Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review of Superman 36

Jason Book and I discuss the latest issue of Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.'s run on Superman, the Men of Tomorrow story arc (first chapter 5).

This issue was a step up from the previous one and it is clearly giving us some "rising action" in the plot development. I'm especially curious about the true nature of Ulysses' offer to the Earthlings and the mysterious character who seems to be watching from afar in the previous issues. 36 also explores some important societal issues that are very timely.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Discussion of Star Wars Episode VII Teaser Trailer

Jason Book ( and I share our reactions to the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, direct by J.J. Abrams.

We are both very excited about the glimpses we got from the trailer and are looking forward to December 2015.

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 7): On Set

Jason Book ( and I discuss some more leaks and rumors from the set of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will be wrapping soon.

Beware potential spoilers.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review of Constantine (S01:E01 - E03)

Jason Book and I discuss the first few episodes of Constantine, starring Matty Ryan and airing on NBC.

Overall, we are both pleased with the start of the show and the style of the main character. We would like to see some development of the secondary characters over the next few episodes. But it's some good stuff if you like mysticism and some angels and demons.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review of Gotham (S01:E05 - E07)

Jason Book and I discuss some recent episodes of Gotham, focusing especially on Episode 7, "Penguin's Umbrella."

In short, Episode 7 was the best yet! Gordon gets to let loose and Falcone and Penguin rock the plot.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Discussion of WB/DC Movie Schedule

Jason Book and I discuss the Warner Bros movie announcement related to DC Comics characters. Here is part 1 of our conversation, covering 2016-2017.

Part 2 addresses 2018-2020.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review of The Flash (S01:E01 - E03)

Jason Book ( and I discuss the strong start to The Flash series on CW television.

The acting is strong, starting with Grant Gustin as Barry Allen but also the supporting cast. We like the connections to the comic books, but handled in a way that is open to new fans. It is great to have a lighter-toned, fun superhero show to complement Arrow, Gotham, and Constantine. We think it's off to a great start!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review of Superman 35

Jason Book ( and I review Superman #35 (DC Comics), by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr. This is part 4 in The Men of Tomorrow arc.

Overall, we are enjoying the story and feel this issue does a nice job of setting up what should be a great finish with Ulysses' character arc and the mysteries surrounding the Machinist and other shadowy figures. The art was uneven, however, and I was downright distracted by some of the off-putting panels. It was a step back in my opinion about Romita Jr.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review of TMNT (Vol 9)

Here's my review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Monsters, Misfits, and Madmen (Vol. 9), from IDW Publishing. The story is by Eastman and Waltz, with script by Tom Waltz and art by Mateus Santolouco.

Overall, it was a weak entry in an otherwise amazing run. And even though this one was a bit scattered without moving events or characters forward, it does set up what looks to be a promising Volume 10.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review of Justice League 35

I review the latest issue of Justice League (DC Comics, New 52), by Geoff Johns, Doug Mahnke, and Ivan Reis. It's the prologue issue to the new arc, the Amazo virus.

I think the issue gets the story off to a strong start, and it was fascinating to go down into the secret depths of LexCorp. The high-society event at the beginning of the issue also bears a strong resemblance to the scene they are filming for Batman v Superman this week at the Broad art museum in East Lansing, MI. (Note: Michigan State is the alma mater of myself and, more importantly, Geoff Johns.) SPOILERS: an extra reported to local news that Bruce Wayne is in attendance at Luthor's big gathering and Wayne and Luthor get into an altercation. The military is called in.

For reviews of things building up to this issue, here is Forever Evil and also Justice League 34. The big reveal at the end of JL 34 does not really carry forward into 35, but I think it will definitely play a major part in the story arc overall.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

History of Wonder Woman

I've been making a series of posts focused on preparing for Batman v Superman, but one thing I have not covered is Wonder Woman. She will be portrayed by Gal Gadot in the 2016 movie, but here's a post from Batman-News that will help bring you up to speed on her origin and power set.

