Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Armored Adventures Rogues Gallery




A few pictures have been released of some of the more notable villains in Iron Man's rogues gallery. It looks like they are really hitting the technology angle hard with these designs. I think this is good for a few reasons: They will all look like they exist in the same world and armored characters are far easier to make look good in CGI than human characters.



I thought I would be fun to do a little compare and contrast. Below I've supplied you with the Armored Adventure designs alongside the versions of Mandarin, Whiplash (more commonly known as Backlash) and Blizzard from the 1994 version of Iron Man. Which designs are better? While the 1996 versions are taken straight out of the comics and may be considered a bit corny by today's standards, these new designs have a really cool modern look to them but are nothing like their comic counterparts. What do you think?





In other news, Iron, Forged in Fire, the two-part premiere of Armored Adventures, was shown at the San Diego Comic-Con and from what I can tell in the bloggosphere, the episodes were well received. That makes me hopeful.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bootleg Wonder Woman Trailer




Wanna sneak peek of the trailer that was shown at the San Diego Comic-Con? Here is a link to a bootleg that someone recorded. Watch it while you can! I don't know how long it will be up!



From this blurry image, the movie looks great! But I'll comment more on it when the trailer is actually released.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Black Panther Trailer Online!




The Black Panther trailer has made it online after being shown at this past weekend's San Diego Comic-Con. Comic Book Resources has a hi-def version as well as an interview with series creator Reginald Hudlin and a promo vid that was shown to buyers.

Take a minute and watch the trailer or check out the one below and then let's talk about it.



Now that you've watched the trailer, I would like to say that this was not what I was expecting at all. Not that it's bad, it's just...different.

First of all, I'm not a fan of Flash or Flash-like programs used to create entire television shows. I am a diehard 2D animation fan and would much prefer to see all my superheroes in that medium.

However, to produce a show that is literally ripped from the comics and is based on John Romita Jr's detailed artwork, I can see the benefit to using Flash. I just don't like how each body part moves independently rather than as a whole.

I will still watch the show as I am a fan of Romita Jr., Black Panther and animated superheroes. As I understand it, this will only be an eight episode mini-series and will air in October of this year.

UPDATE: DC Comics Animation on iTunes




UPDATE: More DC shows have hit iTunes. The complete list is below. Also, check out the update at the bottom of this post.

Warner Bros. has just released a bunch of DC Comics animation on iTunes in their TV Animation section. Titles now available are,

  • Adventures of Batman
  • Aquaman - the Complete Series
  • Batman: the Animated Series - Volume One
  • Batman: the Animated Series - Volume Two
  • Batman: the Animated Series - Volume Three
  • Batman: the Animated Series - Volume Four
  • Batman Beyond - Season One
  • Batman Beyond - Season Two
  • Justice League - Season One
  • Justice League - Season Two
  • Teen Titans - Season One
  • Teen Titans - Season Two
  • The Batman - Season One
  • The Batman - Season Two
  • Super Friends - Season One
  • Superman - the Fleischer Cartoons
  • Superman: the Animated Series - Season One
  • Superman: the Animated Series - Season Two
  • Superman: the Animated Series - Season Three

    While most of these releases are ones that you have already seen and probably bought on DVD, two are worth talking about:

    Even though the DVD release is a month away, Warner Bros has included Filmation's DC Heroes segments of the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure with the Aquaman episodes available for download. Each episode contains two Aquaman stories and one DC Hero story, recreating the show as it originally aired in 1968!

    Also available is the first season of Super Friends which has not yet seen a DVD release. In this season, each episode is an hour long (44 minutes sans commercials) and features Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman and Aquaman as well as Wendy, Marvin and Wonderdog. This is exciting news for fans of Super Friends and hopefully this means that there is a DVD release planned in the near future!

    UPDATE: Also available is the Adventures of Batman, the Filmation series that was part of the Batman/Superman Hour in 1968! This series, which features Olan Soule and Casey Kasem as the Dynamic Duo, has not seen a DVD release yet (although its second series, New Adventures of Batman, has), so here is your chance to see this classic!
  • One Episode of the '78 FF Coming to DVD




    The next release for Canadian company Morningstar Entertainment will be Fantastic Four - The Impossible Man which will be released on September 30 in Canadian retail outlets.

    Like the ones before, this DVD is a reissue of an old VHS from the 80s. Don't expect good quality picture or audio or any bonus features. However, this may be your only chance to own an episode of the 1978 Fantastic Four series for a while as Disney, the current rights holders for this show, doesn't have any plans to release it any time soon.

