Tagged: Year One

“Southland” star Ben McKenzie takes justice into his own hands during “Batman: Year One”

Ben McKenzie plays a wealthy young man on a personal quest for justice in TNT’s hit series Southland. Now the actor heads to the streets of Gotham City as the voice of another rich young adult with a need for righteousness in [[[Batman: Year One]]], the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

McKenzie makes his maiden voyage into animation voiceovers as Bruce Wayne/Batman, the title character of comics legend Frank Miller’s classic retelling of the Dark Knight’s gritty, formative days.

Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated Batman: Year One arrives today, 2011 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD, On Demand and for Download. Batman: Year One is also be available in a special download-for-purchase through iTunes, Xbox Live, Zune, VUDU HD Movies and Video Unlimited on the PlayStation Network & Sony Entertainment Network. (more…)

Batman: Year One

Crisis on Infinite Earths reset the playing field for DC Comics (at least for a little while before it was reset again and again and again), allowing management to refresh their top trio of heroes. Given the groundbreaking work Frank Miller did on The Dark Knight, he was invited to help editor Denny O’Neill essentially reboot Batman from the beginning. In November 1986, fans were delighted with the effort in the form of Batman #404, the first installment in “Batman: Year One”. This not only reset the Darknight Detective and his mythos, but gave publishers the mini-series within a series, which became a template along with the chance to revisit the past with the Year One moniker.

Partnered with artist David Mazzuccehlli, who worked so well with Miller on a run of Daredevil, they helped give us fresh takes on Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and most notably Jim Gordon. Controversially, it also gave us Selina Kyle as a prostitute, something creator shave been trying to paper over ever since. Still, the story of corruption, adultery, redemption, and a man learning to become a hero was gripping stuff.

There’s little wonder then why Warner Premiere decided to adapt this seminal tale as part of their largely successful line of direct-to-video animated features. Much like the source material, this film runs a spare 64 minutes. Everything from the four issues is present and we really see that this is more about Gordon than Batman, giving him some deep roots for the first time. (more…)

Eliza Dushku is a purr-fect fit for Catwoman in Batman: Year One and animated short

Eliza Dushku has taken command of Catwoman and she’s not about to give her back.

The star of Dollhouse and Tru Calling, and a vital part of the amazing Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast, provided the voice of Selina Kyle/Catwoman for Batman: Year One, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. A few short months later, Dushku was quick to accept a return to the role as the title character of the DC Showcase animated short Catwoman.

From the moment she accepted the role, Dushku was keen on making this character her own – and coming back to play the character as often as possible. Given her performance, it’s doubtful casting director Adnrea Romano and executive producer Bruce Timm would look elsewhere the next time the sometimes vigilante, sometimes villain appears in a script. (more…)

Nathan Fillion & Tim Daly join heroic cast of Justice League: Doom

Primetime television stars Nathan Fillion and Tim Daly, the reigning voices of Green Lantern and Superman, respectively, join an exciting group of actors reprising their famed cartoon roles in Justice League: Doom, an all-new entry in the popular series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies due in early 2012 from Warner Home Video.

Justice League: Doom finds Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg and Batman on their heels when a team of super villains discover and implement the Dark Knight’s “contingency plans” for stopping any rogue Justice League member. The story is inspired by Mark Waid’s much-heralded JLA: Tower of Babel.

Fillion, the star of ABC’s hit TV drama Castle, made his debut as Green Lantern/Hal Jordan in the recent Green Lantern: Emerald Knights. Fillion made his initial DCU bow as the voice of Steve Trevor in the 2008 hit Wonder Woman.

Currently headlining the cast of ABC’s popular Private Practice, Daly originated the title character’s voice in the landmark cartoon, Superman: The Animated Series. He has reprised the role in two DCU films: the 2009 extravaganza Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and the 2010 thriller Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.

In addition to current primetime stars Fillion and Daly, the cast is a grand reunion of the original group of actors who provided the voices of the Justice League for the cartoon of the same name and its follow-up, Justice League Unlimited. Reprising their roles are Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman, Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Breaking In) as Flash, Susan Eisenberg (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) as Wonder Woman and Carl Lumbly (Alias) as J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter. Bumper Robinson (A Different World, Transformers: Animated) joins the cast as Cyborg.

The Justice League faces two sets of villainous teams in the film – The Royal Flush Gang and a sextet of notable evildoers. The latter group includes three voice acting alumni of the Justice League animated series: Phil Morris (Smallville, Seinfeld) as Vandal Savage, Olivia d’Abo (The Wonder Years) as Star Sapphire, and Alexis Denisof (Angel) as Mirror Master. Also opposing our heroes are Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911) as Bane, Paul Blackthorne (The Dresden Files) as Metallo, and Claudia Black (Farscape, Stargate SG-1) as Cheetah.

David Kaufman (Danny Phantom) also reprises his Justice League role of Jimmy Olsen.