A question remaining about Batman v Superman is the size of her role. Will she be a co-lead with Superman and Batman, as implied by her appearance at the San Diego Comic Con, or will she be more of a supporting role or an extended cameo setting up her role in Justice League down the road?

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 6): On Set

Jason Book ( and I discuss the most recent leaked images from the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie set. SPOILERS

Topics include a protest scene, the batmobile, Lois in overalls, a mansion, and museum, and Luthor's hair (or lack thereof).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review of Justice League 34

Jason Book ( and I review the new Justice League issue, which is the epilogue to the Injustice League arc, following Forever Evil. The issue was written by Geoff Johns with art by Scott Kolins.

We had some issues with the art, but we're looking forward to Jason Fabok taking over. And I liked how this issue increased the intrigue with regard to Captain Cold's and Lex Luthor's infiltration into unusual situations. Can they be trusted?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Affleck interview on NPR

Ben Affleck was interviewed on NPR's All Things Considered to promote Gone Girl, but as usual, he was also asked to comment on the forthcoming Batman v Superman.

Here is a link to the interview. He talks about the pleasure of working from a script by Chris Terrio, who is a great writer but not a comic aficionado, and under the direction of Zack Snyder, who is a visual master and who is steeped in comic knowledge. He also reflects on the quality of Daredevil.

Here are some videos on YouTube that can help you prepare for Batman v Superman.

Review of Gotham (S01:E01, S01:E02)

Jason Book (Wrapped in Plastic) and I discuss the first two episodes of Fox's Gotham TV series.

Overall, we are enjoying the show but we point out a few aspects that could be improved in future episodes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Discussing the Upcoming Shazam Movie

Jason Book ( and I talk about Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson being cast as Black Adam and what we are looking forward to in the Shazam movie, scheduled for release in summer 2016.

It will be hard to cast Shazam but we are hoping they do a good job with the Billy Batson character and making this a fun movie that appeals to kids as well as older fanboys and fangirls. Although I loved Man of Steel, it does not serve well as an introduction to DC superheroes for young kids because it's a bit too violent and the themes are fairly mature. Shazam could have broad appeal if done well.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review of Superman Doomed (full event)

Here is my video review of the massive summer event from DC Comics, Superman: Doomed. It starts with an intense showdown between Supes and Doomsday and then features a few mysteries (what's going on with Lois? how will Superman overcome the virus? who's behind it all?), some great action, and we find out the depth of connection between Superman and several of his closest friends. Also, we see who it is that isn't really a true friend, when push comes to shove (Lex, Cat, and others).

I rate the series a 4/5 overall. The story was very entertaining, the were some nice character moments, but the art was inconsistent. It came to a nice climax, though, and the last page of the last issue is very intriguing.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Preview of Gotham TV Series (Fox)

Jason Book (Wrapped in Plastic) joins me to discuss what we're looking forward to in the new Gotham TV Series, premiering on Fox on Monday, September 22nd.

This is the first of an exciting slate of DC Comics series on TV. Up next month is Season 3 of Arrow (CW) and the premieres of The Flash (CW) and Constantine (NBC). We also have Supergirl (CBS) and Lucifer (Fox) to look forward to in the future.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 5): Enemies & Allies novel

Kevin J. Anderson wrote a novel in 2009 (DC Comics, Harper Collins) entitled Enemies & Allies: The Dark Knight Meets the Man of Steel. It tells the story of Batman and Superman's first interactions, and they don't exactly get off to a friendly start. Lex Luthor is the villain that ends up bringing the two heroes together, so there are many overtones that match the forthcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, directed by Zack Snyder and written by Goyer and Terrio.

Lois Lane also has an important role to play as she investigates Luthor's suspicious business dealings, and Bruce Wayne is the business rival of LuthorCorp. So there are many interesting dynamics between the characters, and similar dynamics might play out in the film.

