Category Archives: Comics

What Michael Keaton Returning As Batman Means For The Future Of DC Movies.

Michael Keaton is possibly reprising his iconic role as the caped crusader from Tim Burton’s Batman movies, in the upcoming Flash movie starring Ezra Miller according to several reports. Earlier reports stated that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is being eyed to return to his role of Thomas Wayne as Flashpoint Batman in the Flash movie, but it seems like they are not doing that right now. It is said WB will adapt the Flashpoint storyline to some extent and Keaton’s Batman will be part of the Burton-verse where Flash land up. But whatever the case, one thing is for sure – Multiverse is the future of DC, and in my opinion, that’s the best way to go about it. Here’s me telling you why.

The Flash is a very Multiverse Friendly character

The inclusion of Flash leads itself to the possibility to tell stories involving the multiverse. The Flash comics delve deep into the ideas of dimension hopping and alternate realities. Flashpoint, the comic storyline this Flash movie is said to be based on, is particularly a story where The Flash runs back in time to save his mother from dying but in doing creates a dystopian alternate reality. If you watch the CW Flash series you should be familiar with the idea of Flashpoint. And not just Grant Gustin, Ezra Miller’s Flash has already traveled to alternate dimensions in two occasion. Once in that brief bat-cave scene in BvS, and second in CW’s Crisis of Infite Earth event, where two versions of Flash famously crossed paths. And WB specially requested CW to put that cameo in, so they may have some bigger multiverse plans for Flash in the future.

All versions of Batman can be canon

Michael Keaton will return as Batman, taking up his role from the Burton films 30 years on. It would mean the Burton films are officially canon in the current DC Movies and as sources as reporting WB are trying to make Keaton’s old Bruce Wayne into a Nick Fury type of mentor figure in multiple upcoming DC projects. So we can have multiple actors playing different version of the same character at the same time. It would mean everything is canon, and all Ben Affleck, Robert Pattinson and Michael are Batman.

The Snyder-verse can still continue in some capacity

DC has been trying to reboot their movie universe and step away from Zack Snyder’s version of the Justice League, but with the release of Snyder Cut on HBO Max makes things seem a little muddled right now. With the introduction multiverse, Snyder’s version of the characters can continue in some capacity in future DC Movies and TV shows.

Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman both retcon events of Synder-verse.

Both Wonder Woman 1984 and Aquaman, deacon the events of the Snyderverse completely and start fresh with their characters. This is very confusing considering it the same actor playing the same characters, but the multiverse will be a really convenient way to explain the changes.

DC can continue their success with standalone movies

After a rocky start and a couple false beginnings DC has finally found their footing in the movie market alongside Marvel. The success Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Shazam, and Joker shows that strong standalone films are what’s really working for DC. Their upcoming slate is filled all standalone movies with no sight of a Justice League movie in a near future. The multiverse with allow the writers and directors to take artistic liberties by focusing on their own corner of the DC universe.

The Batman and Joker are in their own separate universe.

Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman staring Robert Pattinson is currently under production and it is said to be it’s own thing, much like the Joker movie from last year. This allows filmmaker’s to tell more dark high brow stories with this iconic characters as they don’t have to worry about connecting the films together. But existence of multiverse will open the door to characters from The Batman, Joker or any other DC black label movie potentially crossing over with the DCEU films in future.

The Future of DC movies

In short, the possibilities for DC movies in the future are endless right now. So it seems like multiverse is surely the way to go for DC in future. We can have have fun and bright kids movies, Big budget blockbusters, Dark Fantasies, high brow dramas and more at same time coming out of DC. It also separates them from their competition Marvel and gives them the edge over the company. It could also lead to more crossovers between DC TV shows and movies, and make the multiverse even rich with characters. And who knows, maybe five years from now, flash could run through a bunch of alternate dimensions and we could have a big Justice League movie with all the different versions of the DC characters coming together. All I can say right now is –

“Exciting times in the world right now, my friend. Exciting times.”

Doom Patrol season 2 Trailer – DC’s weirdest superhero ‘Family’ will return on HBO Max.

Doom Patrol | Season 2 Official Trailer | HBO Max

Doom Patrol released the trailer for season 2 of the show, giving us a bunch of details about what to expect from the series moving forward and also potential threats the heroes will be facing in this season. Based on Grant Morrison’s super trippy and wacky comics run, the first season was season of Doom Patrol was really well received by both critics and audiences alike, thanks the weirdness of the plot and characters that set it apart from other superhero TV shows.

