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Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in NY Subway Footage


Recently, the first look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker began circulating the internet. But now we can see him in the full get-up as filming is underway in NYC. A video of Phoenix at a subway station in Manhattan shows the Joker getting off the train with a mask on as onlookers flee. TMZ was one of the first sites to report on the video. The mask is creepy enough, but his makeup manages to make his Joker look pretty spot on. 

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker: Phoenix on Wanting the Role

According to Forbes, Joaquin Phoenix previously stated in an interview with comicbook.com.

Three or four years ago, I called my agent and said ‘Why don’t they want to take one of these characters and just make a lower budget film about it, a movie but a character study, and why not take one of the villains? And I thought, ‘You can’t do the Joker, because, you know, it’s just you can’t do that character, it’s just been done.’ So I was trying to think of other characters, and he said ‘I’ll set up a general meeting with Warner Bros.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go, I can’t go to a general meeting.’ So I completely forgot about it, and so then I heard about this idea, I was like, ‘Oh that’s so exciting, that’s the kind of experience I wanted to have, with a movie based on a comic character.’ I felt like you could get something on screen.

Is What We See the Joker’s Final Look for the Screen?

Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker

Photo Credit: DC Comics

The footage released is hopefully close to what Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be like. The film seems to be going for a more classic look, similar to Cesar Romero’s Joker in the 1966 Batman TV series, but way more unsettling. Appearance for the role is nearly as important as the portrayal of the iconic character. Film-goers will hope that Phoenix does the role justice, as most were blown away by the late Heath Ledger’s Joker performance. You can take a look for yourself in the subway video below.

Phoenix Doesn’t Want to Classify the Movie into a Genre

The Joker is a comic book character and part of the DC comics universe of superheroes and villains. The upcoming flick, set to come out in October of 2019, is a separate spin-off with the Joker as the main focal point. Phoenix, however, told comicbook.com that he “wouldn’t quite classify this as like any genre. I wouldn’t say it’s a superhero movie, or a studio movie or a … it feels unique.”

Whether he believes it fits into a genre or not, Phoenix goes on to say that the characters in the superhero realm are “incredible characters that are dealing with real life struggles. And sometimes that is uncovered and exposed, and sometimes it isn’t, and so I always felt, like, there were characters in comics that were really interesting and deserve the opportunity to be kind of studied.”

Take a look at the Joker train video from Hollywood Pipeline’s Official YouTube Channel

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Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker in NY Subway Footage. Featured Photo Credit:  ©  INSTAGRAM @TODDPHILLIPS1

What DC Comics Is and Isn’t Doing Right With Their Films


For the past decade, Marvel has dominated the superhero film franchise. Since the premiere of Iron Man, the famous comic book company has made millions at the box office. Superheroes like Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and countless others have been the top heroes to watch in theaters. Let’s not forget that Marvel’s rival, DC Comics, have also created some of the most iconic heroes and villains. There’s the invincible caped Kryptonian, Superman, and the dark and brooding Batman. Despite having some of the comic industries most renowned character, DC hasn’t been as lucky in the film portrayal of these characters.

The cinematic portrayal of Batman have been around since the 90s. In 1989 and 1992, Michael Keaton played the famous character and introduced villains like The Penguin and Cat Woman. In 1995, Val Kilmer was passed the baton and took on The Riddler and Two-Face. Out of nowhere in 1997, we get the dreamy George Clooney as the millionaire masked hero. These films never made much headway into becoming a series franchise. Instead they became cult classics. The problem was that DC couldn’t find an actor who would stay dedicated to the role, much less find a way to develop the character efficiently for the box office. Later from 2005 to 2012, we get our hopes up believing we finally found the ideal actor to play Batman. Christian Bale gave us a rich and intense portrayal of the character that fans honestly enjoyed and found fitting for the DC look. The same can be said of the 2006 Superman film. Sadly, it was short lived and the franchise died out.

With Marvel making franchise gold with creating films that not only introduced comic book characters, but films that also lead into bigger plot lines that brought together interwoven storylines, DC started to realize that maybe it was time to do the same. It started with Zack Snyder’s 2013 film Man of Steel. DC hit the jackpot in finding the right actor who not only physically represented the famous hero, but would also stick around for the long run. Henry Cavill became the chiseled and blue eyed hero of our dreams. Despite the film having some bad reviews for it being a bit too dark in lighting, it was the start of something.