What makes the novel unique, however, is that it is set in the Cold War era and the Russians play an important part in the plot, as does the nuclear arms race and the mania around UFOs. Also, Superman and Batman are both portrayed in a very stereotypical manner -- not that that's a bad thing -- and we get to see Anderson's take on the traditional Lois Lane / Superman rescue-meeting and the Lane-Superman interview. There's also an interview between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Comic Haul for September 17 2014

I picked up Justice League: Future's End #1 one-shot (Lemire, Dougherty, Eltaeb). Well, it's supposed to be a one-shot, anyway, but inside it says "Homeworld: Part 2 of 2." So I'll have to figure out what's going on there.

I also grabbed Batman Superman: Future's End #1 one-shot (Pak, Porter). It's not Jae Lee, who is the regular artist for the series, which is unfortunate because Lee's art has been amazing! But I'll give this one a chance, too, because I'm enjoying lots of Batman/Superman stuff these days as I prepare for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. By the way, DC, I'm thankful that you have so many books available for the $2.99 price.

I also snagged some TMNT from IDW because everything related to that series is great, and I picked up a kids' Superman story for my son who is pretty fascinated with the Man of Steel these days. Thanks, Rock Bottom Comics!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 4): Looking at the new batmobile

Jason Book (Wrapped in Plastic) and I analyze the new images of the batmobile from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

I thought upon first glance that it looked pretty cool, although as I looked closer I became somewhat concerned about all the weaponry. Jason's initial reaction was "meh" and he thinks they could have gone in a different direction, rather than trying to directly compete with the tumbler from The Dark Knight trilogy. But both of us are excited to see how they use it in the film.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 3): Building on The Dark Knight Returns

In this video, Jason Book ( and I analyze how the forthcoming Batman v Superman movie can build upon Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns.

Although TDKR presents a compelling characterization of Batman, it does not represent Superman especially well and does not match with the Superman established in Man of Steel. We also know we'll have a younger Bruce Wayne in BvS than in TDKR. But the big question is how the big fight scene will be translated.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review of Forever Evil graphic novel (DC Comics)

My review of Forever Evil, by Geoff Johns with art by David Finch and Richard Friend, is now on YouTube.

It's a great story that uses the Crime Syndicate from Earth 3 to reveal the character of various rogues and villains, especially Lex Luthor. Chapters 6 and 7 are excellent and you have to see what's in store on the last page.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 2): Building on Man of Steel

In this video, Jason Book (Wrapped in Plastic) and I analyze how the forthcoming Batman v Superman movie can build upon the events of Man of Steel in terms of plot and character development.

Just as Man of Steel explored Superman's decision point between Krypton and Earth, I hope that Batman v Superman explores the Earth and humanity (represented by Lex Luthor and Batman in different ways) coming to terms with who Superman is. Jason hopes that the story stays focused on the central characters and that there aren't too many side characters drawing away attention.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Review of Batman: Assault on Arkham (DC animated original)

See my review of Batman: Assault on Arkham, the latest installment in the DC animated original movie series. It is directed by Jay Oliva (Justice League: War, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) and Ethan Spaulding.

This movie is set in the Arkham video game universe and, overall, may be best enjoyed by those fans. One of the weaker outings in the DC direct-to-DVD series.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Preparing for Batman v Superman (Part 1): On Set Photos

In this video, I analyze my original footage of the first appearance of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne and I also go through several of the more recent shots from the Batman v Superman set. (SPOILERS)

I talk about the new Superman costume, Clark Kent's mysterious satchel, Lex Luthor's head, Scoot McNairy's character, possible action in Washington DC, and rumors about kryptonite.

Thanks to @BananaDoc, @treinman, Dan Newman, and others for the photographs.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review of Superman 32-34 (Men of Tomorrow)

Jason Book from the Wrapped in Plastic podcast joins me to review the current Superman run (DC Comics, New 52) by Geoff Johns and John Romita Jr.