The trailer quickly re-introduces us to the superhero ‘family’ that is all set to return in this season:

Diane Guerrero as Jane: The dominant personality of Kay Challis, a young woman who developed 64 distinct personalities from trauma she experienced as a child and received powers for each personality following an experiment she was involuntarily subjected to.

April Bowlby as Rita Farr / Gertrude Cramp: A former actress whose cellular structure was altered into a gelatinous state after being exposed to a toxic gas. Her powers allow her to change her body shape, but also cause her to struggle with maintaining a solid form.

Matt Bomer and Matthew Zuk as Larry Trainor / Negative Man: A former United States Air Force  pilot with a negative energy entity living inside of him.

Brendan Fraser and Riley Shanahan as Cliff Steele / Robotman: A cyborg and former NASCAR driver whose brain was transplanted into a robotic body after a car crash destroyed his own.

Timothy Dalton as Niles Caulder / The Chief: A medical doctor responsible for treating the members of the Doom Patrol and giving them residence in his mansion.

Joivan Wade as Victor “Vic” Stone / Cyborg: A young, ambitious superhero who received cybernetic enhancements from his father Silas following an accident that lead to his mother’s death.

The Chief’s daughter Dorothy Spinner ( an obvious reference to Wizard of the Oz) will also return this season, and by the looks of the trailer it appears like she will be the big threat the Doom Patrol will be facing this season. Dorothy is one of the strongest beings in DC Universe, with the power of creating people from her imagination, so it’ll be very interesting to see how the show deals with her powers. Although there have been no confirmations on whether Mr. Nobody will return for this season, he is noticeably missing from this trailer.

“Following the defeat of Mr. Nobody, the members of the Doom Patrol now find themselves mini-sized and stranded on Cliff’s toy race car track. Here they begin to deal with their feelings of betrayal by Niles Caulder a.k.a. the Chief (Timothy Dalton), while confronting their own personal baggage,” HBO Max said of Season 2. “And as each member faces the challenge of growing beyond their own past traumatic experiences, they must come together to embrace and protect the newest member of the family: Dorothy Spinner (Abigail Shapiro), Niles’ daughter, whose powers remain a mysterious but real threat to bringing on the end of the world.”

Season one of Doom Patrol is currently available on HBO Max to stream, so you can catch up on the first season before release of the second season. Also, getting promoted from being a DC Universe show to HBO Max original means Doom Patrol now has the potential to reach a much larger audience. And honestly, this show deserves it – it’s so good!

So are you excited for Doom Patrol season 2, and what did you think of season 1? Do let me know in the comments.

HBO’s Watchmen – A Timely Classic for Black America

What’s happening in America right now is heartbreaking, but I’m so happy to see so many people come together in support of the #BlackLivesMatter initiative and fight back against the racist system. All of you who are taking part in this protest, whether your posting about it in social media, going to rallies or donating to support groups, I’m so proud of all of you for finally standing up. I’m neither an American or a black person, but this is issue is beyond all race and culture – it is about our fight for humanity.

But still, since I’m not an American and the protests and their ramifications are still in a very premature state – I’m not willing to write about it explicitly yet. So here’s me instead telling you about a series that perfectly encapsulates the problems America is facing today as a whole – HBO’s Watchmen.

Damon Lindelof’s series that is a continuation of Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel ‘Watchmen’, uses the template of the graphic novel and uses it to showcase the struggles of Black America, and with other timely issues . With story lines that deal with racism in America, White Supremacy and heinous crimes against Black people over centuries in America – Watchmen is really a timely classic for our times that you need to see. Let me tell you why.

(NOTE: While reading the original graphic novel helps since this is a continuation of that story, the show is good enough to stand on its own and you can watch it anyway. By the way, who hasn’t read Watchmen? It is considered to be the greatest comic book of all time. Go read Watchmen!)

Tulsa Race Massacre

Tulsa Race Massacre; 1921

Right away, the opening of Watchmen’s pilot sheds light on one the darkest days in American history, which will surely send chills down your spine. The Tulsa race massacre of 1921 took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been called “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history,” and yet it cannot be found in school textbooks and anyone barely knows about it. This Monday, we marked the 99th anniversary of the incident and yes, we’ve come a long way since 1921, but watching the incidents of violence against the people of the black community that are prevalent even today, I am just left wondering if we have made any progress at all.

Origin of Hooded Justice

Hooded Justice from comic panels

Watchmen begins with a young boy witnessing his parents die in the horrible Tulsa Race Massacre, and brilliantly sets up the origin story of Hooded Justice in one of the show’s best twists. It is revealed that Abar’s grandfather (the old dude who killed the police commissioner) is actually Hooded Justice, showcasing how vigilantism lies in their blood.