From here it seems as if DC was trying to do that. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gave fans what they craved, but they still had some reservations. No one expected Ben Affleck to play Batman and were a bit skeptical if he could hack it out. The film gave fans a glimpse into what DC could do, but it ultimately flopped. A huge issue is the sequence of cinematography. The film felt choppy in its deliverance of scenes. Adding to that, there were a lot of small details in the story that made no sense to the common fan. How did Superman miss the wheelchair bomb? Or Batman’s dreams. The characters themselves weren’t well executed. Superman seemed like a depressed hero whose constantly fighting the angel and demon on his shoulders. Batman was made to look like a millionaire with toys instead of a caped crusader. Lex Luthor was too much of a giggling weirdo instead of a mastermind. They were too brutal and dark and there was no attempt to make a deeper connection to the audience.

This past year we got the awaited coming together of heroes, Justice League. The problem became that we were introduced to major comic book characters all at once, with little room for character development. We get the speedster The Flash (Ezra Miller), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Cyborg (Ray FIsher). This left open the introduction for solo installments to come after. The actors seem to fit the bill pretty well. Of Course not everything is perfect and the film had some bad moments and details that didn’t work. *Cough* Henry Cavill’s moustache. The main issues were that the film again was too discombobulated in its scenes. For example, Batman popping out of nowhere hunting in Gotham. There was no smooth transition from one plot point to another. Don’t get me started on the opening Superman scene. Watching the film, you get this feeling that the storyline was not developed to its full potential. It was a bing, bang boom plot. Visually, the film had its good moments like the fight scene of heros against Superman.

Then, we were introduced to the solo film of the Amazonian, Wonder Woman. The film was a box office hit and started a more foreseeable light at the end of the tunnel. Gal Gadot became the ideal woman to portray the strong female role and the film proved to be an improvement for DC. The film had a much more vibrant image and less brooding. DC did a good job at constructing Wonder Woman’s history in a way that was chronological, but also in a way that didn’t leave you bored. The character portrayal was more realistic and natural. The film also had what others lacked, emotion. You become more emotionally attached to the frailty of Diana’s team members and her first love. Diana becomes someone you can relate to instead of just a hero. She also stays true to her values of human worth. It’s an uplifting heroism.

DC’s main issue is trying to find the right formula to make their films work cohesively together and finding actors who can make the characters come to life.

We got the anticipated trailer for the film Aquaman. Jason Momoa seems like a good physical fit for the role. But, all you see is Jason Momoa, not Aquaman. You characterize him more by name than the role. Although, Momoa gives a certain risky and fun personality to the hero. The trailer showed of a much more colorful and entertaining film than the others. There are more witty jokes and we are exploring unknown territory. The city of Atlantis. It seems as DC is doing better at stand alone films than the banning together of heroes.

The biggest excitement is coming from the first time portrayal of Shazam. Finally! We get a film desperately contrasting to what we’ve seen. It more whimsical with Shazam having a boyish attitude. The film seems to be a good mix of laughter, heart and the possible threat of evil. There is also a different tone to the film. It’s not as dramatic and heavy on punchlines and has room for some quirky comebacks.

DC still has some kinks to work out when it comes to their films, but we’ll be seeing a lot more of the beloved comic book characters coming to life.  


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What DC Comics Is and Isn’t Doing Right: Feature Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

4 Original Songs from Comic Book Movies


Outside of the film itself, one great thing to come from the release of Black Panther is the corresponding original soundtrack for the film curated by Kendrick Lamar. While it’s great when comic book movies, like the two Guardians of the Galaxy films, use old pop songs to fill out their soundtracks, what’s nice about Black Panther: The Album is that Lamar filled it with new, original songs that were directly inspired by the film. With the first single from the album, “All the Stars,” breaking into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 this week, let’s take a look at some original songs from comic book movies.


“All the Stars” – Kendrick Lamar and SZA

As stated above, this is the first single off of the soundtrack album for the recently released Black Panther. The song has a great beat and flow to it. Lamar’s distorted pre-chorus and SZA’s powerful chorus work off each other really well. You can hear in the lyrics allusions to the film and to the characters in it. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this song continue to climb its way up the top 10.


