Top 10: DC Rogues’ Galleries by Jerry Whitworth
A hero is only as good as the villains they face. Captain America and the Red Skull, Spider-Man and the Green Goblin, X-Men and Magneto, Fantastic Four and Dr. Doom, Iron Man and the Mandarin, Thor and Loki, Wolverine and Sabretooth, Hulk and the Leader, Daredevil and the Kingpin, Dr. Strange and Dormammu, Ghost Rider and Mephisto, Punisher and Jigsaw: good villains define great heroes. DC Comics quickly became the ground bed of superheroes following the popularity of Superman and equally gave rise to its share of memorable supervillains. Lets examine which rogues’ galleries are the best the multimedia brand has to offer.
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Tagged batman, DC Comics, Firestorm, Green Lantern, Jerry Whitworth, justice league, Justice League of America, Justice Society of America, Legion of Super-Heroes, Shazam, superman, teen titans, The Flash
Superman Lives: Tim Burton’s Man of Steel by Jerry Whitworth
With the announcement of Batman ’89 and Superman ’78, the memory of an entity that almost was can be stirred up. 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace effectively ended the life of Superman at the box office while Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) brought superheroes back into theaters. Warner Bros. sought to tap Burton to apply his magic touch to the Man of Steel with Superman Lives. However, three weeks before filming, the motion picture was abruptly canceled. For years, stories have been told about the doomed project with a snapshot of star Nicolas Cage dressed as Superman one of the few relics of this mysterious work. Filmmaker Jon Schnepp finally got to the heart of Superman Lives and revealed its secrets in his 2015 documentary The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?
From Screen to Page: Superman ’78 by Jerry Whitworth
Recently it was announced DC Comics will be publishing Batman ’89 and Superman ’78, comic book miniseries based on the Tim Burton Batman and Richard Donner Superman film series, respectively. The latter will feature the work of Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres but few details have thus far been released about the plot. Torres has a long history of producing fan art of the Christopher Reeve Superman and scenes from Donner’s films of the character. An intriguing aspect regarding the Donner Superman movies is that the first two motion pictures of the series were filmed simultaneously with a reported 75% of the sequel completed before the first entry was finished. Donner, however, wouldn’t have the opportunity to finish the follow-up when disagreements led to his removal from the project. The world finally gained a better semblance of Donner’s vision for Superman II (1980) in 2006 with the release of the Donner Cut which tried to set a more serious tone with a greater focus on action. Donner had plans for a third and fourth Superman film before his removal which may inform what Superman ’78 could entail.
Even though they’ve only met once, briefly, Superman apparently doesn’t know what to make of his clone, Superboy. This failure on the elder’s part to communicate has filled Superboy with quite a bit of rage, and it’s finally getting on everyone’s nerves.
The opening is both a lot of fun and sad at the same time. There’s an accident on the bridge between Gotham City and Metropolis (yes, non-believers, they really are right across the river from each other) bring Superboy and Superman together to save a busload of schoolchildren. The conversation is awkward, Superboy asks for help learning to use his powers, and Superman is thankful for an excuse to leave.
When last we left our young heroes, they had been incapacitated by Superboy in the depths of Project Cadmus. As we open, we and Dr. Desmond encounter The Light, the organization behind Cadmus. These shimmering holographic images are unidentifiable at this point, but eventually we learn they are a powerful super-villain cartel not unlike the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a cross between the Legion of Doom and the Illuminati, if you will.