Tagged: Jonah Hex

Marc Alan Fishman: Legends(ish) of Tomorrow(sorta)

Legends Of Tomorrow

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, upon being announced, caught me dumbfounded. Hot on the heels of The Flash, which spun out from Arrow, this new time-hopping romp through the unknown left me in between diametric emotional states. The first was joyful confusion. Where all current DCU-TV joints were clearly single-hero driven vehicles (The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl… and Gotham, sorta), here was something decidedly team-based… and a large team to boot.

This lead straight to the antithetical emotion: crippling fear. With nine “leads” – all of whom were D-Listers or complete canonical lies – and a show built around time periods only the most pernicious perusers of prose would recognize, I was afraid it was all too much too soon.

I was both right and wrong about it. Natch.

When I last talked about the show there were far too many variables being hammered into submission to draw final conclusions. But I was certainly a snarky so-and-so over the very odd choices the writers applied to the character of Firestorm. But as is often the case, TV shows are malleable in their freshest forms.

Over time, the chemistry of the cast coagulates. The writers create serialization. Layers build on top of layers and, soon enough, you have a sandbox where creatives create and the audience visits every so often. Some shows feel well-worn from the get go (The West Wing). Others take a season or more to find their footing (Parks and Recreation, Agents of SHIELD…). I’m happy to report that Legends found its footing for me somewhere around mid-season.

The show pushed itself harder into characterization. Rather than be forced to drag on and on with psuedo-science and timeline refraction and Rao-knows-what, Legends adopted a quicker pace that refocused the show on just being a silly romp. We were transported to the wild west for a team-up with Jonah Hex. The following week, we went to the 1950s for a horror-twinged episode about the night of the living Hawkmen. And then, off to the far flung future to learn that (SPOILER ALERT) Heatwave was Chronos all along. You might even postulate though all of this that the show started to feel more like a comic book. And with it came the good vibes I was hoping all along.

The strongest points have been specifically with the ne’er-do-well duo of Mick and Leonard – Heatwave and Captain Cold. Tossed in at the get go as the villains with the hearts of gold, Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller stole every scene they were in. Whether it was quick comebacks, threats of imminent violence or casual admittance to love of baked goods, there simply wasn’t a time they didn’t command attention. With the fleshing out of the season, Mick’s Chronos gained pathos as the friend with the knife in his back. And Leonard got his moment to shine in self-sacrifice to boot.

Beyond the malcontents on the ship, the B-Listers Firestorm and the Atom did well to recede from the limelight. We were given glimpses into their less-than-complicated backstories to at least flesh things out. By season’s end, Firestorm – complete with BFFs Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson – was transmuting matter and truly working as a single unit. Pepper this in with Jax being able to bust ‘Grey’s’  chops over being a college stoner and you got the witty repartee indicative of an 8 PM drama on the CW. Meanwhile Brandon “Not Fit for the Big Blue Boy Scout” Routh found firmer footing in the forever-awkward Dr. Ray Palmer. Shackled with a romance-plot-that-was-doomed-from-the-get-go, the eternally optimistic Atom granted the necessary silver lining when the plots dragged things down into the doldrums.

From there we reach the lower points of the season and show. For whatever the reasons are, I personally never cared much for our White Canary. I’ve not seen Arrow before, so, the character is a blank slate to me. And given that the entirety of her season arc was to just be the badass girl who is a badass, she was basically on the show to act as a not male member of the team. Ce la vie.

Our other female lead on the show – Kenda “Hawkgirl” Saunders – was just an absolute mess to manage. As one of the strands fraying from the edge of The Flash, the reincarnated Egyptian princess doomed to be killed in every life by the immortal Vandal Savage was played as a vapid plot device for the entirety of the season. One episode, she was a fighting machine laying waste to all sorts of enemies. The next, a depressed waif leading a false life with the Atom as her husband. The next finally granted some clarity in her character, and immediately kidnapped for the final few shows. As strong as she was played – with no backstory – in Justice League (the cartoon), here in real life, the character was truly one-dimensional. Oh, and Hawkman was there for a few episodes too. Meh.

All these paths lead to Rip. The Time Master himself, played by former Doctor Who companion Arthur Darvill, played not dissimilarly from his BBC counterpart. Forever an enigma, always willing to fight the right fight, but always with an air of odd aloofness. As the season lingered, we were given more pieces to the Rip Hunter puzzle. An orphan with a rambunctious side, a Padawan who tripped into real love, and finally a forlorn father clinging on to hope.