    The one FF episode on this disc is called The Impossible Man and will be accompanied by Spider-Man Meets Dr. Noah Boddy/The Fabulous Fakir from the 1967 Spider-Man series.

    Also of note, this is the DePatie/Freleng series that replaced the Human Torch with H.E.R.B.I.E. the robot!

    Mysterio and Kraven Join Spectacular Rogues Gallery




    ING.com give us the scoop on the Spectacular Spider-Man panel from the San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday. The panel, which included producer Greg Weisman and voice actors Vanessa Marshall (Mary Jane Watson), Robert Englund (Vulture) and Ben Diskin (Venom), gave us a hint at what to expect for Spidey's future:

    As for the future of the show, supervising producer Greg Weisman said Hobgoblin would debut in Season 3, noting that officially, "We don't have a pick up for Season 3, but we have a plan." He said Season 2 would feature Mysterio and Kraven, along with several other new and returning villains, including Venom, Vulture, Doc Ock, The Master Planner, The Sinister Six, Molten Man. Weisman said that many characters, including even Flash Thompson and Coach Smith, "get more depth in Season 2," and that there would be story arcs for Gwen, Mary Jane and Jonah.

    The rest of the article recounts a special sneak peek of season two featuring Mysterio and Kraven the Hunter.

    Sunday, July 27, 2008

    Hulk vs. Thor Trailer!




    The second half of the Hulk vs. animated feature film now has a trailer! ING.com has posted a fifty second teaser featuring Thor and his Asgardian family as they do battle with the Hulk.

    Thor looks great. His design is taken from his classic era and translates really well to animation. The Hulk's design is different from the Wolverine segment. It looks a lot more like a classic Hulk with that mop of hair on his head and the more vibrant shade of green for his skin.

    If you haven't checked out the trailer yet, DO IT NOW!

    Brave and the Bold to Premiere in November!




    Cartoon Network has set a new release date for Batman: The Brave and the Bold! Originally, the show was scheduled to debut fall of 2008 but then it got pushed to March 2009.

    Now the show is back on schedule and is set to premiere on Friday, November 14, 2008!

    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    Brave and the Bold Trailer!




    This is it! The first trailer for Batman: The Brave and the Bold as revealed at the San Diego Comic-Con yesterday! WATCH IT NOW!



    If this doesn't get you excited I don't know what will. The show looks excellent. Great character designs, great animation, full of colour and action! I'm stoked!

    There are a few articles for you to read alongside this trailer. The first one is with producers James Tucker and Linda M. Steiner, story editor Michael Jelenic and Toon Zone News.

    This article is very interesting. It touches on the demographic of the show, the show's distinct 50s design, Batman guest stars (Jonah Hex, Deadman, Adam Strange and Kamandi), the use of Robin and Superman in the series, the use of humour in the series and much, much more.

    Here's a snippet about the show's demographic:
    TZN: Would you say that this show skews even younger than The Batman?

    TUCKER: I don't know, I think it's probably about the exact level The Batman is, but it's just visually different. I mean, The Batman was designed for 6 to 11, and this is designed for 6 to 11.

    JELENIC: A lot of people are saying on the Internet that it's geared towards pre-schoolers.

    TUCKER: Bruce Timm was mis-quoted for that, by the way.

    JELENIC: Yeah, that's not the case. I mean, pre-schoolers could probably enjoy the show, but at the same time, I'm fairly confident that adults can find as much charm out of the show as, you know, as the 4-year olds.

    The second article is with Tucker and voice director Andrea Romano and Superherohype. Tucker on Batman: B&B's look:
    Basically, the look I wanted for this show was to emphasize the old school, comic book art look (notice I didn't say graphic novel) or rather comics before they got overly sophisticated and airbrushed. I wanted the look of off-set printing on newsprint. So the look of the show is more streamlined, with a thicker hand inked look to it. My influences were primarily the major '40s and '50s Batman artist, Dick Sprang - with a bit of Jack Kirby's dynamism thrown in. I originally storyboarded a Dick Sprang inspired segment in a "Batman: New Adventures" episode called "Legends of the Dark Knight." It was so much fun that I always said if I ever got tapped to do a Batman-based series of my own, that would be the visual angle I wanted to use. I'm grateful that DC comics, Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network had the faith to let me do it.

    Deadpool in Hulk vs Wolverine!




    Fans reactions to the special screening of Hulk vs. Wolverine has been overwhelmingly positive. Fans loved the story, the action and most of all, the violence, something that hasn't really been seen to this level in superhero animation.

    New information on the plot reveals that we will see fan favourite characters like Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, Omega Red and ... wait for it... DEADPOOL! The long awaited premiere of the Merc with a Mouth to the animation world! How exciting is that! This will be an excellent tie in with the May 2009 release of X-Men Origins: Wolverine which will co-star Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.

