Friday, 14 March 2014

PANELS TO FRAMES: THE DC TV ONSLAUGHT BEGINS!


PANELS TO FRAMES: THE DC TV ONSLAUGHT BEGINS!

Now this is getting interesting. With official costume photos from WB's pilot for The Flash and NBC's pilot for Constantine surfacing alongside the official logo for the Gotham TV series, it seems that DC Comics (and of course, Vertigo too in the case of Constantine's Hellblazer roots) are finally getting their act together. In tandem with the ongoing popularity of Arrow, the DC screen universe is building nicely, which may well lead to aiding a full-blown DC cinematic universe a la Marvel's exemplary established mythos.

This is a really interesting development for comics properties, as the different approach (TV rather than films) may work even better in DC's favour. TV offers more content for viewers to latch on to, more screen time for comics properties that would need to build an audience in order to appeal to a moviegoing audience.

Plus, while Arrow takes some liberties with the Green Arrow characters and mythos (but nowhere near as many liberties as Smallville did), it seems that these three new additions to the line of DC related shows are moving closer to the source material which built the legends in the first place.

The suit for The Flash (played by Grant Gustin in a spin-off from Arrow) looks far closer to the real deal than I expected it to, and the buzz which is growing seems to be positive, so I hope the pilot capitalises on that positivity built up from his Arrow appearance and it goes further than just the pilot (remember the ill-fated contemporary Wonder Woman pilot?).

Gotham seems to be a bit of a no-brainer, but NBC's Constantine looks like a bit more of a gamble. The lousy Keanu Reeves headlined Constantine movie left a bad taste on our cinematic palate, and thus this TV version has its work cut out for it both in terms of winning people over and also bringing us something different, lest it turn out to just be another version of The Dresden Files.

The shot of Matt Ryan in Constantine's proper outfit (and trademark smirk) is a damn good start, though. Of course, Marvel are coming out with their own multi-series TV onslaught in the form of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and eventually The Defenders, but DC are beating them to it in terms of television heroes.

As much as I'm a Marvel guy through and through, I do have to concede that DC/WB are ahead in terms of quality TV material. I mean, I like some episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, but that show has been so inconsistent that I struggle to even look at it sometimes. These new DC TV properties look really promising, and hopefully bode well for more to come. Now if WB would just get on with it and tell us that the Man Of Steel sequel is actually a Justice League movie, then we can just get on with being ultra excited.

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Recent reading:

ROGUE TROOPER #1 – IDW PUBLISHING (8/10)
Fantastic new start for the classic 2000AD character. Back to basics!

TALES OF HONOR #1 – TOP COW (8/10)
David Weber's sic-fi heroine Honor Harrington arrives in comics. Brilliant, apart from the dialogue font...

THE WAKE #6 – VERTIGO (10/10)
The perfect jumping-on point. A fantastic concept and amazing execution.

X-MEN #11 – MARVEL (7/10)
A little slow, but the all-female X-men team still offer strong entertainment.

BLACK WIDOW #3 – MARVEL (7/10)
Great story, but I'm not convinced the art style works.

NEW WARRIORS #1 – MARVEL (2/10)
Five years since their last incarnation ended, here comes another comic which will be cancelled soon.

UNCANNY X-FORCE #17 – MARVEL (6/10)
Again, a fantastic script with inconsistent art. 

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN VOL 3 – MARVEL (8/10)
My first taste of the stories featuring Miles Morales. A wonderful surprise.

X-FORCE – FINAL EXECUTION BOOK 1 - MARVEL (5/10)
Overly brutal nonsense. 

X-FORCE – FINAL EXECUTION BOOK 2 - MARVEL (6/10)
More brutal nonsense, but ended with some style.

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(Panels To Frames is my comic book movie column. Usually running over at Lost In The Multiplex, the column is currently running here while the LITM site is down for maintenance work)

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