Louis Gossett Jr. as Hooded Justice

In episode 6, which is one of best scripted episodes of television I have seen, the tragic backstory of Hooded Justice is revealed as Abar consumes her grandfather’s nostalgia. The show makes changes to original mythology of Hooded Justice’s origins, and adds so much more depth to it. The show explores his tough times growing up alone and taking care of the baby he found on the day of the massacre, then how he fought in the war of USA even tough he was always treated unfair by his superiors and not given the honor he deserves and then how he eventually got a job as a police officer like he always wanted, but that was only for namesake – he still didn’t have any power over the whites who owned him. In fact he almost gets beaten to death by his peers, while his is face covered in mask and then hanged from a tree with a rope, for trying to arrest a rich white asshole.

Hooded Justice and the Minutemen

But the policemen don’t kill him, they just let him go with a warning – Don’t get your nose into white folk’s business. As he walks back to his house with a rope hanging from his neck, tortured and humiliated by his fellow officers like a dog, he sees a few mob men attacking a lonely couple. He puts his mask on and fights the bad guys – and thus Hooded Justice is born that night. To be honest, I have always thought that the Hooded Justice costume looked dumb, but what they did with it here is mind-blowing, and I gotta commend them for that. But he doesn’t wear a mask to be a superhero – he wears his mask to hide his racial identity because he feels society isn’t ready for it. He wears white makeup around his eyes so that nobody realizes that they are being saved by a black man and even after he joins the superhero team Minutemen, his racial identity remains unknown, and as far as the world knows – all the superheroes from history were White. Talk about whitewashing history.

Regina King as the Series Lead

Regina King in Watchmen

While the Watchmen graphic novel was revolutionary for it’s time, there were noticeably no black or characters of color and minority in the whole story. Also the only female character in the story was the one who was least developed in the story (and raped I might add). Damon Lindelof made it very clear that his intentions were to diversify Watchmen’s rich world and tell the story with modern sensibilities. Casting Regina King as the lead was a big part of that, and she absolutely nails the role. She’s a bad ass as the vigilante who works for the police and we all knew she was great performer, so the acting is top-notch. Watchmen went from being a book with no black characters to a show with a woman of color as the lead.

The Police in Watchmen’s World

The way the police are portrayed in Watchmen is very important to analyse considering the recent events regarding George Floyd’s death. Watchmen takes place in an alternate universe where the government is run by far-left politicians. So in this world, rather than the police exploiting the minorities, here we have the police being attacked by the racist white terrorists who feel they are being suppressed for not being able to use their ‘white privileges’ anymore. Thus, the police wear masks to hide their identities and they are just another part of the vigilante system in Tulsa. Also, an early scene in the show establishes how the police aren’t allowed to use guns anymore, unless a threat is verified, so that the department can reduce incidents of cop killings. We definitely need a check like that in our real world.

White Supremacists in Rorschach Masks

White Supremacists wearing Rorschach Masks in Watchmen

The white Supremacists form a cult in Watchmen’s world, who wear Rorschach masks in memory of their beloved misguided hero who believed in ‘Justice even in the face of Armageddon’. And what justice are they fighting for – loss of their white privilege or the humiliation in treating a black person equally?

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen

Another revolutionary casting from the series came as a big surprise, as it was revealed Abar’s husband, played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, was secretly Dr. Manhattan in hiding. Apart from a black actor portraying a famous character from comics who is traditionally white, this change is immensely powerful for what they decide to do with Dr. Manhattan’s story line here. Yahya is amazing in the role, and plays Dr. Manhattan so good that he steals every scene he’s in. And like the original, Dr, Manhattan raises many questions of love, faith, destiny and time in the series that are worth analyzing and giving a deep thought to.

Regina King and Yahya Abdul-mateen II in Watchmen

Politics, Vigilantism, Philosophies and Watchmen

Watchmen Graphic Novel by Alan Moore

Watchmen has a long history of dealing with politics and asking philosophical questions – it is what made Alan Moore’s original graphic novel so famous. The graphic novel broke down the superhero genre and really analysed what it meant to be a superhero, and HBO’s adaptation continues this tradition. There’s so much to dig into and analyse in Watchmen, that if I were to discuss them all, I would need to write at least ten more posts on the show. So, in case you haven’t seen the show yet and are at the safety of your home – it is the perfect time for you to binge Watchmen on HBO. You’ll have a great time while subsequently get educated on some timely topics, and at the end you will be left with some heavy questions to ponder upon for hours.