    Newsarama has an article about Hulk vs that gives us a little look into the making of the film:
    The animation in the feature had a slightly different look from previous Marvel direct-to-DVD features, with designs by Jeff Matsuda. Again, the look will be quite different for Hulk vs. Thor. "It's really a David Lean approach for Thor1 and a David Fincher approach for Wolverine," Kyle says.

    The article also states that Marvel confirmed the next two projects. A Thor film called Tales of Asgard and an adaptation of last year's hit story arc, Planet Hulk.

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Ben Jones on Batman




    Ben Jones, a director for Batman: Brave and the Bold, has been interviewed by Big Shiny Robot.

    You'll hear Jones talk about his work with Tenacious D, Teen Titans, the new Transformers cartoons, an most importantly, Batman: Brave and the Bold.

    Jones has a lot of great things to say about the series, including a few more name of super folk that with pop up in the show: Fire (aka Green Flame) and Driq (Green Lantern).

    He also assures us that this show will not be a kid-friendly as everyone is making it out to be! Thank goodness!

    Anyway, go to the site and read the article and check out the sweet pic of Batman fighting Plastic Man!

    Wonder Woman Website




    A website has launched for the upcoming Wonder Woman DVD with a stunning picture of the woman herself! The site is pretty barebones at the moment but you can sign up for details as they are released. I signed up so even if you don't you can bet I'll bring you the news!

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    UPDATE: Batman Complete Series DVD Box Set!




    Warner Home Video has announced the Batman: the Complete Animated Series DVD Box Set! This slick looking set will include all four volumes, 16 discs, of the series that have already been released including a bonus disc filled with new special features and a 40-page collector's booklet!

    The collection will include all 107 episodes of Batman: the Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman and Robin and The New Batman Adventures and all of the bonus features and commentaries from the previous sets will be included in this set too. The three movies, however, will not be included.

    The suggested retail price will be $107.92 and will hit the shelves on November 4th.

    My question is will collectors really buy this even though we have bought all four of the previous volumes? I have a hard time justifying that even if package looks really cool.

    UPDATE: New information from tvshowsondvd.com gives a better idea of the slipcover packaging and the back cover that will probably come lightly glued to the back.

    The back cover comes with info about a new documentary that will be included on the bonus 17th disc called Shades of the Bat: Batman's Animated Evolution.

    Also, there was a question about the audio and subtitles for this set. It looks like they will be the same as previously released. Volume 1-3 includes audio and subtitle tracks in English, French and Spanish and volume four includes audio in English and French and subtitles in English, French and Spanish. None of the bonus features will have alternate audio and subtitles.







    New Brave and the Bold Image



    Click for larger image.

    Iron Man and Next Avengers Blu-Ray Release Date




    Lionsgate has officially announced the release of Blu-Ray editions of Invincible Iron Man and Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow. The pair will hit the shelves on the same day as the Next Avengers DVD, September 2.

    The Iron Man disc looks to have the same features as the DVD with the addition of the first look at Hulk vs. Thor.

  • 1080P 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • English and Spanish subtitles
  • Alternate Opening Sequence
  • "The Origin of Iron Man" featurette
  • The Hall of Iron Man Armor
  • Iron Man Concept Art
  • A Look at Doctor Strange
  • First Look at upcoming Marvel Animated Feature Hulk Vs. Wolverine
  • First Look at upcoming Marvel Animated Feature Hulk Vs. Thor
  • Trailer Gallery

    And here is a look at the Next Avengers disc:

  • 1080P 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • English and Spanish subtitles
  • "Legacy: The Making of Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow" featurette
  • A First Look at Hulk Vs. Wolverine
  • A First Look at Hulk Vs. Thor
  • "Kid Power: Next Gen Marvel"
  • Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    Your Guide to the San Diego Comic-Con




    The San Diego Comic-Con begins tomorrow and I thought you might be interested in a guide to superhero animation panels and screenings to help plan your weekend.

    None of the panels overlap in time but space will be very limited for some of them so you may want to plan carefully.

    Also, I can't go (boo hoo!) so any bits of news that you can bring me would be gladly appreciated. Send them to kurtis[at]animatedsuperheroes[dot]com.

    THURSDAY, JULY 24

    Hulk vs Wolverine
  • 4:15pm - 5:15pm
  • Hall H
    Meet Craig Kyle (supervising producer/co-writer), Frank Paur (producer/supervising director), Christopher Yost (co-writer), and others involved in this Marvel Animation milestone and watch the complete Hulk vs. Wolverine months before its January 2009 Blu-ray and DVD release!