Johns does a solid job of bringing back Superman's cast of characters at the Daily Planet and effectively introducing a new character and new villain while giving us some action and building some intrigue for later. This was my introduction to Romita Jr's art and I wasn't sure about it at first glance, but it has really grown on me. You can hear us discuss how his art takes effect in the video. Overall, we are both enjoying the series quite a bit.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Reviews of Superman Wonder Woman 11 and Supergirl 34 (Doomed)

See my reviews of the latest installments in the Superman: Doomed comic book storyline. Superman Wonder Woman #11 (Soule, Silas)  is the third to last issue in Doomed.

Supergirl #34 (Bedard, Moline) is the second to last issue in Doomed. Both of them are primarily geared toward putting things in place and setting up the anticipation for the big finale of Superman: Doomed #2 on September 24. At that time, I'll also post a review of the story overall.

Doomed Covers

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Comic Haul for August 20 2014

I picked up Supergirl #34 (Bedard, Moline, Lupacchino), the next chapter in the Superman: Doomed storyline. I've been enjoying the ups and downs of Doomed and am curious about how they're going to wrap it all up in the next few weeks. Once Doomed #2 comes out, I'm going to post a review, so check back for that.
Supergirl 34

I also grabbed Batman #34 (Snyder, Scalera), which came out last week, because it's a one-shot story and a chance to pop in to see how the Snyder Batman run is going. I loved the first two volumes but haven't kept up with the stories since the Court of Owls, but this issue might get me back into the series.

Finally, in the mail today I was pleasantly surprised by some merchandise from Yeti Press. They're an independent comic publisher run by a friend of mine, formerly of Chicago, now out West. Be sure to check out their Pecos title if you like Westerns with wry humor and if you'd like to support independent comics.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Ninja Turtle Reviews: Film and Comics

My reviews of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie (Paramount, Nickelodeon) and the ongoing comic book series (IDW) are now posted on YouTube.

In summary, even with its flaws, I had a great time at the movies watching the new take on the turtles, and the comic series, with its new trade paperback "Northampton" (Vol. 8), continues to excel as the best take on the turtles in any medium! See the video reviews for details.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Bruce Wayne's Age in Batman v Superman

The great folks over at have helped bring clarity to some differing rumors on Bruce Wayne's age in Batman v Superman. The first images I captured of Ben Affleck as Wayne garnered a lot of attention, largely because of the gray hair on his temples. Is he around 40, or perhaps in his 50s, having fought crime for nearly 30 years?


Executive Producer Michael Uslan seemed to confirm that Bruce Wayne is in his mid-40s. So we know he is quite experienced and tested, but he also should be in great shape for a 40-year old and still quite able-bodied. See the Asbury Park Press interview for more.

More footage of Bruce Wayne on the Detroit set (SPOILER)

After my luck on August 4th (see previous post), I returned to the Batman v Superman set in Detroit and got lucky a second time. On August 5th, I managed to be the only one with a video camera who captured Ben Affleck, again dressed as Bruce Wayne, rehearsing a shot in which he seems to rescue a little girl from the Metropolis wreckage.

Affleck is in the first run-through in the video below, and afterward his stunt double came in for the other takes. Other photographers were on the scene to capture the stunt double, but I was lucky enough to be in the right spot at the right time to catch Affleck in action.

This footage also went viral, hitting 500,000 views in a few days. It was covered by Superman Homepage and many others.

First images of Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne

While visiting family near Detroit last month, I was excited to stop by the Batman v Superman movie set. They had rented a skyscraper in Corktown, Detroit, and constructed a pavement crater and wreckage outside the building.

As luck would have it, I not only got to see the set but happened to get there during 1st unit filming. My family and I caught glimpses of Zack Snyder and Ben Affleck in his Bruce Wayne costume. I also managed to get some video footage of Ben Affleck next to a crumpled Metropolis City Bus. This turned out to be the first images of Affleck as Wayne and it went viral that week (August 4th).

The building is Wayne Financial, but the setting seems to be Metropolis. People on the comment boards are speculating that this might be wreckage from the Superman-Zod fight at the end of Man of Steel, but we're seeing where Bruce Wayne was at the time.

The footage was covered by Batman-News, Superman Homepage, AMC Movie Talk, and other news sites.