Category Archives: 2017
Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you!
Well, we’re inching closer to the end-of-year holiday season. Maybe you’ve noticed that your local mall is decked to the gills in tinsel? Perhaps you’ve guiltily watched one or two bad made-for-TV holiday movies on some run-of-the-mill specialty channel (so that’s what Winnie Cooper is up to these days! Also, she was great!)? Maybe you’ve been busily writing, then scratching, then re-writing various dinner engagements with friends and family in your December calendar?
Well, DC Comics and their stable of writers and artists have been busy getting various superheroes and villains in the spirit of the season, working tirelessly on a holiday-themed production of their own.
Today sees its very timely release!
Get set to jingle all the way to the DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1!
That’s what Steve Miller expertly told us, in the 1976 Steve Miller Band mellow release titled “Fly Like An Eagle”. The song went to number 2 on the US Billboard Charts and the lyrics about time ceaselessly moving forward while we worry about life and death and freedom of the soul in the present tense, has since become quite famous.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
That’s the general sound effect for a clock, an apt aural representation of time, of course. But any reader of comic books knows that the Tick. Tick. Tick. sound is also the noise a bomb makes – right before it’s detonated.
Interestingly, today’s long anticipated release of DC Comics’ Doomsday Clock #1, the first issue of a twelve issue monthly series, plays on all three of the “time” and Tick outcomes. And all for various reasons:
The future the DC Comics Universe!
The past of DC Comics publishing!
The critical and commercial bomb that the Doomsday Clock series could be!
The best kind of art takes risks, right? Doomsday Clock #1 is a huge risk – and we all can’t wait to dive right in!
Takashi Miike’s been one of the biggest shock jockeys of Japanese cinema for eons. Ichi the Killer (2001) was a high-splatter mark for lovers of extreme gore, and Miike’s output has been an extraordinary arterial gusher. Blade of the Immortal is billed as Miike’s hundredth film, and while one could quibble (glancing over his Wikipedia bio, I count somewhere in the mid-nineties), the fact is the guy’s made an astonishing number of films. And he’s only fifty-seven!
Blade of the Immortal finds Miike plying his grisly gonzo in the service of a long-running samurai manga. Is the legendary director finally in danger of becoming a hack, or does his blood-slicked blade cut through one more time?
Mudbound is a fascinating, moving film from director Dee Rees. Set in the deep south during the forties, this adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s 2008 bestseller is deeply affecting but not without its own contradictions, a sprawling literary epic that feels somehow too contained.
Long and winding and fraught with bumps and pitfalls and massive industry, cultural, commercial and familial obstacles.
Resiliently plowing through these numerous impediments, Warner Brothers has finally made good on a long-standing promise to showcase the greatest heroes of pop culture on the silver screen – the comic book visages of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, the Justice League, together for the first time.
It’s actually not technically the first time the Justice League has been together on screen. There have actually been numerous iterations of the group over the years. But the road taken for this particular Justice League, is an interesting one indeed.
To get to here, let’s take a quick look back at there, and all the previously mentioned hazards that nearly conquered the world’s greatest superheroes.
Just seven. Seven features over twenty-four years. That’s the sum of Andrei Tarkovsky’s output. Each one is a starkly entrancing masterpiece, evidencing a unique metaphysical vision. They’re about as far from easy films as you can get. They’re rich, nuanced and spare, and hugely influential in an oblique way. Art house giants like Lars von Trier and Terrence Malick owe a tremendous debt to Tarkovsky, and the existential science fiction of films like Stalker and Solaris casts a long, looming shadow into the present day.
I know there are a number of Moon Knight fans out there, fans from all the way back to the characters first ongoing monthly series in 1980, written by comic book luminary, Doug Moench and illustrated by the culture-shifting work of the now legendary, Bill Sienkiewicz.
The hero that proved to be more than a Batman rip-off.
The hero with multiple personalities and multiple versions of himself, who’s reality shifts as easily as the sands upon which his Egyptian-lore based origin is told.
This particular column has thrillingly lived through the various iterations of the character over the last half decade…and we’re extremely excited for the new version – which begins today in the pages of Moon Knight #188!
Francis Lee’s debut feature God’s Own Country finds its soul in the rugged English countryside, bleak and affecting. Getting raves on the indie circuit, it’s a stark romance about a young farmer discovering his sexuality. But is it Brokeback UK, or is there more to it?
Fifty years ago.
That’s when Strange Adventures #205 hit newsstands across North America.
It was DC Comics’ first science fiction monthly comic book and it told tales featuring all sorts of weird and arcane…well, adventures, starring some of DC’s more obscure characters (as well as their more famous ones). It was a place for readers to see their heroes in unfamiliar settings as well as a proving ground for new characters. Captain Comet first appeared here. As did Star Hawkins, the Atomic Knights, Enchantress and Animal Man. You may know their names.
And then there was Deadman, created by comic book luminaries, Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino and later written and drawn by the legendary Neal Adams, who honed his pencil and ink chops on the character.
Biff Bam Pop! has featured the character of Deadman in a number of articles over the years. We begged for a film series here. We pleaded for a television series starring the beloved character here. And we featured him in this very column here and here among other pieces.
So, what is it that makes Deadman, the crime-fighting, supernatural ghost, who inhabits the bodies of the living so appealing?
Look no further than today’s risen-from-the-grave release of Deadman #1!