Movie Review: Justice League Dark: Apokolips War – The DCAMU Saga Ends on a high note.

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War; Dir – Christina Sotta

Rating – /Must see if you’re a fan/

Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Trailer

It started in 2013, when Flash ran through the barrier of space and time in Justice “League: The Flashpoint Paradox” to save his mom, and kickstarted this animated VOD franchise. Now seven years and 15 movies later, the DCAMU comes to an end, or at least this version does (WB has already released new images from “Superman: Man of War” with a complete redesign). Though the franchise had a great start from Flashpoint. it had a pretty uneven track record. There have been few very entertaining movies and there have some complete duds, fortunately, “Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” one best movies to come out of WB Animation Studio.

For the most part the DCAMU has been a testing ground for Warner Bros, to see what characters and story-lines are appreciated by the fans. The Suicide Squad movie got made because of the popularity of its animated counterpart, and it looks like the Justice League Dark animated movie had a huge effect on WB green-lighting the Bad Robot produced Justice League Dark HBOmax series. In that regard, this movie can act as a huge template for WB moving forward with any live-action Justice League movie. Now, before I go ahead, I should clarify that there are going to minor spoilers in this review. So, if you haven’t watched the movie yet, go watch it and then come back.

Spoilers Ahead!

First of all, I don’t know why this movie is called “Justice League Dark”, it should just be called Constantine with the Justice League. But they are not the only ones here, this movie features almost every character that has appeared so far in the DCAMU movie with teams like Suicide Squad and Teen Titans, so if you’re a DC comics fan you’ll have fun just by pointing out your favorite characters. It also helps that all the characters are kept true to their nature in the comics unlike most adaptations. What isn’t kept true to nature is the New-52 comic series that this movie is adapted from, the story is changed a lot in order to serve what they’re trying to do. And I’m not complaining either, the story here is really good, it is definitely one of the most plot-heavy DC animated movie ventures. The script does a great job of juggling all these characters and giving each team a worthy agenda to fulfill, which truly makes it feel epic.

The story is told from John Constantine’s perspective, and he definitely has the best story arc. The story begins with the Justice League preparing an attack on Apokolips, which turns out to be a trap set by Darkseid. The League loses terribly and a lot of people die including Zatanna, which causes Constantine to flee and he spends the next two years hiding and drinking in guilt. Until one day Clark Kent and Raven pay a visit to him, so Constantine can track down Damian Wayne for them. Superman is powerless in this reality as Darkseid has fused liquid Kryptonite in his blood, while the rest of the league has become Darkseid’s mind-controlled minions with Batman as their boss. Clark Kent, Raven, Constantine, and Damian together unite the rest of the surviving heroes on Earth, to fight back on Apokolips one last time.

The animation certainly captures the scope and finality of the story, from devastated landscapes to the hellish expanse of Apokolips. This definitely feels like an Endgame type story. Speaking of Endgame, the MCU influence is very clearly evident here. After decades of fighting over their difference and trying to stand apart, looks like we are finally entering a time when both the companies are owning up their similarities. From plot similarities with Infinity War and Endgame to Constantine being made into an edgier version of Doctor strange and King Shark saying only one thing like Groot, it feels like DC is trying to see if they can pass on these successful formulas into the big screen.

The movie also really owns up to the “Dark” in it’s title as it’s probably the bleakest entry into the DCAU yet, with some of our favorite heroes being slaughtered like they’re nothing. The violence is graphic and their implication are real, which you’re gonna love if you are a DC fan like but for kids, the darkness can be a little too much. But it’s not all grim, there are great jokes and funny moments in between all the action and mayhem from characters like Etrigan and Harley Quinn.

What really surprised me about the movie was how well it fleshed out the relationships and characters in this movie in a runtime of just 90 minutes. I didn’t expect to get emotional watching this, but kudos to the writer E.J. Altbacker for being able to deliver such powerful emotional moments in a movie where so much else is going on. Constantine and Superman both have a sort of redemption story arc which I really got behind and the Damian-Raven relationship was one of my favorite things. Also, there is a scene in the latter half of the movie involving Batman and Damian which really got me emotional. The voice acting is top notch here, with Matt Ryan’s Constantine being the standout, whose 7 year reign as the Hellblazer character.

“Justice League Dark: Apokolips War” is a really well-made entertaining ride that manages to give its heroes a worthy finale as we say goodbye to them one last time. In the end as Flash runs towards Flashpoint one more time, ending this universe just the way he started it, we feel both saddened by the loss of our current heroes as our heart starts beating in excitement. thinking about the countless possibilities the new DC animated universe holds.