While I largely found Rip himself to always be a slave to the plot more than a three-dimensional character, the final episodes better cemented the character moving forward. He is a rebel with a cause. To undo the snobbish and authoritarian ways of the former Time Masters, Rip Hunter will ride the Waverider to save the timeline from any lingering damage that lurks in the odd pockets.

And frankly, time won’t move fast enough for the second season to get here. Tally ho, Legends!

Ed Catto: Paul Gulacy – More than just the Master of Kung Fu

MoKF Inked Gulacy

Headshot Paul-Gulacy2016 is looking to be a big year for Paul Gulacy, with the long-awaited reprinting of his groundbreaking Master of Kung Fu series and as a guest of Honor at the San Diego Comic-Con. But in some ways every year is a big year for Paul. He’s a tireless workhorse who is always creating and producing gorgeous artwork. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Paul on a few projects (please don’t ask about the Lady Gaga thing) and it’s always been enjoyable and invigorating. This interview is no exception. As you’ll see, Paul is witty and wistful and, as always, honest and authentic. He’s the real deal.

MOKF 64 GulacyEd Catto: Marvel has announced that the trademark and licensing rights to Master of Kung Fu have been resolved and they are finally reprinting the series. How do you feel about that and how do you feel about your work from the period?

Paul Gulacy: It’s wonderful news. It’s about time and everybody I talk to is going nuts. They can’t wait. The way I feel about it is probably the same way everybody feels about it – including Stan Lee. It’s simply terrific news. Not to mention about time. I can’t think of any other popular comic that had to put up and deal with so much nonsense.

EC: When you think about your run on Master of Kung Fu, what are your fondest memories?

PG: Having a ball. Working for Marvel, a great series, a fantastic writer like Doug Moench. It was awesome. We were the springboard creators that launched an entirely new direction and new wave for the industry. We were the 70s guys that some pop culture enthusiasts determined to be a revolutionary period especially in the world of pop culture. When you think of some of your favorite 80s tunes you might be surprised to find out that those songs were recorded in the 70s. The Talking Heads come to mind… and Blondie.

PrintEC: This past year you contributed a cover to the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide as one of their prestigious cover artists. Can you describe that process and how you went about it?

PG: Yeah, that was quite the honor. Very nice to make a contribution to such an iconic Americana pop culture treasure. Many people don’t realize just how popular Captain Action and friends were. I recall the TV commercials for the toys when I was a kid. It was an honor to do the commemorative anniversary cover.

EC: You’ve illustrated Batman a number of times, and I’m struck by how often you brought something new to the party – things like a clever costume tweak or a new Batmobile. What’s it like to work on Batman on how does that differ from other assignments?

legends-of-the-dark-knight-11-paul-gulacyPG: If I’m not mistaken, Doug and I were asked to re-introduce the development of the Batmobile. And that took place in the series called “Prey” (in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight). Later on we also re-introduced Gordon’s idea of utilizing a bat signal and why.

EC: Recently you contributed to an issue of the DC Western series, Jonah Hex. The issue was stunning, and the opening sequence with a burning building still sticks with me. What can you tell us about illustrating other genres?

PG: Maybe it might be a good idea to stay away from matches, Ed. No, Hex was a blast. Justin and Jimmy always came thru with a doozie storyline. And of course I come from the era where the western was all over television. Plus, I grew up in Ohio riding horses. As a kid I couldn’t stop drawing horses. But again, those guys always came through with an inspiring script.

EC: You’re well known for illustrating beautiful and sexy women, Paul. What’s your secret?

Batman Catwoman GulacyPG: Perhaps it’s the Jonah Hex after-shave I splash on every morning to start my day. I admire pretty women. They catch my eye and capture my attention. All kinds, shapes and sizes. On my Catwoman run I used three different models who posed for me, and at this point I better shut my big trap before a frying pan comes down in my direction.

EC: By looking at your finished artwork, it seems to me that you’ve enjoyed all your assignments. You never phone it in. But I know that can’t be the case. Were there any projects you were less than thrilled with?

PG: Too many to count. Everybody has those clunkers that make you roll your eyes and shake your head at. I’ve dialed it in on more than one occasion, often to just pay the rent, or get some fast cash. You have to take it on the chin.

EC: Conversely, what projects did you work on in the past that you wish would get another lease on life?

Lady Action Model GulacyPG: Some independent company characters like Sabre or The Grackle come to mind. The characters that Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Grey developed for a series called Time Bomb for Radical Publishing I thought were awesome. I really had fun on that story. They come by once in a blue moon, and the fact that they are indie gives you more latitude. My entire career is established for the most part for working on obscure, oddball titles. I’m certainly not known for my Captain America contributions.

EC: Dark Horse is publishing The Rook. It’s a relaunch you’re working on with writer Steven Grant. How did this one come about and what are your thoughts on the character and time travel stories?