“Men in Black” – Will Smith

This track from the film (and yes, this film was based off of a comic book) of the same name was actually Smith’s first solo single, and he made it count. Choosing a perfectly infectious sample in Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Nots,” the song pulls you in and sticks itself into your head. It’s also just fun to hear Will Smith rap about fighting aliens.


“Batdance” – Prince

This song from 1989’s Batman actually went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The song features samples of dialogue from the film on top of a repetitive dance beat, but there’s a great guitar solo by Prince in the middle of the song that shakes things up. The creativity of Prince really comes through in that it seems like he blended a bunch of different ideas together into one interesting track.


“Flash” – Queen

This was the theme song from a more forgotten comic book movie, 1980’s Flash Gordon. Like “Batdance,” this song also features dialogue from the movie sampled throughout. The song isn’t too far of a departure from Queen’s signature sound; it almost seems like it could stand on it’s own away from the movie as just another quality Queen track.


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4 Original Songs from Comic Book Movies. Feature Image Credit: Interscope Records

‘Justice League’ Review: All In, But Not All Together


The rapid mishmash of action and surprising comedy in Justice League left me wondering about this new tone of the DC Extended Universe. Certain parts of the film, such as the plot and specific characters, even left me slightly saddened by the direction of the film. However, Justice League is still a great film that should be seen if you need to satisfy your inner comic book nerd.

The overall plot takes place months after the last installment Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice where Bruce Wayne/Batman (Ben Affleck) and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) collect other superheroes such as Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and Barry Allen/the Flash (Ezra Miller) to defend Earth from a sudden alien invasion led by the villainously determined Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds).

What was significantly enjoyable about this film was how much it felt like a true live action version of a DC comic. The action sequences combined with the contrasting personalities and decisions of every character on the team made it feel as if I was reading through the pages of a Justice League comic. The team combinations connected amazingly making this team feel cohesive and effective. The use of CGI also complemented each character’s skillset nicely. In addition, composer Danny Elfman’s score made the film a true DC Comic film that many have been waiting for. Some sounds were especially noticeable to any fan of Elfman’s work on Batman: The Animated Series.

The definite standouts of the team were Ezra Miller’s portrayal of the scarlet speedster known as The Flash and Ray Fisher’s role as the brave, determined, and conflicted android called Cyborg. At first, Miller’s Barry Allen/the Flash feels a little similar to Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Homecoming in the sense of humor and social awkwardness. However, as the film progresses, he reveals a more creatively eccentric and hesitant version of The Flash that has not been seen in Grant Gustin’s version of The Flash TV series. Miller’s perfectly-timed quips, funny action scenes, and unique running movements make him the significant comedic character to the team.

What was significantly enjoyable about this film was how much it felt like a true live action version of a DC comic.

Ray Fisher’s Cyborg shows viewers how badly we needed this character in an actual DC film. Fisher is able to reveal the Cyborg’s constant internal emotional conflict of being a man and also a machine. Cyborg is extremely vital to the film’s overall plot and Fisher perfectly executes the struggles of immense power that Cyborg possesses and the struggles of maintaining his humanity.

Other characters, such as Momoa’s Aquaman, Gadot’s Wonder Woman, and Affleck’s Batman were great lead contributions, just not fully fleshed out. Momoa’s role as Aquaman was a commendable take on the character that showcased the character’s challenge of living as both a human and an Atlantean while trying to figure which world he belongs to. However, Aquaman was not seen for a good amount of time in the film and plays more of a small ally in the overall plot. Fortunately, the time he does have on screen, he sells it showing off his Aquaman as an isolated, rockstar-ish type guy just trying to do what is right while simultaneously searching for his place in the world. Hopefully, we get to see more of a fully formed character with a great plot in his 2018 standalone film, Aquaman.

The two leaders of this league, Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Affleck’s Batman, were likable in this film, but it just felt weird seeing them have more of a comedic side when they originally portrayed such darker personalities in their BvS: Dawn of Justice. Gadot’s Wonder Woman was still heroic and inspiring as she was in her standalone film, but her personality seemed slightly different. For Affleck’s Batman, it was entertaining to see more of a lighter side in his character rather than his normal brooding self, but it just seemed that this film’s version of Batman was not fully thought out; it should have shown more of the mix of both humor and seriousness.

