Tag Archives: Dick Grayson

This Week’s Finest: Nightwing #12

nightwing12

By Tim Seeley, Marcus To, Chris Sotomayor, Carlos M Mangual

Following (the new/old) Superman’s advice, Dick Grayson has moved to Bludhaven in order to reestablish himself as a hero and a man. As these things go, Dick has had to adjust to life in a new city with new friends and enemies… Continue reading This Week’s Finest: Nightwing #12

Alan Brennert & Batman’s Search for Justice

“Everyone whose life has ever been touched by random, tragic chance has come away from it changed . . .” –Alan Brennert

Detective Comics 500 splash Dick Giordano
Dick Giordano

In 1989, as part of their celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of Batman, DC printed a series of testimonials about the enduring importance of The Dark Knight. These ran in the back pages of Detective Comics #598-600 as postscripts to Sam Hamm and Denys Cowan’s Blind Justice serial. Most of the remembrances covered the familiar territory of how Batman stood apart as the non-powered hero who was most relatable to the average reader. A couple stood outside the pattern, though. Stan Lee, as if he were auditioning to write a Demon series, turns in a rhyming poem which somehow manages to be silly and grandiose at the same time. Adam West reflects on the then rare privilege of playing a superhero on screen. Writer Alan Brennert took a different track. His focus is not on the tragedy of Bruce Wayne, but the ideals of the Batman. For him, the hero’s sense of justice is what makes him so popular. It is not the anger which defines him; it is how he “channel[s] that anger into something constructive.” Batman is a creature of justice, not madness.

Alan Brennert has had a long career writing for different mediums. His most prominent work has been as a producer/writer in television, where he won an Emmy for L.A. Law. He has authored several prose novels as well. His contributions to comic books are sparser, yet, significant. His handful of issues include two of the all-time great Batman tales: “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” and “To Kill a Legend.” “Autobiography” (The Brave and the Bold #197, 1983) remains the best treatment of the long, tangled relationship between Batman and Catwoman. “To Kill a Legend” appeared in 1981 as the lead tale of Detective Comics #500. In it, Brennert delves deep into the origins of The Dark Knight, emerging with a fresh, fascinating take on the iconic character.

Continue reading Alan Brennert & Batman’s Search for Justice

NYCC: Panel Roundup

NYCC panel

Over the past couple weeks, Nothing But Comics has been providing a variety of coverage on the 2015 New York Comic Con. From the creators to the cosplayers they inspire, we have offered reflections on the different facets of fandom. The last in this series of articles is a compilation of comments from some of the panels attended during the convention.

Coverage of Valiant’s Book of Death and Beyond Panel can be found here & here.

At the Dark Horse Comics Classified Panel, there were a few announcements, but the main pleasure was hearing the creators discuss their craft. These observations included a healthy sense of humor, such as when Matt Kindt was asked what it was like playing the role of both writer and artist on a series. He replied that collaborating with himself was a pleasure, as “most of my deadlines get along.” For his part, Brian Wood offered that he always wants to be enthusiastic about the art in one of his titles. His wish is to be a “fanboy” of it just like any other reader.
Continue reading NYCC: Panel Roundup

Freeze Frame 10/9/2015

From Siege #4 by Pere Pepe Larez & Ian Herring
From Siege #4 by Pepe Larez & Ian Herring

Continue reading Freeze Frame 10/9/2015

Appreciating Fan Made

PowerRangersFanMade

Big budget blockbusters, in certain areas, have really stepped up in quality. We expect so much more from our entertainment, and I think we have plenty to be happy about. What you may not know is that fan made films have also stepped up in quality. Whether from self-imposed competition with the Major Studios or easier means of funding, there are some impressive efforts from fans in making comic adaptations.

As much as I enjoy the big screen efforts at adapting my favorite characters, there is something about these fan films. For one, they have fewer restrictions since they’re not “officially” licensed or approved by the copy-right holders. In fact, certain films have been taken down or ordered not to be released because they deviate too much from the Source Material (one because it was “too good”). Secondly, because the films are literally made by fans, they tend to be more creative than origin story, dance number, or a three-villain slugfest. Take, if you will, Thomas Jane’s short film about the Punisher, “Dirty Laundry.” Jane having played the Punisher in the self-titled 2004 film, financed and starred in “Dirty Laundry” because of the unlikelihood of him playing the character again.

(WARNING: THESE FILMS ARE NSFW!!!)

 The film acts as day-in-the-life for Jane’s version of Frank Castle, sadly the closest we’ll get to seeing him again in the role. The potential to use fan films as a bridge or replacement for official sequels is endless. Many fans were hoping for a Venom stand-alone movie after Spider-Man 3, if for no other reason than “Hope Springs Eternal.”  Unsurprisingly, it never happened because Sony was deciding to reboot the franchise. It left the door open for Joe Lynch to create a movie that stands on its own legs as well as a fan film.

While those two examples were extensions of other films, some filmmakers have sought to bring a character to life on their own terms with their own continuity. An example is “Grayson: Earth One,” a take on DC’s current line of reader-friendly Graphic Novels based on popular characters.

It presupposes a lot of things, like that Bruce Wayne hadn’t adopted Dick Grayson after his parents’ murder, or that without his intervention he still would’ve become a crimefighter. That is the point of fan-made works though, a unique perspective on a property that they love. They have the chance to put their own spin on the Source Material, which other fans may or may not enjoy. One such film was the gritty Power Rangers reboot that retools the Might Morphing Power Rangers TV show continuity, and also includes both James Van Der Beek and Katie Sackoff in the cast.

To be honest, I don’t care for this. The CGI is impressive, the cast is somewhat high-profile, and the fighting is blood-rushing, but it strikes me as missing what endeared Power Rangers to several generations in favor of making it realistic or “Adult.” It could be telling that the director wants to do a Captain Planet film for his next project. However, he did make his vision a reality and the effort shows.

I chose these four films because of their unique methods in adapting popular characters. All of them rely on suspense and tell a simple story of the main character going from A to B, almost like comic books used to do. While they make a splash when they are first released, people seem to forget they exist (not surprising with the steady stream of new media we get almost every day), and I thought fan-made films should be celebrated as their own thing. They’re pretty much Cosplay and Fan-Fiction taken to the ultimate extreme, and are done with little reward or return of investment.

In spite of that, I’m curious as to why we haven’t seen more of them. Has the trend died down? Are the “real movies” too good right now? Or is this just a slow down while new creators grab investments to produce their work? The possibilities just excite me with their potential. Barring the more outlandish characters, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have a quality short film starring characters that won’t get a major role ANYTIME soon.

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Moon Knight Declan Shalvey