Gulacy Catwoman PortraitPG: Both Steven and I were contacted by Ben Dubay who holds the rights to the Rook character that was developed by his uncle, Bill Dubay. Bill passed away a couple of years back. I actually worked for Bill when he was on staff at Warren Publishing in New York City. Among a handful of stories I did for them was a still unpublished Rook story.

The Rook is a time traveler. Maybe it’s a good time to get that in here. Anyhow, Ben was on a mission to get it in the hands of Dark Horse and that worked out. We have one four-part series completed and we are currently working on the next series of four issues. We’re having a ball. Steven’s scripts are just off the hook fun. And don’t be surprised to see this character appear beyond the printed page.

EC: Thanks so much for your time, Paul.

Paul Gulacy’s 2016 convention appearances include: Cal Comic Com January 31st in California’s Orange County, Comic-Con International (San Diego Comic-Con) July 21- 2th in San Diego,
Monster and Robots, August 27 and 28 in New Jersey’s Garden State Convention Center.

The Point Radio: Bill Lawrence Makes Being UNDATEABLE Funny

He gave us SCRUBS and COUGARTOWN, now Bill Lawrence is back as EP on a comedy that owes a lot to the great shows that came before. UNDATEABLE takes some of the high pointed of TV production to give us something new in a sitcom, and Bill shares how it all came together. Plus Showtime promises us more a lot more PENNY DREADFUL.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

The Point Radio: In The Heat Of LONGMIRE With Lou Diamond Phillips

Versatile actor Lou Diamond Phillips talks about they new season of the A&E drama, LONGMIRE, and how his character is in the center of the action plus more with Will Wheaton including a look at just when being a “geek” became cool. Meanwhile, from JONAH HEX to Thanos, Josh Brolin grabs another comic book movie role.

THE POINT covers it 24/7! Take us ANYWHERE on ANY mobile device (Apple or Android). Just  get the free app, iNet Radio in The  iTunes App store – and it’s FREE!  The Point Radio  – 24 hours a day of pop culture fun. GO HERE and LISTEN FREE  – and follow us on Twitter @ThePointRadio.

Rory Gallagher Box Set To Feature Original Rankin & Truman Story

RoryOur pal Timothy Truman, perhaps best known for his work on such comics features as GrimJack, Conan, Hawkworld, Jonah Hex, Hawken, and Scout, has teamed up with writer Ian Rankin to present a 44 page comics story inspired by the work of rock-and-blues musician Rory Gallagher. From the press release:

“On October 29, 2013, Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Kickback City, a unique immersive album inspired by the crime noir passion and music of Rory Gallagher (MSRP $29.98). Featuring a specially compiled album of Rory Gallagher’s best crime novel-influenced music; the stunning package also includes an exclusive new novella by Ian Rankin, fully illustrated by graphic artist Timothy Truman. This unique immersive album also includes a special narration of the story by actor Aidan Quinn.

“Inspired by Rory Gallagher’s passion for crime novels, Kickback City is a creative collaboration combining the words of Ian Rankin, the illustrations of Timothy Truman and of course the music of Rory Gallagher. The result is a brand new kind of concept album – a must have for fans of Rory Gallagher, Ian Rankin, graphic novels and newcomers alike.”

In addition to being an accomplished writer and artist, Truman is also a journeyman guitar player and has jammed with musicians Carlos Santana, Bill Kirschen and members of the Grateful Dead. Timothy also provides the illustrations for a great many Grateful Dead album covers and posters.

“I was turned on to Rory’s work in 1973 when I was a junior in high school in West Virginia,” Truman noted. “One Friday night, I turned on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert and that’s when I first saw Rory. He immediately blew me away. I thought he was the greatest guitarist and performer I’d ever seen and I’ve been a devoted follower of his music ever since.”

Music recorded by both Gallagher and Truman are frequently featured on Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind (I wonder who hosts that show), on ComicMix affiliate The Point Radio . For more information on Rory Gallagher, please visit www.rorygallagher.com.

MARTHA THOMASES Goes For The Ghost

This has been a week to experience anguish, not least of it over the upcoming movie based on Marvel’s Ghost Rider character. As you know if you read this site (for example, here and here), Marvel (or its corporate overlords) is behaving dickishly towards Gary Friedrich, one of the character’s creators.

Now, I’m not a fan of Ghost Rider. To the best of my memory, I’ve never read the comic. I haven’t seen the first movie, not even when I’m just mindlessly staring at the television. I’m not a big Nicolas Cage fan (although, when I’m mindlessly staring at the television, I’ll always watch Con Air, which is amazing if only for the sympathetic psychopath child molester played by Steve Buscemi).