Three other parts of the film that were not fully fleshed out were the film’s villain, the overall plot, and the tone. Steppenwolf, the film’s main villain, appeared as a simple and stereotypical alien villain whose main objective was just to conquer Earth. It was obvious to see that Hinds’ portrayal of the character was done to his best effort, but it felt like there weren’t any reasons to relate to the character’s motives or feel that he was an overly dangerous threat to the team. He just appeared as a smaller secondary villain instead of a boss level villain.

The overall plot seemed rushed with every moment feeling sped through rather than gradually rising in tension. The climax of the plot did not feel largely dire or had much of an impact for the team. The plot felt like it suffered because of the film’s tone which possibly might be due to the mix of directors Zack Snyder’s and Joss Whedon’s directorial time on the film. The film did stray away from the universe’s commonly known darker tone, which seemed like a good decision, but in its entirety, the film’s lighter and comedic tone felt like it was trying to be a competitor for Marvel films. The tone was sometimes used well, but when it tried to mesh both lighter and dark elements together, it just did not seem to combine efficiently.

Justice League was a good film. The time it took with the action sequences, as well as certain characters, made it fun to watch, but what could have made it even better would be if they took the time to fully flesh out their main characters, overall plot, and the main tone. I am interested in the new tone that is being taken for DC’s Extended Universe, but I just hope it remains consistent. I give Justice League an overall grade of a B-.

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‘Justice League’ Review: All In But Not All Together: Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review


Finally, the epic comic book movie our collective childhoods have been waiting for, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Yes, the Batman, the Superman, going one-on-one before our very eyes.  I’ll try to touch on what the movie is about without spoiling anything: Bruce Wayne, played by Ben Affleck, is pissed that Superman’s brawl with General Zodd ruined the lives of, well, pretty much anyone who lived in the surrounding area (see the climactic events of Man of Steel).  Donning cape and cowl to become The Batman once again, Bruce decides it’s up to him to do something about Superman, while Clark Kent, played by Henry Cavill, wrestles with the global criticism of his alter ego’s presence in a world, both terrified and awestruck at the realization that they’re no longer alone in the universe.


How to explain this situation? He’s Batman. Just go with it.

First of all, Ben Affleck’s Batman is dope. I had my doubts initially, but Ben Affleck really nailed the whole brooding aspect of Batman/Bruce Wayne, and dare I say it, his Batman was actually scary.  I mean, he was incredibly INTENSE, and brooding aside, there’s even more!  He’s dispatching bad guys with a certain Steven Segal-like prejudice, karate-chopping necks and breaking arms left-and-right, branding criminals, and delivering badass dialogue throughout (this is surely a testament to Mark Millar’s interpretation of Batman in The Dark Knight Returns).  I’d have to say everything that was Batman — Batcave, Bat-Wing, Batmobile, Alfred (played by Jeremy Irons, a great casting choice), and Joker references — made it into this movie. With that said, I’m surprised this movie wasn’t titled Batman: Justice League Rising, because Ben Affleck’s Batman steals the show. He’s interesting, he has better scenes, and every time he’s on screen, he’s dynamic — whether he’s a man tortured by the death of his parents, a playboy billionaire, a detective, or even as an unhinged super-violent superhero. Don’t believe me? That’s fine, but the movie literally opens up with Bruce Wayne, and then a brief (and at this point, unnecessary) Batman origin story. This pseudo Man of Steel sequel doesn’t open up with Superman doing super things; no, it’s Bruce Wayne doing Bat-things.

“Hail Hydra.”