    FRIDAY, JULY 25

    Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • 10:00am - 11:00am
  • Room 6B
    Join producers Sam Register and James Tucker as they discuss their latest take on the Dark Knight from their new show premiering this fall on Cartoon Network. Show story editor Michael Jelenic, directors Brandon Vietti, Ben Jones, Michael Chang, voice director Andrea Romano and the new voice of Batman, Diedrich Bader, will join Sam and James for an exclusive first look at the series, a brief discussion, followed by a Q&A session!

    Spectacular Spider-Man
  • 12:30pm - 1:30pm
  • Room 6CDEF
    Spend some time with the cast and creators of the renowned web-slinger's newest animated adventures, The Spectacular Spider-Man, a Culver Entertainment Production. Ask your burning questions about the first thirteen episodes of Season 1, learn about what's in store for the next thirteen and catch an exclusive sneak peek at Season 2! Michael Vogel from Sony Pictures Television Animation will moderate a panel headed by Supervising Producer Greg Weisman, Supervising Producer/Supervising Director Vic Cook, Character Designer Sean "Cheeks" Galloway, Voice Director Jamie Thomason, the voice of Spider-Man Josh Keaton, the voice of Mary Jane Watson Vanessa Marshall,the voice of Eddie Brock and Venom, Ben Diskin and the voice of Adrian Toomes and Vulture, Robert Englund.

    Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow
  • 8:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Room 6A
    The screening will be followed by a panel that will include the film's Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Producer/Supervising Director Gary Hartle, Writer Christopher Yost and two stars from the film Tom Kane (Tony Stark/Iron Man & Ultron) and Fred Tatasciore (Hulk).

    SATURDAY, JULY 26

    Iron Man: Armored Adventures
  • 10:00am - 11:00am
  • Room 6CDEF
    Come meet Co-Producer Josh Fine, Head Writer Christopher Yost and others involved with this exciting new animated series and watch an episode of Iron Man: Armored Adventures before it's Nicktoons 2009 premiere.

    Black Panther
  • 11:30am - 12:30am
  • Room 5AB
    Panelists include Reggie Hudlin (president, B.E.T.), Denys Cowan (senior V.P., B.E.T. Animation), Cort Lane (Marvel Animation), John Romita Jr. (way too many credits!) and some surprise guests who you will not want to miss. The Black Panther announcement was just the beginning.

    Wolverine and the X-Men
  • 8:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Room 6CDEF
    Be the first to see the three-part pilot of Wolverine and the X-Men! Come meet Supervising Producer Craig Kyle, Head Writer Greg Johnson, Supervising Director/Co-Producer Boyd Kirkland, Lead Character Designer AJ Jothikumar and others involved with this astonishing new X-Men series.
  • Monday, July 21, 2008

    First Look at Hulk: Gamma Corps and Super Hero Squad




    I looked more into the Licensing 2008 Expo that took place in NYC last week and found this article on action-figures.com. It shows some promo posters from a Marvel booth that includes images we've already seen of Wolverine and the X-Men and Iron Man: Armored Adventures, but it also shows images of some stuff we haven't seen!


    Hulk: Gamma Corps is one of the five animated shows that Marvel will be launching in 2009. It will feature the Hulk teaming up with other Gamma powered heroes to save the planet.

    This series will come as a result of the movie that seems to be doing well in the box office. The fact that Marvel is starting to advertise this show means that it is already doing better than the other Hulk cartoon that never saw the light of day due to a crappy movie in 2003 (Hulk and Son featured Bruce and his Gamma-irradiated son Bryce Banner. Good thing it was canceled)!


    Super Hero Squad is another of the five animated shows that Marvel will be launching in 2009. This one is the next in a long line of shows based on toys. The Super Hero Squad toy line has been super popular so it makes sense, especially with Batman: The Brave and the Bold targeting a much younger audience, that Marvel would want to have a ten-and-under show of their own. And what better way than to capitalize on the popularity of the toy line!

    However, I'm not quite sure how the show would be able to license all those characters, especially since half of them will currently have their own show on the air.


    Some people saw this image and are wondering if it is a new Marvel Animated Feature. It's not. Marvel Extreme: Wolverine is simply a new line of licensed Wolverine product and has nothing to do with animation, Lionsgate, DVDs or apple pie.

    Brave and the Bold Pics Reveal New Characters




    I stumbled across this link today and thought I'd share it with you. It looks like Warner Bros had a booth a the recent Licensing 2008 Expo promoting the new Batman: Brave and the Bold cartoon that is coming in 2009.