The film is executive produced by Bruce Timm (Batman: Year One), and directed by Lauren Montgomery (Batman: Year One), who is also credited as producer alongside Alan Burnett (Batman: The Animated Series). Justice League: Doom is the final script from the late Dwayne McDuffie (All-Star Superman, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths). Casting and dialogue direction is once again in the capable hands of Andrea Romano (Batman: Year One, SpongeBob SquarePants).

Warner Home Video will premiere the Justice League: Doom trailer during its presentation at New York Comic Con on Friday, October 14 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. in the IGN Theater. Also premiering during that session will be the Catwoman animated short that is attached to Batman: Year One, the next DC Universe Animated Movie (streeting October 18).

Warner Home Video to unveil Catwoman animated short, first ‘Justice League: Doom’ footage at NYCC

Warner Home Video, Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation proudly present an action-packed hour of first looks at DC Universe Animated Original Movies properties on Friday, October 14 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. at New York Comic Con.

Central to the panel will be the premiere of the animated short Catwoman, starring Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse) as the voice of title character. The 15-minute short will be included on the release of Batman: Year One, which streets October 18 on Blu-ray, DVD, for Download and On Demand.

The panel will also include the very first footage to be seen from Justice League: Doom, the highly-anticipated next entry in the ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies.

The panelists, which include the ultimate voice of Batman, Kevin Conroy, DCU executive producer Bruce Timm and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, will offer a glimpse into the 2012 DC Universe Animated Original Movies slate, give away some exclusive prizes to inquisitive audience members, and quite possibly welcome a few surprise guests to the stage.

An autograph session with the panelists will immediately follow the panel.

Batman Year One Video Details Revealed

We all knew about this, but with the film debuting at next week’s Comic-Con International, Warner Home Video has shared the details. We’re kind of excited to see the classic story adapted for the screen, but we might be even more excited about the spot-on vocal casting for the Catwoman that accompanies the feature.

BURBANK, CA, (July 13, 2011) – Comics legend Frank Miller’s classic retelling of Batman’s gritty, formative days makes its full-length animated debut in Batman: Year One, the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Animated Original Movies. Produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation, the all-new, PG-13 rated film arrives October 18, 2011 from Warner Home Video as a Blu-ray™ Combo Pack ($24.98 SRP) and DVD ($19.98 SRP), On Demand and for Download. Order due date is September 13, 2011

Batman: Year One is based on the landmark 1987 DC Comics titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. The film depicts young Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed vigilante. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham.

Prime time television stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.), Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica) provide the core voices for Batman: Year One. Three-time Emmy® Award winner Cranston gives voice to young Jim Gordon, while McKenzie makes his animated voiceover debut as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Fanboy favorites Dushku and Sackhoff fill the roles of Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Detective Sarah Essen, respectively. Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone.

Animation master Bruce Timm is executive producer of Batman: Year One. Directors are Lauren Montgomery (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) and Sam Liu (All-Star Superman) from a script penned by Academy Award® nominee Tab Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse).

Batman: Year One offers fans and newcomers alike an animated perspective on one of the true benchmark works in Batman comics history,” said Hersin Magante, Warner Home Video Marketing Manager, Family &, Animation.. “Bruce Timm and the Warner Bros. Animation team have gone to great lengths to realize Frank Miller’s ground-breaking, influential vision. Batman: Year One stands tall as the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie.” (more…)

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights

To support The Dark Knight, Warner Premiere offered up Batman: Gotham Knight, a collection of stories from various animators that were dark and largely uninteresting. It’s gratifying to see that they have learned from this rare misfire and have offered up a companion to this month’s The Green Lantern feature film with Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, on sale Tuesday. There are five stories, largely culled from the comic books, with a sixth tale connecting everything together. Essentially, Krona, the fallen Guardian, has come back from banishment as an enormous, angry form, having coalesced within a star. Summoning Shadow Demons from the Anti-Matter Universe of Qward, Krona threatens the Guardians and their world of Oa.

The entire Green Lantern Corps has been summoned to deal with this cosmic danger but they pause to stand in line to take their turn recharging their rings. While waiting patiently to save all of reality, Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) spins tales for his latest recruit, the young, idealistic Arisia (Elisabeth Moss). On the one hand, Krona is a big menace and the climactic scenes are incredibly strong and powerful. There’s a scope to his rising from within the sun that is what animation and comics is all about. That sense of scope, though, is missing from the frame in that in the comics, the central Power Battery was large enough that scores of the Corps could float before it and recharge en masse. Watching them stand in a queue is absurd.

The frame and five stories along with the characterization and visualization of the Corps and Guardians are cherry-picked and modified from the fifty years comics featuring the second incarnation of the Green Lantern. It’s nice to see that several people with comic book roots, including GL editor Eddie Berganza, got a shot at penning some of these stories. About the oddest juxtaposition of realities is seeing Sinestro (Jason Isaacs) still a member of the corps in good standing. Why he’s here is clearly a nod to his role in the live-action film, done so as not to confuse viewers.