There were plenty of action sequences towards the tail-end of the film, and needless to say, I’d have to pick Batman’s sequences as the standout (could you tell what I loved about this film?).  One amazing Bat-action sequence (Baction?) would have to be the warehouse scene that was briefly shown in one of the film’s many spoilery trailers.  The full sequence looks like something straight out of Batman: Arkham Asylum (video game), because here he is taking on multiple enemies at once while utilizing his Bat-arsenal. If the director of this movie, Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch), got something right, it was Batman’s movement in action.  Christopher Nolan, the legendary director of The Dark Knight Trilogy, made masterpieces of film, but (in my opinion) never delivered on any of Batman’s fight scenes. Snyder gets it right, and I’m all the more grateful for this.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman was also surprisingly good. I did not see that coming, because I thought she didn’t fit the Amazonian build; however, she manages to pull it off. She doesn’t get enough screen time to explain her origin — she’s just a part of the movie’s plot — but it’s interesting to see her move about because her part plays out well.  Again, Bruce Wayne/Batman gets the interesting scenes by interacting with Gadot’s character, and later when she shows up in her Wonder Woman outfit, she steals the show.  This movie did a hell of a job introducing her character, even for a brief moment, but what I feel sells her presence is her theme song. I mean, seriously, the theme music for Wonder Woman is crazy! The music rattled me in my seat (a breath of fresh year, I should say); it’s different from the sound of Batman or Superman, and I felt as if her sound didn’t fit with the tone of the movie, BUT, when it plays, it PLAYS, and it demanded my attention. Matter of fact, this is her theme:

Doesn’t that make you want to ride a warhorse into the fiery depths of Tartarus while waving a flaming sword in the air? Or, I don’t know, lift weights? Anyway, it got my blood pumping, and — I won’t lie — I was, at that moment, ready to throw my money at the upcoming Wonder Woman solo movie.  Anyway…
Zack Snyder delivers outstanding visuals as usual, and makes another movie that appears to have been ripped directly from the pages of a comic book — or in this case, an episode from Justice League Unlimited (that’s an animated series).  There are short cameos of future Justice League members in this movie, and it’ll momentarily allow people who recognize them to geek out.  That could be a good thing and a bad thing; in this case, it really took away from BvS as a whole, yet still delivered as a treat for anyone still paying attention.  Which leads me to…

Me trying to watch BvS…

A laundry list of things I didn’t like, and I wish I wasn’t aware of those things during my viewing, because I wanted to like this movie.  However, right off the bat (not THE Bat), BvS does the same thing Man of Steel did: pooping itself in the second half of the film.  There was a certain scene, a certain possible saving grace that could’ve been the turning point in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  A certain moment when there were hints of an interesting political thriller waiting to happen, but just as quickly as it was introduced, it was instantly removed and forgotten.  Instead, BvS tries too hard to be good.  BvS is like a classroom assignment, a powerpoint presentation that went too long, and failed to bring a message home; but even though it might’ve failed to deliver an informative and cohesive point, it still gets a ‘C’ for effort*.  That’s the thing, much of this movie does drag on, and I caught myself wondering when this was going to end.  I was waiting for it to be over, because it ultimately didn’t feel like a focused movie. I felt like I was just watching things happen in BvS. At one point, it felt like I was watching one scene after the other, and many times I caught it going off the rails because it kept trying to expand the world of Batman and Superman.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to see all these other characters make cameos — that’s cool — but it takes away from the main plot.  The story is no longer fluid. It just doesn’t work.  Everything that’s stuffed into this movie felt forced.  So, as a FILM, this movie doesn’t work. Not one bit.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…”

As for the rest of this laundry list of things I didn’t like, well, where do I begin?  First thing I noticed? Batman is killing the shit out of people in this movie, but Michael Keaton’s Batman (my favorite) killed people as well, so… it is what it is?  Doomsday, that big gray ninja turtle (pictured above) that was in the trailers, looks horribly rendered, and its fight scene with the proto-Justice League (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) was anti-climatic.
Let’s talk casting: I’m not a fan of Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor, or Amy Adams’ Lois Lane.  The entire cast did their jobs, but the direction taken with some of the characters wasn’t my cup of tea.  Lex Luthor is apparently The Riddler in this movie, or some form of this jokester, because Eisenberg did not play him as the calm, collected, and composed genius villain that Luther is supposed to be.  Instead, this Lex Luthor is erratic, a man with a nervous ticks, and an inability to speak in front of an audience without falling apart (really?).
On the other hand, Lois Lane is kind of a tool in this movie. Now give me a second to explain myself, because there were attempts to depict her as a strong, go-get’em journalist, but from the get-go and up until the end, she appears to be more of a device to give Superman a weakness (other than Kryptonite). Ultimately, she appears to be a liability, a damsel in constant distress — I actually kind of felt bad for Superman, because he obviously had bigger issues to deal with (being depicted as both a god and an enemy). Which leads me to another problem here: wasn’t this supposed to be a sequel to Man of Steel? It’s more of a spin-off that happens to have Superman somewhere in there. I felt bad for the guy. Like Lois Lane, he isn’t given much to work with. He’s flying around solving other people’s problems, but never given a considerable amount of character depth. It appears that this movie used Superman’s platform to deliver a considerably interesting take on Batman, a pitch for a Wonder Woman movie, and yes, a Justice League follow-up. Superman, the star of this film, is put on the back burner (there’s literally a scene where he just stands and says nothing).  I mean, look at his mug throughout the film.  He looks like he understands what’s happening, and doesn’t like what he sees.  There isn’t one moment here where Superman comes off as a winner, and it’s sad, because I had the same face after watching this movie.