But I really really really want to see Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. I adore the work of directors Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Crank: High Voltage is the reason that the phrase “motion picture” was invented. If you haven’t seen it, really, run right out. Don’t just take my word for it.

They even took the terrible script that was Jonah Hex and made it boogie along. It helped that they had Will Arnett. I think all comic book movies should have Will Arnett, especially the ones that don’t have Samuel L. Jackson.

Should I deny myself the potential joy of a Neveldine/Taylor film for Gary Friedrich? I don’t think I know him. Who is he to me, or I to him? Why should I care what happens?

Well, it turns out, I should care, and you should, too. My life is greatly enhanced by the existence of creative people. Even creative people who sign crappy work-for-hire contracts because they are so short-sighted, they consider that feeding their families and keeping a roof over their heads was more important than their artistic integrity.

Been there. Done that. And if, by some miracle, my work gets optioned, I would much prefer sharing in the glory (and, maybe, the profits) to getting sued.

So, in the interest of karma, I will do my best to create the world I want to live in. Maybe I’ll go to the movie this weekend, maybe not. But I’ve already tried to do right by writers and artists everywhere by showing some appreciation here. If you’ve enjoyed my work, or Gary’s work, or anyone’s fiction, stop by and give what you can afford.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman Offers His 12 Cents

 

Review: ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season One Part Two’

[[Batman: The Brave and the Bold]]] is just a fun television series that pays homage not only to the joyful comic books of the 1960s but  crams in both story and characterization with a verve that is all too often missing from animated fare. Out this week is Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season One Part Two featuring episodes 14-26, which ran on the Cartoon Network between March and October 2009.

Clearly, the highlight of the two-disc collection is “Mayhem of the Music Meister!” with Neil Patrick Harris as the singing villain. The music is fun and bouncy and the story fresh. It was so well-regarded by the producers that they rushed out an eight-track CD soundtrack within a week of the episode’s debut.

The show is a romp through the DC Universe with most of the characters recognizable although they have been given some modern-day reimagining so Aquaman is a pompous doofus and Green Arrow is out to one-up his counterpart. My complaints about the show which I aired when the first set was released remain. Batman has too many gimmicks that fit the needs of the script and his cape converts to a jet-pack (I’d sooner have the dreaded Whirly-Bat). These are really quibbles as the show entertains with amazing consistency.

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‘DC Showcase’ Collection Coming for Christmas

‘DC Showcase’ Collection Coming for Christmas

First revealed at Comic-Con International, today, Warner Premiere formally announced the November 9 release of DC Showcase. Here are the details:

BURBANK, CA (August 5, 2010) – Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Home Video have expanded the realm of superhero storytelling beyond the popular DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movies with the introduction of the DC Showcase, a series of animated shorts featuring characters from the celebrated DC Comics vault. On November 9, 2010, Warner Home Video will distribute the DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection, the first quartet of animated adventures featuring the never-before-seen Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam, as a Special Edition Blu-Ray™ for $29.99 (SRP) and single disc DVD for $19.98 (SRP).

DC Showcase animated shorts initially appeared as special bonus content on the 2010 slate of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. The 10- to 12-minute films include The Spectre, Jonah Hex and Green Arrow. All three titles will be presented in extended formats along with the first-ever release of Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam.

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#SDCC Review: ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’

#SDCC Review: ‘Batman: Under the Red Hood’

<img style="width: 300px; height: 403px;" src="https://www.comicmix.com//wp-content/uploads/2011/04/27163811.jpeg" alt="" align="right" />Batman needs a Robin. It humanizes him, reminds him of the actual people he is sworn to protect. As a result, he welcomed Jason Todd into his life only to see the second Boy Wonder become his greatest failure. The death of Jason, at the hands of both the Joker and the comic book readers, was a major event in the latter 1980s and cemented the notion that comics, as they matured, also grew darker. The glass case with the retired outfit served as a stark reminder of that failure, pushing the Dark Knight to do better.

Then Jason got better. Well, he returned to life anyway. Apparently, Judd Winick was offered the Batman assignment and immediately wanted to revive Jason for no obviously good reason. So, Jason came back from the dead without explanation, and became the Red Hood, a true vigilante willing to take criminal lives unlike his mentor. The Red Hood also seemed to be a villain and was taunting Batman until they inevitably confronted one another and the truth was revealed.

The story arc, for good or ill, has now been adapted into the latest Warner Premiere animated feature. Batman: Under the Red Hood was written by Winick and is premiering tonight at the San Diego Comic-Con, and being released on Tuesday as a Blu-ray, Standard DVD, or digital download. In the comics, Jason was revived via a reality-altering event linked to the Infinite Crisis but here; he wisely simplifies the story and traces the revival to Ra’s al Ghul, who is portrayed with remarkable sympathy here.

