I've done a couple of covers for Friend of HeroMachine and author Ian Thomas Healy. The next book up in his "Just Cause" series is a more humorous super-hero story titled "Jackrabbit". We thought it might be fun to include you all in the cover design process, so over the next couple of weeks I'll be making posts here about how it's going.
Now, some of you may remember back in the summer, I ran this series called "The Big Question" here on the blog, where I'd give you guys a topic, give my thoughts on it and then let you guys discuss it. It got dropped by the wayside because I ran out of topics that really interested me, but recently I've been going back through them and something sparked my interest. It was one of the earliest BQ's, on the topic of why Batman is so popular. Some of the answers I got were very thought provoking, so I started wondering, what about other characters. So that's what we're going to be doing over the next few weeks. Discussing the reasons for the popularity of two of the greatest and most popular superheroes in existence. Starting with this guy.
Friend of HeroMachine Ian T. Healy has made his existing "Just Cause" novels free for the Kindle today only in preparation for his upcoming "Deep Six" release. Check out the trailer (featuring some HeroMachine art, by the way):
If you're looking for some entertaining super-hero fiction, this is a great opportunity.
Earlier this week, I was watching some older episodes of Smallville and as soon as Green Arrow showed up it got me thinking, how come Superman and Green Arrow both currently have live action TV Series yet Batman doesn't. Batman is arguably DC's most popular hero, so it would make a lot of sense.
Because of the fact for the most part the entire Bat Family and the majority of their villains are unpowered, it would probably be easier to make than a Superman live action TV series and you could probably get more for the money because of it. This would be the same sort of argument for the Green Arrow series, but because Batman is so much more popular there would be a bigger return. So why has Batman been stuck in cartoon land since the 70's?
Of course, Batman did make a small appearance in the 2002 Birds Of Prey series but that didn't focus on him, and there's my point. Even Birds Of Prey can get a series, al-be-it a very short lived one. So why hasn't Batman?
Not that I have anything against the Batman cartoons, some of them are the best in the medium. But considering how Batman has always been a more realistic superhero and cartoons are always best at showing the unrealistic (such as a man who can fly, shoot lasers from his eyes and restart a planet by flying counter-rotationally around it), why is his only TV representation still only on Saturday mornings?
Now, I will get this out of the way straight away. I'm not saying that the Amalgam crossover between DC and Marvel was a bad idea. I'm saying it was a badly executed idea. The concept was sound. Mix together some of our best loved and most popular heroes in a new universe for a couple of special limited series, great thinking, fine with that. But then you have to go and ruin it by making bad choices for amalgamations or bad costume choices for those that you've done well. The best illustration of this is to look at each level individually.
You've got to wonder sometimes how the brains behind the big comic book companies work, some of the decisions they make are so screwy. Due to the value of the intellectual property of all characters not even z-list heroes like The Creeper are allowed to be put out to pasture. We've already covered that when we talked about the death of Superman and it's effect on comics, but in a world where Dick Greyson and Bucky Barnes only get to take over their mentors roles for a month and a bit, Marvel's recent run on Spider-Man has got to be the most confusing thing they have ever done.
Ok, lets over look the frankly stupid method of how it was done, because I don't get it myself and look at what happened. Basically, for those that don't know, Doctor Octopus has managed to remove his own psyche from his body and place it in Peter Parker's, leaving Peter to die in Octopus' cancer ridden body, with only Peter's conscience surviving in his old body, Octavius soon gets rid of that. This means that Doc Ock is now Spider-Man and he is trying to be a superior Spidey to Pete, by going around and killing bad guys. Now, call me old fashioned, but I kinda liked Pete as Spidey and Doc Ock as Doc Ock (mainly because he was a classic villain). What they've done, in my opinion, is confusing and pointless, Spidey never needed to be shaken up to revive sales, he's Marvels most constant best seller. What they've done there is dropped sales. You've also got rid of one of the top 3 most popular heroes of all time and one of his greatest nemeses. All whilst bringing back old heroes from the dead because you don't think people will like someone else replacing them.
Now, I know that this is probably only going to be temporary, but I felt it was so stupid and badly thought out it deserved highlighting. Even a temporary major screw up is still a major screw up and Marvel has majorly screwed up here.
Ok, I've decided to bring on of my things over from the forums onto the main blog. Basically I ask a question, you guys discuss, like the old share days but different.
My question for this week is: How important are the actors in making a good superhero movie?
Before anyone says anything I'd just like to remind people that Robert Downey Jr. had pretty much no career before Iron Man, Christian Bale wasn't exactly a top draw leading man before Batman Begins either and who knew who Chris Hemsworth was before Thor? However, if we look at some of the biggest names in hollywood, George Clooney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Halle Berry, Nick Cage..... These guys can make a good movie, but unfortunately not a good superhero one (half discounting Halle Berry, I don't think her part in X-Men fully makes up for Catwoman). Then again, would Iron Man, or even The Avengers, be as great if it was someone other than RDJr. in the tin can?
Discussion below please.
Wonder Girl, Donna Troy, let's hear what you have to say about her.
Let's talk Kid Flash today. Wally West was Barry Allen's sidekick until Barry vanished and then he became the Flash. He was one of the first members of the Teen Titans and later a member of the Justice League. Bart Allen became Wally's Kid Flash later on.(about 25 years later in real world time) Kid Flash is one of my favorite sidekicks out there. Let's hear what you have to say.
Let's talk Bucky, Captain America's right hand man. I don't know much about him to tell you the truth. I do think that he got a raw deal in the latest movie, why would they want to make him older then the Cap? Let's hear what you have to say.