Look at him. Superman was once Beyonce, and now he’s Michelle Williams…

But hey, it’s Batman versus Superman, of course I’d recommend that you’d go watch it. It’s not a terrible film and it’s not a great film — it’s teetering somewhere in the middle ground, losing its footing several times as it laboriously makes its way towards an anti-climatic end. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen the movie.  The kids are going to love it, and it does enough to kick off this year’s season of blockbuster events. Although, I was disappointed initially, I have to say that it could have been worse. I mean, it’s not like there’s going to be a longer version of this in the near future, right?
*God, I hope that analogy reaches you.
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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review photos courtesy of Warner Bros 

Comic-Con Mania


Comic Con by Terry Check  IMG_9805The nerd/geek culture, the New Cool, has gone mainstream. Everyone, young and old, are entertained by fictional characters like Superman, Iron Man, Spider-man, and the Avengers as the characters become animated at Comic-Con.
Many fans and celebrities amass at Comic-Con events in cities such as San Diego, New York, and Salt Lake City to celebrate sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and horror in film, television, and comicbooks. More than 120,000 fans—many personifying their favorite fictional characters—converged on downtown Salt Lake City’s Salt Palace Convention Palace to celebrate this ever-expanding nerd/geek pop culture phenomenon. Captivating panel discussions and photo ops with over 200 celebrity guests, hundreds of vendors selling books, shirts, and posters, and stage performances enacting sci-fi battle scenes set the theme for the three-day event.
Far and beyond the most popular panel discussion with guest celebrities was Stan Lee, the King of the Comic-Con pop cultural events.
“Comicbook is one word, not two,” Lee preached to his fandom. “A comic book means a funny book. A comicbook is something special.”
Comic Con by Terry Check  IMG_9817In the Q&A session when a fan asked about how inspirational comic characteristics influenced his life, Lee simply responded, “I was just writing these things to make a living, to pay the rent. I didn’t know I was performing this great public service.” When asked to name his favorite character, he smiled and said, “All of them. You’d never suspect this, but I am my biggest fan.”
Another fan asked, “Who was the better Spider-Man: Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield?”
“I like ‘em both. Tobey’s wonderful. Andy’s a different look, but he’s a terrific actor,” Lee replied with a grin. “There’s only one person who could do it better, but I wasn’t available at the time.”
Lee’s creation of Marvel Comics gave us unforgettable characters like Iron Man, Spider-man, Thor, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and an unending list of popular icons. Lee commented, “You people are the greatest Comic-Con in the world. You are the best group of fans anywhere, and it is such a pleasure coming here, I can’t tell you.” His commentary was appreciated by the organizers of the Salt Lake City Comic-Con since more than 40 Comic-Con conventions are scheduled for the United States in 2015, and many more throughout the world.
Comic Con by Terry Check  IMG_9823“Standing room only” was posted in every ballroom hosting panel discussions with celebrity guests like actor Stephen Amell of CW’s hit series Arrow, Barbara Eden of I Dream of Jeannie, Bruce Campbell of the Evil Dead series, Cary Elwes of The Princess Bride, television personality Hulk Hogan, golden Globe winner Ron Perlman of Beauty and the Beast, actor Simon Helberg of The Big Bang Theory, and too many others to mention.
The best feature about Comic-Con is cosplay (short for costume play): creating and wearing elaborate costumes giving homage to favorite characters from comicbooks, cartoons, anime, or live-action films. Cosplayers sometimes adopt the character’s personality, simply enjoy the notoriety of cosplay, and revel in the creative process as they banter with other cosplayers. As a Batman cosplayer said, “The idea of every day sort of being Halloween just makes it that much more fun because not only do you get to step in the shoes of a character that you really love, but on top of that you get to connect with people who really love these characters as well.”
Whether you are a cosplayer or simply enjoy fictional characters, Comic-Con is for you.

