Filmation vs. Hanna-Barbera: the Golden Age of DC Comics Animation by Jerry Whitworth
With hits like The Flintstones, Jonny Quest, and the Yogi Bear franchise grown from series like The Ruff and Reddy Show and The Huckleberry Hound Show, Hanna-Barbera was a powerhouse in the burgeoning animated television series market. As shows like Atom Ant, Sinbad Jr. and his Magic Belt, Space Ghost, and Frankenstein Jr. and The Impossibles reached airwaves, the studio was quickly making superheroes a popular sight on Saturday mornings. DC Comics, who had previously seen its most popular character Superman animated for theaters in the 1940s and was about to take the nation by storm with the Batman television series, looked to edge into the lucrative market. In the 1950s, Adventures of Superman was a cultural phenomenon derailed by the untimely demise of its star George Reeves. A planned spin-off in the Adventures of Superboy never made it past the pilot but animation looked to be new ground to tread with the brand. Mort Weisinger, Superman editor for DC Comics and story editor for Adventures of Superman, approached young studio Filmation to tackle the project.
Doom: A Brief History on Super-Villain Team-Ups by Jerry Whitworth
In the pages of Scott Snyder’s Justice League series, the proper Legion of Doom is finally making its way to the primary continuity of DC Comics. Finding its start in 1978’s Challenge of the Super Friends, the Legion of Doom is likely the most iconic and best-known super-villain team that interestingly enough never translated into the comics quite like its animated counterpart until now. Of course, the Legion of Doom was not the first super-villain team to combat the Justice League. The precursor to the Justice League of America in the Justice Society of America faced a team of foes known as the Injustice Society in 1947. Later, some of those villains teamed with Justice League enemies to form the Crime Champions in 1963. Earth-Two’s Wizard, Icicle, and Fiddler aligned with Earth-One’s Felix Faust, Dr. Alchemy, and Chronos to exchange identities and foes to get the better of the other world’s superhero team. This prompted the first team-up between the League and Society to defeat their assembled enemies. In time, the League would face an organized threat from their own cast of rogues but in a rather bizarre manner.
Super-Pets: A Brief History of DC Comics’ Animal Heroes by Jerry Whitworth
Recently, Collider broke the news that Jared Stern (LEGO Batman Movie, LEGO Ninjago Movie) will write and direct an animated film based on DC Comics’ Super Pets. At this time, few details are available about the project but DC Comics has a rich history with animal heroes. Comic books got their start collecting comic strips which frequently featured animal protagonists and when superheroes began to run out of fashion, animal characters made a return (in fact, Green Lantern found himself becoming replaced by his canine sidekick Streak in his own book). Animal analogies even emerged of these heroes as the Flash had a turtle version called the Terrific Whatzit and Superman received a similar treatment with Super-Turtle. By 1982, an entire animal version of the Justice League appeared in the Just’a Lotta Animals as part of the series Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! Regarding animal companions, heroes like Dr. Mid-Nite and Hawkman were some of the earliest adopters of the phenomenon with Hooty and Big Red, respectively. However, everything seemed to change around the start of the Silver Age when Superman acquired a Super-Dog in Krypto.
From Page to Screen: Krypton – Season Two by Jerry Whitworth
Returning for a second season in 2019, Syfy’s Krypton depicted in its first season the arrival of Brainiac (Blake Ritson) to the eponymous planet and how General Zod (Colin Salmon) traveled back in time to stop the bottling of the city of Kandor (which, in the confines of the show, ultimately led to the destruction of the world) and conquered his homeworld for himself. Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), Superman’s grandfather in Krypton (based loosely on Seyg-El), fought alongside his secret lover Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell), his betrothed Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day), and his best friend Kem (Rasmus Hardiker) with General Zod (Seg and Lyta’s illegitimate son) to stop Brainiac as a time-traveling Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos) tried to stop Zod to ensure Superman’s future. With Strange’s failure, history was changed with Superman being recognized as part of the House of Zod, Seg and Brainiac trapped in the Phantom Zone, Zod conquering Krypton with plans to expand its empire as his mother stands by his side, Earth was conquered by Zod, Doomsday is freed from his imprisonment, and the only resistance remaining to stop Zod is Nyssa, Black Zero terrorist leader Jax-Ur (Hannah Waddingham), Seg’s grandfather and former Phantom Zone prisoner Val-El (Ian McElhinney), and maybe Lyta’s mortally wounded mother Jayna-Zod (Ann Ogbomo). At San Diego Comic-Con International, some details of the show’s second season were announced including a time jump of several months, visits to the Phantom Zone and Brainiac’s homeworld Colu, learning more about Adam (which likely means Sardath and his daughter Alanna), and new characters coming to the show. Lets take a look at who has been announced thus far.
DC Universe at San Diego Comic-Con by Jerry Whitworth
As we creep closer to the beta release of the DC Universe streaming service and application in August, a litany of content continues to be announced as we learned a library of comics, movies, and shows will be available on the platform for $7.99 a month (or $74.99 a year with three free months). San Diego Comic-Con offered more details about what’s to come including trailers for Titans and Young Justice: Outsiders as well as the announcement of a live action Stargirl series by her creator Geoff Johns. Lets break down what original content we already know will be available on the service.
Make It So: Green Lantern Corps the Movie by Jerry Whitworth
2010 was a transition period for DC Comics film adaptations. Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) were massive box office hits and by 2010, Christopher Nolan was developing the final film for his Dark Knight trilogy. Alternatively, Superman Returns (2006), which was intended to be the Man of Steel’s big return to theaters, under performed and its sequel intended to be released in 2009 was scrapped. Development of a Wonder Woman movie was in limbo as Joss Whedon spent two years trying to get his picture made while in 2010 it looked like the Amazonian princess was going to become a television series from David E. Kelley that didn’t pan out. Writers Greg Berlanti, Michael Green, and Marc Guggenheim were tasked with bringing Green Lantern and the Flash to the big screen, the former for 2011 and latter soon after. But then, Green Lantern (2011) bombed at box office. Terribly rendered CGI (especially the Green Lantern’s uniform), a poorly written script that was overly goofy, and just an overall joyless viewing endeavor, the film was a financial and critical failure (though, Berlanti would later get to tackle the Flash, just on the small screen). The stink of the film remained for years, Ryan Reynolds trying to revive his poorly received portrayal of Deadpool in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine for a featured film only to carry another albatross around his neck while development of Man of Steel (2013), intended to create a DC Extended Universe similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, virtually abandoned all mention of Green Lantern for the burgeoning brand. It wouldn’t be until 2017 that the Green Lantern earned so much as a brief cameo and mention in the film Justice League that there existed any hope of its return. Recently, it was announced the DC Extended Universe will finally produce a new Green Lantern movie reportedly set to premier in 2020. Lets take a look at what such a film might entail.