Winick also nicely weaves in flashbacks that trace Batman’s adoption of Dick Grayson, and the youth’s evolution into Nightwing; along with Jason’s arrival and subsequent brief career as the new sidekick. In both cases, the young men revel in being a part of the Dynamic Duo and while we see Dick’s growth, we are never shown Jason having a distinct personality (which was a pretty ugly one in the comics).  The contrast between them is dramatically missing as is the theme that Batman needs a Robin. The current Robin, Tim Drake, is entirely missing from the feature and bonus features.

This 75 minute story uses the conflict between the Red Hood and the Black Mask from the comic book story, mixing in the Joker and Ra’s with cameos from Alfred, Commissioner Gordon and Talia. The action moves quickly enough and the fight sequences are sprinkled in nicely. The only false moment is the early chase between the Red Hood in a car and Batman in the Batwing. Planes fly at many times the speed of an auto and the chase should have ended about a block after it began.

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Thomas Jane is Hung up on Jonah Hex

Thomas Jane is Hung up on Jonah Hex

If at first you don’t succeed, take the animated role.

Therein lies the lesson of Thomas Jane’s quest to play the role of comic book anti-hero Jonah Hex. The star of HBO’s popular series Hung once lobbied to play the theatrical role of Jonah Hex and, though he fell short in that attempt, Jane has found another path to the character as the disfigured cowboy’s voice in the DC Showcase Original Short, Jonah Hex.

The all-new, animated Jonah Hex appears as a companion piece on the upcoming Special Edition Blu-Ray and 2-Disc Special Edition DVD release of Batman: Under the Red Hood, the latest entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original PG-13 Movies coming from Warner Home Video on July 27, 2010.

In the short, the tough-as-nails bounty hunter always gets his man – until someone else gets to him first. In this case it’s a murderous madam who wants to steal more than just bounty from Jonah Hex. The animated short Jonah Hex is based on a story from the award-winning comic series, and scripted by renowned author Joe Lansdale. Jane leads a voice cast that includes Linda Hamilton (The Terminator), Michelle Trachtenberg (Mercy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder) and Jason Marsden (Spirited Away).

A lover of both comic books and westerns, Jane felt a certain kinship to the character – and the result is clearly evident in his vocal depiction of Hex and the emotional range of the performance. Jane was the ultimate perfectionist throughout the recording process, never settling for good takes when great was attainable. From the original recording session through follow-up ADR, the give-and-take between Jane and the filmmakers – including executive producer Bruce Timm – was quite collaborative in achieving the final presentation.

Jane currently headlines HBO’s Hung, though he’s active in numerous other projects, including films being developed by his own production company, Raw Studios. Coincidentally, Jane founded Raw Studios with Timothy Bradstreet and Steve Niles, the screenwriter of the first DC Showcase short, The Spectre. Jane’s directorial debut, Raw Studios’ Dark Country, continues to play to rave reviews and enthusiastic crowds at conventions and festivals around the world.

No stranger to the fanboy/comics realm, Jane co-wrote his own comic book miniseries, Bad Planet. He played the title character in the 2004 version of The Punisher, starred in Mutant Chronicles, and had roles in both The Crow: City of Angels and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He has drawn widespread acclaim for many of his non-fanboy roles, especially his turn as Mickey Mantle in the HBO film, 61*. His numerous credits run the gamut from Magnolia, Deep Blue Sea and The Thin Red Line to Boogie Nights and Face/Off.

After shooting all morning on the set of Hung, Jane came into the recording studio to put some final touches on his Jonah Hex performance – and to chat about his attraction to anti-heroes, his adoration of comics, and how he came to (literally) rub elbows with Ringo Starr. This is what Thomas Jane says …

QUESTION: This isn’t your first run at the role of Jonah Hex, is it?<br /><br /><strong>THOMAS JANE:</strong> I’ve been a fan of the comic and the character and that whole western world. I’m glad to be voicing the role, and I actually wanted to do the live-action film. When they were casting the movie, I had a guy come and do my makeup, we took some photos and sent them off to Akiva Goldman. I know some of those photos have leaked out online. They had a different director at the time, and Josh Brolin had just hit with the Coen brothers movie, so he had pick of the litter. And that spelled outski for me.</p> <a href=&tag=associatizer-20″https://www.comicmix.com/2010/07/07/thomas-jane-is-hung-up-on-jonah-hex/#more-9530″ class=”more-link”>(more…)