Read more article by Terry Check on ClicheMag.com
“Comic-Con Mania” was originally published in Cliché Magazine’s Dec 2014/Jan 2015 Issue: Photographed by Terry Check

Gotham Review


Even though it hadn’t aired yet, Gotham had been one of the most talked about series for the last few months. Reviews for Gotham started to appear long before the show was close to airing. It seemed that everyone had something to say about the series. Some seemed hopeful while others seemed doubtful. Many wondered how they could have a Batman series that didn’t have a Batman and wasn’t focused on how he evolved into the Dark Knight. In other words, early on fans knew that this series wasn’t going to be another Smallville. After watching the first two episodes, we feel ready to a proper Gotham review.

Speaking as one of the hopefuls, I believe that the series has started off rather well. We get to follow a young, fresh on the force Jim Gordon, but he isn’t a total green horn. We get the sense that while he is new to Gotham City’s police department he knows what he is doing. He is already a man of morals, and a hardworking officer. He is unwilling to cross that line into corruption, as seen at the end of the first episode, even when it seems his back is against the wall.

101-003-gotham-pilot-photos-lightbox-tbdGordon crosses paths with a number of beings who are down right cutthroat, or a least will become so. Fish Mooney, a character made for the series, is fun to watch. It is very possible that she will appear in the comics at some point in the near future. Penguin is kind of lovable, in a strange way. One gets a sense that he has been pushed around all his life. If this was high school, he would be eating lunch in the bathroom, dreaming about how he will show them that he’s not a nobody.

101-005-gotham-pilot-photos-lightbox-tbdFans who love nods to the comics, and foreshadowing, will love/hate moments in the show. Watching a young Catwoman steal milk, or Bruce Wayne trying to overcome fear helps to showcase how far some characters have come. Other nods will be a bit of a headache, case in point the Joker. These are of course just some of Batman’s future rogues that have appeared so far. The first episode has already sparked the debate of “Is this are Joker?” Answer: no. That man is clearly not the Joker. What adds to the mystic of the Joker is that his origin story is a mystery, and it depends on who’s telling his story. Seeing the man behind the curtain kind of ruins the image. Gotham, in keeping with the comics, will most likely have a number of people appear that could one day become the Joker. They will keep his backstory open, and unclear. It’s the only way to do the clown justice. Gotham is clearly going to be an amazing series, and if the series last long enough it will end in one of two ways. Bruce Wayne will start creating the Batcave or he will have his first Batsuit because, let’s face it, you can’t end a Batman series without having Batman appear, even if it’s just in passing.
Images courtesy of Fox

The Hunt for Batman


When Warner Bros. announced the Man of Steel sequel back at Comic-Con, the internet (and I) exploded with anticipation. Batman and Superman?

And according to a quote by screenwriter David S. Goyer found on Vulture.com, the next film could well be titled either Superman vs. Batman or Batman vs. Superman.

Cue absolute superhero chaos.

Now the important thing about this movie is that they find a proper Batman to replace Christian Bale’s brilliant portrayal of Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight trilogy.

Rumors have been swirling since the original announcement. The Hollywood Reporter has said that “this Wayne/Batman will be in the late 30s or around the 40s mark…established and rugged.” They’ve thrown around Ryan Gosling and Joe Manganiello as options.

The LA Times created a poll of names consisting of Bradley Cooper, Channing Tatum, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. (I’m just going to state that, spoiler alert, Gordon-Levitt is Robin and he needs to stay Robin so he can rock it in the Justice League. But that’s just my thought.)

All of those men are extremely handsome, and some I wouldn’t mind seeing as Batman, but this is an important choice to make.

Two shreds of hope I hold onto are the facts that Goyer co-wrote The Dark Knight trilogy with Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, and Christopher will be the executive producer to the new film.

There is no way they will let the role of Batman fall into the wrong hands. The future of the franchise depends on it.
Photo courtesy of The Cultured Nerd
Featured Image courtesy of Forbes