and the psychotic perfectionist he later evolved in.

Should Daredevil be remade? Jason Statham thinks so and would love to take the role as the saviour of Hells Kitchen. A new comic movie starring one of my all time favourite characters always sounds good to me, especially if it's further entrenched in the new Marvel Universe being created throughout the recent and upcoming films. Jason Statham has never been someone who's crossed my mind for the role of Daredevil, but that's more down to my subsconscious swaying away from English actors playing American heroes. He has the moves, as he keeps proving in his many Transporter films, for me he's a bit too built, I always picture Murdock as slightly more slender, not quite Spiderman or Iron Fist, but he's as athletic as someone like Nightwing. Though I'm not completely opposed to the idea, I've looked through several images of him in action (thanks Google) and I'd have to see him suited up first before really making my mind up.

However they go with any new theoretical Daredevil film I'd have to say keep away from Elektra, after Jennifer Garners wooden attempt at bringing one of the worlds most deadly assassins to life failed miserably, twice, I'd treat her as hands off for now. Though I could watch Colin Farrell as Bullseye all day.
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Weekly Review

This is where I shall be reviewing the books I have read during the week. This will mostly be graphic novels, some new some not so new and in no particular order. I'll give you a detailed review on the top three books I've read this week as well as letting you know whether I think they should be:

Must Own: Get this book in your collection now, it is essential.
Worth a read: A solid addition to any collection, enjoyable and worth following.
Pick it up: Have a flick through, not for everyone, but there's worse out there.
For the fans: Only for the true fans of the writer/artist/character.
Don't waste the cash: Put it down and we'll never speak of this again.

3) The Authority: Prime
Written by Christos Gage with art by Darick Robertson.

This starts off with a typical Authority moment, dealing with some monster and reminding you just who the Authority are. After that we get the plot device of former Stormwatch Weatherman and psychotic nemesis to both Stormwatch and The Authority, having a secret underground bunker which both teams want to get to first and neutralise any threats which may or may not be inside. The two teams arrive at the location about the same time...fight and posturing ensue.

I usually like Darick Robertsons art, I enjoyed his attention to detail in creating the Transmetropolitan world for Spider Jerusalem and I enjoy his gratuitous violence and Simon Pegg-a-like in The Boys, but for some reason, his Authority just doesn't work. Hawksmoor is for all intents and purposes Butcher, Apollo is a blue eyed former boy band member turned boxer and Midnighter...grrr, GRRR, I've grimaced a million times, I can out grimace anyone. There's also a humour in his work that detracts from the initial fighting, though, speaking of which, once the fighting and posturing starts it's all good enjoyable fun.

Inevitably, like all superhero meet ups ever, the two teams get together to take on the evil of Bendix in fairly predictable fayre. This is largely a by the numbers story, which just happens to be quite fun, but and this is a big but, is not for new fans. The history between these two teams goes back a long way and although there is just enough to keep the story together there are many in jokes and references that would just totally bypass a new comer to the Wildstorm. Wich rapidly needs to get on with its latest reboot and reintroduce the sorely missed Authority.

For The Fans: If it wasn't for such the convulated history between the two teams I'd say go pick it up and if you can get by that it's still not bad, but I'd come to expect a lot better from both Gage and Robertson.

2) The Pro
Written by Garth Ennis with art by Amanda Conner.

Thanks to an intergalactic wager by a character called, the Voyeur...sorry, Viewer, some chick who turns tricks is endowed with super powers and thrown ass first into the world of superheroes.

The familiar looking analogy of a super hero team welcome The Pro to their ranks with pompous aplomb gee-whillakers sensibilities, to which The Pro adds much needed relief, which is not restricted to purely comical!

This is by no means Garth Ennis best work, but it a great entertaining read with good laughs, especially if you're tired and jaded of the whole super hero scene for a while. This is more pointed in someways than The Boys, but definately not as extreme or shocking. The art is as beautiful as it can be in drawing a supersonic whore, with great colouring and attention to the visual jokes in the background which doesn't shy away from being crude, yet remains comicy enough to keep the laughs coming.

Worth a read: Garth Ennis fans will know what to expect, anyone else will get a good laugh at some of their favourite heroes expense all in glorious Amanda Conner art.

1) Scalped: Indian Country
Written by Jason Aaron with art by R.M. Guéra.

Not just the best thing I've read all week, but the best new thing I've read since I started on the Lucifer trades a while back.

Right from the start the dirty, dusty artwork invites you to peer closer at life on a modern Indian reservation, the browns and reds and oranges all suffering from too long in the sun, whether they be burnt, faded or just covered in dust, it all requires your attention. In the opening scenes we're thrown in and out of a nunchucked bar room brawl as we're introduced to what appears to be a simple hate filled protagonist and setting up the hero/villain scenario. Things in the 'rez' aren't quite that simple as there is so much more going on for Dashiel Bad Horse and throughout this graphic novel we see subtle glimpses of the other characters and their motivations and what could all be factors in his return home and his returns subsequent effect.

There are numerous twists, turns and impressive cliffhangers that serve to pull you in deeper while perfectly paced to keep you guessing just what is on whos agenda?

Must Own: Pick up Scalped and watch Jason Aaron soar, he's already been thrown in at Marvel with Wolverine, Black Panther and his ongoing Ghost Rider and I think there's a load more to come. If my review doesn't convince you, go pick up Vertigo: First Cut, which collects the first issues of some of Vertigos biggest ongoing titles right now. Such as: DMZ, Army@Love, Jack of Fables, The Exterminators, Scalped, Crossing Midnight and Loveless. All of which are now on order for me and I can't wait.
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