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Tag Archives: DC

Shazam: Origins | ‘New to Comics’ Review

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is a reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.

After finally getting around to watching Shazam!, today’s post looks at the comic book it’s based on; the New 52 reintroduction of the character: Shazam: Origins, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. 

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Gary Frank
Year: 2013
Pages: 192

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

SHAZAM!

Real Name: William Batson
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)

After being orphaned at a young age, Billy Batson moved from foster home to foster home, becoming more and more standoffish with each transition. Growing into a combatant young teen with little in the way of family bar Tawny the Tiger at the local zoo who featured in his earliest memory, Billy found himself welcomed into the loving Vasquez family – home to five other foster children (Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla). At first, Billy’s confrontational nature made it hard for him to fit in, but after a fateful encounter with the wizard ‘Shazam’, Billy was gifted the powers of the Champion of Magic; able to transform into a superpowered adult version of himself (possessing the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury). Learning to control these powers alongside his new family, Billy found peace, purpose and a sense of belonging. Now, as a member of the Justice League and protector of magic, Billy operates as the ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’, Shazam!

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Posted by on April 11, 2019 in Comic Books

 

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SHAZAM! | Film Review

“Say my name”

RELEASED: April 5th 2019
DIRECTED BY: David F. Sandberg
WRITTEN BY: Henry Gayden & Darren Lemke
PRODUCED BY: Peter Safran
MUSIC BY: Benjamin Wallfisch
STARRING: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong & Djimon Hounsou

Since its premiere, Shazam! has garnered critical acclaim, and is being touted as perhaps the best film in the ‘Worlds of DC’. It’s well directed, features a strong cast and has a well-written story that hits poignant beats and pulls off funny gags with ease. It’s a good film, without a doubt. But personally, I’m not sure it lives up to the hype that everyone else seems to think it does.

Shazam! is the story of Billy Batson, a foster kid who finds himself transported to the magical Rock of Eternity – the home of the ancient wizard Shazam. With a threat to the Earth on the loose in the form of Doctor Thaddeus Sivana and the personifications of the seven deadly sins, Shazam hopes to bestow his powers on a champion who is pure of heart and spirit. But having run out of options, he instead chooses Billy. Now gifted with a superpowered adult body, Billy is forced to become a superhero and stop Sivana from destroying the world.

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Posted by on April 10, 2019 in DC

 

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All 6 ‘WORLDS OF DC’ Movies, Ranked

Now that I’ve finally got around to re-watching Wonder Woman and writing up a review to slot safely between Suicide Squad and Justice League, it’s finally time to rank ALL SIX WORLDS OF DC MOVIES!

Which, to be honest, compared to the ‘Ranking All 20 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies’, doesn’t sound quite so impressive. But still, it’ll be fun, and the list will obviously grow with the release of Shazam!, Wonder Woman 1984, Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) and The Batman.

#6. SUICIDE SQUAD

When I first saw this movie, I actually enjoyed it. Oh, how times change. Upon repeat viewing (of the extended cut, this time around), I realised this film is ruddy awful.

The proximity to Dawn of Justice‘s release at the time must have coloured my opinion, because watching this film on its own highlights that it’s poorly paced and poorly written, with terrible characters and an absolutely awful villain. Yet another CGI mess comes to terrorise our heroes – why? And why Enchantress’ brother of all people? Who’s greenlighting this nonsense?!

And then, on top of all of that, the film also somehow manages to be really boring. The first fifteen minutes are fun, but after that, this film is a huge slog.

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Posted by on January 31, 2019 in What's Going On?

 

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AQUAMAN | Film Review

With the release of Justice League, Warner Bros. ended the first ‘phase’ of movies in their cinematic universe. Now, a year on, it’s time to take a look at the first film in ‘phase two’ of the rebranded ‘Worlds of DC’…

RELEASED: December 12th 2018
DIRECTED BY: James Wan
WRITTEN BY: James Wan, Geoff Johns, Will Beall & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
PRODUCED BY: Peter Safran & Rob Cowan
MUSIC BY:  Rupert Gregson-Williams
STARRING:
 Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Temuera Morrison & Nicole Kidman

In an age where comic book adaptations are in part rated on how much of that magically zany comic tone they can cram in, Aquaman may not just be King of the Oceans, but King of the Comic Book Movies too.