We’re told the story of “The First Lantern” (written by Michael Green & Marc Guggenheim) which tells us a variant version of how the Corps was formed. It’s still a solid story showing how anyone can become a hero and show others the way to act. There are mammoth space battles and lots of ring-slinging but why the planet is under attack and the motives of the attackers are never even questioned, let alone explored. (more…)

Some Thoughts on DC’s New World Order

In 1986, as the Crisis on Infinite Earths was winding down, Marv Wolfman made the radical suggestion that DC indicate the universe had truly changed by altering the numbering on all the titles and restart everything with a #1. For a number of reasons, it was a great idea but the timing couldn’t allow the move. Years later, Dick Giordano indicated it as one of his greatest editorial regrets. However, he can’t be blamed since the Crisis was wrapping up while DC was still negotiating to relaunch its flagship heroes. At that time, only Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli had been lined up for Batman: Year One while John Byrne was still being wooed for Superman, and very late in the process, Greg Potter and George Perez were circling Wonder Woman.

Had the stars aligned, it could have avoided two decades of constant revisions to the reality.

It now seems DC’s executive team has spent the last year moving the stars around. Today’s bombshell announcement indicates the rebooted line will kick off in September, with Justice League #1 previewing the new order on August 31.

I can only hope that DC has its house in order and can avoid embarrassing fill-ins and radical creative team changes early in a title’s run – problems which have plagued the core titles for the last few years.  The worst example may well be Batman: The Dark Knight, written and drawn by David Finch. After debuting in November, the fifth issue of this monthly series is not coming out until August and only then with a fill-in artist.

That aforementioned new Justice League book is coming from DC’s two busiest executives: Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. Sure, it’ll read well and look great, but will it be a monthly and for how long will the talent remain intact? At minimum, these new titles, all 50 of them, need consistent talent on board for at least the first six issues and fill-ins need to be carefully integrated. (more…)

Off we go to the MoCCA Festival!

Off we go to the MoCCA Festival!

Yes, it’s that time of year again. We probably won’t be doing much live posting today, but check in on the ComicMix Twitter Feed and see what we’re posting there. Feel free to come up and bug me, I’ll be the really tall guy in the ComicMix shirt.

To remind everybody of the details:

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is proud to announce MoCCA Festival
2009 will be held June 6th & 7th at the 69th Regiment Armory at
Lexington Avenue and 25th Street in New York City.
The Village
Voice calls the MoCCA Festival “”the best small-press nexus
(anywhere!)” Now BIGGER than ever! An incredible weekend of comic and
cartoon art exhibitors, panels, lectures, sketches, autographs, and
more! Thousands come every summer to meet and purchase works from some
of the world’s best cartoonists, animators, and graphic novelists.

69th Regiment Armory; 68 Lexington Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets

June 6th and 7th, 11am-6pm

$10 per day, $15 per weekend; MoCCA Members: $10 per weekend

More information available here.

And yes, I’ll be around at some of the other gatherings tonight, most probably doing the CBLDF Karaoke thingie. But if you’re a music lover, you might want to skip my singing and instead go to David Mazuchelli’s opening reception at MoCCA from 7-9 tonight:

In celebration of the release of his highly-anticipated book, Asterios Polyp,
The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art is pleased to present David
Mazzucchelli’s first retrospective exhibition in the U.S.
Mazzucchelli’s career encompasses early groundbreaking work in Daredevil and Batman: Year One; idiosyncratic short stories in his self-published anthology, Rubber Blanket, and elsewhere; the graphic novel adaptation of City of Glass;
and his new graphic novel. For over 25 years, Mazzucchelli has
distinguished himself with articulate storytelling and emotive drawings
in service to comics in a variety of genres. Sounds and Pauses: The Comics of David Mazzucchelli
presents over 80 original comic pages, drawings, prepatory sketches and
covers from the artist’s archives, allowing an invaluable look at
Mazzucchelli’s artistic journey.

The exhibition is curated by Dan Nadel.

Supprt for MoCCA and Sounds and Pauses: The Comics of David Mazzucchelli comes from Pantheon Books, Picturebox, the Will and Ann Eisner Foundation, and the members of MoCCA.

‘Land of the Lost’ Finds June

‘Land of the Lost’ Finds June

When Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince moved from November to July, every other studio studied their release plans for next summer and began getting out of the way.

Yesterday, Universal Studios announced its feature film version of Land of the Lost will vacate its July 17 berth, avoiding opening the same day as the teen wizard.  It moved to June 5, a currently empty slot, assuring it a chance at success. It’s only competition at present is the Jack Blake/Michael Cera comedy Year One.

Land of the Lost is a big budget version of the Saturday morning series from the 1970s, starring Will Ferrell and Pushing Daisies’ Anna Friel. It was one of many series created by Sid and Marty Krofft that have been enjoying renewed attention.

At present, the rest of June also has the big screen adaptation of The A Team opening on July 12 along with Universal’s fourth film in its Fast and Furious franchise and the Eddie Murray fantasy comedy Nowhereland.

Then, in time for the July 4 weekend, Michael Bay returns with Transformers 2.