Actor Matt Nable Cast as Ra’s Al Ghul in ‘Arrow’

Photo-1002Matt Nable, best known for his role in Riddick, has been cast as villain Ra’s al Ghul on The CW’s Arrow, starring Stephen Ammell in the title role.

Nable’s Al Ghul will be the primary villain of Season Three of the show, premiering October 8, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on The CW.

It will be exciting to see what Arrow does with one of Batman’s greatest villains.  The temptation to bring Batman into the conversation with al Ghul playing such a major part will be huge.

We know that Stephen Amell will not be portraying Green Arrow in any of the upcoming DC superhero movies, and the use of Batman himself has always been off-limits for DC TV shows like Smallville and Arrow (DC and parent Warner Bros. being far too invested in Batman on the big screen to allow for competition on the small screen).  That said, will there be any allusions in dialogue?

Ra’s al Ghul has already been mentioned several times on Arrow, and as Malcolm Merlyn’s character is a member of the League of Shadows in the comic books, it’s likely there will be some connection made here as well.

The Death of Wolverine


Wondering what’s going on with the upcoming Death of Wolverine comic story arc?  IGN has you covered with the Five Things You Need to Know to Read the Death of Wolverine.

Here’s the short version:

  1. His healing factor doesn’t work any more.
  2. He’s headmaster of a new/refounded school for mutants called the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning now that Professor Xavier is dead.
  3. He’s trying not to kill anymore.
  4. The Weapon X program will play a big part of his death.
  5. If you’re only interested in the story surrounding his actual death (and not the fallout afterward), then all you need to read is the four-issue mini-series Death of Wolverine #1-4, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven, releasing weekly throughout the month of September.

I read a lot of Wolverine back in the late 1990s; it was my favorite comic book during the period in my life (middle school) when I was most actively involved in comics.  The biggest criticism I have of Marvel and of mainstream, long-running comics in general is their inclination to constantly overcomplicate characters, story lines, and backgrounds to the point of absurdity.  Wolverine’s one of Marvel’s most well-known characters.  If they’re going to kill him, he’d better damn well stay dead.  Don’t make this another Death of Superman.

Warner Bros. Is Working On Two Different Aquaman Movies

Aquaman_0072According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros., who are desperately trying to copy Marvel’s success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has hired two different screenwriters to write two separate, unrelated scripts for an Aquaman movie.  Warner Bros. will apparently consider both and choose the best one.

The two writers are Will Beall (Gangster Squad) and Kurt Johnstad (300300: Rise of an Empire).  I’m not one to judge inexperienced writers too harshly, but neither of these gentlemen has written anything terribly stellar before, so this worries me.

Aquaman’s already a B-list superhero; you don’t make Aquaman relevant by cheaping out on a screenwriter.  You make Aquaman relevant by hiring someone who will turn him into a cultural icon.  It’s happened before.  After all, how much did you care about Iron Man before Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. brought him to life?

IGN Lists the Top Ten Batman Artists

IGN’s got a great (and accurate) list up of the top ten comic artists to draw the dark knight.  Who took the top slot?  We’ll spare you the suspense: the ever-so-deserving Jim Lee.


Marvel Studios Release Schedule

MarvelStudios-AFTHotWtTHMarvel Studios has released their release schedule (see what I did there?) for all of the shared universe films green-lit through 2019.  And they are:

  • July 28, 2017
  • November 3, 2017
  • July 6, 2018
  • November 2, 2018
  • May 3, 2019

They haven’t released the titles of these films yet, but we can make some educated guesses.  Here’s Ain’t It Cool News:

We don’t really know what these are going to be, but Marvel probably has a specific time they’ve chosen to unveil some, if not all, of said titles (*cough*ComicCon*cough*). Obviously, one’s gonna be DOCTOR STRANGE (probably 7/28/17), and we may even get a BLACK PANTHER or HULK sequel. Plus, I’m not sure these are only Phase Three films; if we go by the current formula of 4/5 films between AVENGERS flicks, then we could see the next omnibus team-up in 2018, putting those last one or two in Phase Four territory.

But that’s all speculation. Phase Three could very well be comprised of 7 films.

They’re knocking these out at a rate of two a year these days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we hear about another 2019 release unless Feige & Co. publicly decide to take a well-deserved breather.

Black Panther could be truly awesome, but The Avengers: Age of Ultron will set the tone for everything that comes after it.  Can they keep up the quality?

Do We Know the Plot of Iron Man 3 Already?

Latino Review and io9 think they do, anyway.  It seems like there may be hints pointing towards Iron Man 3 involving elements from the Extremis story arc.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Trailer

This is the absolute last movie I expected to be excited about, but this trailer kicks ass.  I thought the reboot was a horrible, greedy, redundant idea, but now I’m into it.  I particularly like that they apparently changed the origin story somewhat: that bit about Parker’s father is brand new, to my knowledge.

Andrew Garfield is also much better casting for Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire ever was: he looks like Spiderman from the comics, thinner, lither.  The bulked up look they gave Maguire in the trilogy always looked a little silly.  And hardcore fans are doubtless thrilled about the mechanical web-shooters.

“You seriously think I’m a cop, in a skin-tight red and blue suit?”

DC’s The New 52 on iPad

It’s been too long since I read comics regularly (Wolverine was still missing his adamantium the last time I frequented a comic shop) for me to comment intelligently on the relative pros and cons of the DC Universe reboot, called The New 52, that began last September.  What I can say is that I recently discovered, to my great pleasure, that most of DC’s catalog was available for purchase digitally on the iPad (and other tablets, I presume).  You download the DC app from the App Store and buy comics for $2.99 a piece with your Apple ID.  As I said, I’ve been out of touch with the comics world for a long time, so this relatively straightforward innovation was an expected but pleasant surprise.  You can also read them on the web.

Despite the commercial success of the reboot, some have criticized the overall quality of the comics themselves.  I’ve been reading Batman primarily, and while it’s true that it’s hardly Frank Miller, the art is good and the experience of reading comics on the iPad is stellar.  The benefit of the reboot is that it allows people like me to start reading again, by providing a jumping off point.  The plotlines of comics being the notoriously twisted labyrinths that they are, the idea of simply picking up a book and reading can be intimidating.  I’ve always been an X-Men fan, for instance, but X-Men stories are nigh on incomprehensible if you don’t read every issue, and every tie-in series, religiously.  Sometimes they’re incomprehensible even if you do.  Which is why I’ve often preferred the simpler, distilled versions of superhero stories presented in movies.

The general premise of The New 52 is a new beginning: younger heroes, set in a world new to the idea of costumed superheroes, redesigned for modern readers.  I’m unclear as to how much of the pre-reboot canon has survived, and despite several attempts to find a primer on this subject online, I’ve come up with zilch.  I guess I’ll just have to keep reading and find out.  Expect to see the occasional comic book review here in the future.

The Death & Return of Superman, by Max Landis

This is, quite simply, the coolest and most creative commentary on comics (or any subject of geek interest) I have seen in recent memory.

Max Landis is the writer of the film Chronicle, out now, and son of writer-director John Landis.  Aside from being well-made and fucking hilarious, this video hits close to home, as I remember the Death of Superman saga well, and I’ve been getting back into comics lately via my iPad.

DC Comics Planning ‘Watchmen’ Sequel

The New York Times reports today that DC Comics is planning a follow-up to the critically acclaimed and wildly popular graphic novel Watchmen:

On Wednesday DC Entertainment is expected to announce that its DC Comics imprint intends to publish seven comic-book mini-series that will continue the stories of the adventurers introduced in Watchmen, which was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons.

[Read more…]

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