The film follows Arthur Curry, the son of a lighthouse keeper and the Queen of Atlantis, who is called upon by his ally Mera to help depose his half-brother, King Orm, who hopes to unite the remaining undersea kingdoms and wage war on the surface world.

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Posted by on December 12, 2018 in DC

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE: ORIGIN | ‘New to Comics’ Review

This post was originally published on my now defunct site, New to Comics.

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic-books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is an reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.


This week it’s time to head back to 2011 and check out the birth of the current DC universe. Featuring writing and artwork from one of DC’s most prolific writers and one of their co-publishers to boot, it’s Justice League: Origin.

new-52.jpg

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Jim Lee
Year: 2011
Pages: 192

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

Cyborg.jpg

CYBORG

Real Name: Victor Stone
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: DC Comics Presents #26 (October 1980)

Victor Stone was a High School football star who grew to resent his scientist father Silas Stone‘s prioritising work over his son’s future sports career. However, when Victor was caught in a terrible accident, he became Silas’ new obsession, as Silas used experimental technology to save his dying sons life. Now part-man, part-machine, the young Cyborg tried to push past his pain, standing alongside his fellow super-humans to use his new powers for good. Now amongst others who could truly understand him, Victor rose up the ranks of the superhero community, becoming a respected figure and an important member of the Justice League. As their technology specialist, Vic can summon portals using Apokoliptian technology to transport the League wherever they are needed.

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Posted by on September 14, 2018 in Comic Books, What's Going On?

 

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JUSTICE LEAGUE | Film Review

RELEASED: November 17th 2017
DIRECTED BY: Zach Snyder (& Joss Whedon)
WRITTEN BY: Zach Snyder, Chris Terrio & Joss Whedon
PRODUCED BY: Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Jon Berg & Geoff Johns
STARRING: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Amy Adams, Connie Nielsen, J.K. Simmons, Diane Lane & Ciarán Hinds

When Batman v Superman was announced, I was beyond excited. As we moved closer to the release date, I remained adamant that it would be THE superhero movie, regardless of what the critics had been saying; it had to be – the two most iconic characters in comic-books coming together for the first time in cinematic history.

And then I saw it, and it was garbage. Poorly conceived and poorly made; it was long, boring, depressing and worst of all, disappointing.

Fortunately, Justice League is everything that Batman v Superman isn’t. Where BvS was overlong, Justice League sits comfortably at just under two hours. Where BvS was boringJL is full of action, excitement and adventure. Where BvS was depressing, JL is hopeful and overall, a lot of fun.

Justice League.jpg

And although some critics may be dismissing the film as the mess they expected it to be, in my opinion, it’s risen above that, and as a result is far from disappointing.

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Posted by on July 30, 2018 in DC

 

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WONDER WOMAN | Blu-Ray Review

Finally got round to re-watching and reviewing Wonder Woman so it can finally be retroactively fitted into my series of DCEU film reviews, completing the series. It’s about time!

RELEASED: June 2nd 2017
DIRECTED BY: Patty Jenkins
WRITTEN BY: Allan Heinberg, Jason Fuchs & Zack Snyder
PRODUCED BY: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Deborah Snyder & Zack Snyder
MUSIC BY:  Rupert Gregson-Williams
STARRING:
 Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Saïd Taghmaoui, Ewen Brimmer, Eugene Brave Rock & Lucy Davis

Commonly known as the bright spot amongst the sea of messy, bleak superhero movies that make up the DCEU, Wonder Woman sees Diana retell the story of how she came to the world of man; meeting her first love Steve Trevor and becoming embroiled in World War I in her hunt for the Greek God of War, Ares – who she believes has corrupted humanity.

The result is a film that clearly fits within the set-up of the DCEU as we know it, but with numerous factors that make it stand out amongst the rest. Because while I love Man of Steel, I must admit that it can be bleak at times, and the two follow-up films, Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, are thoroughly depressing, in terms of content and quality, respectively. Wonder Woman, however, is a film that provides hope. It preaches about the power of love and presents an empowering lead character who grows and develops in a meaningful way that actually, unlike her peers *cough*Batman*cough*, makes sense.

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Posted by on July 23, 2018 in DC

 

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