    The pics give us a little hint of who Batman will be teaming up with during the show's first season as well as a better look at the art style. Here are a few, visit this link for the rest:







    The retro style is going to be the best part of this series! Look at the classic costumes on Batman, Aquaman, Green Arrow and even the old 30s style Batmobile! Long time fans of Batman are going to get a kick out of this show with all of these inside jokes!

    The styles are not completely retro. Aquaman has a beard, something his character had for quite a few years in the 90s, and this version of the Blue Beetle is the one currently in the comics.

    Various different article have confirmed that these heroes and villains will show up in the series: Aquaman, Green Arrow, Blue Beetle, Red Tornado, The Atom, Black Canary, Huntress, the Green Lantern Corps, Black Manta, Ocean Master, Cavalier, Dr. Fate, Flash, Plastic Man, Gentleman Ghost and Gorilla Grodd.

    Producer James Tucker has said that this series will be aimed toward a younger crowd and will be more lighthearted unlike the darker interpretations of Batman seen lately. Tucker says Batman will be more of an adventurer in this series. He says he wants to bring the fun back to Batman.

    That's a lot to promise! I'm looking forward to seeing how this series shapes up.

    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    I Am the Night



    Season:
    Episode Number: 34
    Season Episode Number: 34
    Production Number: 549
    Airdate: November 9, 1992

    Writer: Michael Reaves
    Director: Boyd Kirkland

    Voices: Kevin Conroy (Batman), Robert Costanzo (Harvey Bullock), Bob Hastings (Commissioner Jim Gordon), Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Alfred Pennyworth), Marci Devon (Summer Gleeson), Brion George (The Jazzman), Melissa Gilbert (Barbara Gordon), Seth Green (Wizard), Loren Lester (Robin), Diana Muldaur (Leslie Thompkins), Sal Viscuso (Monk), Carmen Zapata (Judge Vargas).

    Plot: The annual tribute to the death of his parents leads Bruce Wayne and Leslie Thompkins to the site of their death, an old theatre in Crime Alley. Batman questions his effectiveness in the city and his thoughts are confirmed when Wizard, a young street kid, claims that he doesn't need Batman in order to survive.

    Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon and his team of men have surrounded a building containing Jimmy "The Jazzman" Peake and his men and are ready to take them down when Batman shows up to do the job for them without asking their permission. The result is the Jazzman is taken into custody but Commissioner Gordon is taken to the hospital to treat a serious gunshot wound.

    Batman blames himself for the attack, as does Harvey Bullock, while others like Alfred, Dick and Barbara try to explain that the work he is doing is good and that the city needs him. But Batman can't help but still feel responsible for Jim's condition.

    Meanwhile, the Jazzman escapes from prison and seeks out the hospital where the Commissioner is resting in order to get revenge for putting him away. Lucky for everyone, Batman is there to stop him and Jim wakes from his coma to tell Batman to never stop doing what he is doing.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Batman: the Animated Series is filled with colourful and interesting villains that often Batman is overshadowed. The back story and character development for the villains is often the basis for the episode and Batman has to stand back as they get the spotlight.

    Lucky for us there are episodes like this one that really get into the mind of the hero and let us relate to him. I Am the Night focuses on Batman's struggle with his job. Like everybody, too much work can make a person burnt out. Batman feels burnt out and under appreciated, something everyone has felt at one point or another.

    Introducing the Dick Tracy reject, the Jazzman, was a smart choice for the writers as it left plenty of room for Batman's story to be told.

    The animation is this episode is better than usual. While the animation for this show is generally better than the standard television series, it seems that the producers know which episodes are better than others so they give them to the better animation company. In this case it is Sunrise Animation, the company behind such great anime as Cowboy Bebop and the Gundam series. The acting supports the emotion filled voice work.

    And speaking of voice work, Seth Green makes a cameo appearance as Wizard, a street punk who help Batman realize that he is doing something right.

    DVD Releases:
  • Batman: the Animated Series - Volume Two
  • Batman: the Complete Animated Series
  • Batman: Gotham Knight (Two-Disc Special Edition)

  • Back to Episode Guide

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    New Frontier Nominated for Emmy




    The nominations for the 60th Emmy Awards have been announced and all the categories are void of superhero animation save one:

    DC's direct-to-DVD feature Justice League: New Frontier has been nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour Or More).

    But wait, isn't the Emmy's for television programs? Well it seems that New Frontier qualifies due to it being shown on the On-Demand channel.

    The Darwin Cooke adaptation will be up against Family Guy: Blue Harvest and South Park: Imaginationland. Good luck New Frontier!