Thoughts on: How To Improve Cinematic Universes

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For better or worse Cinematic Universes are becoming an ever prominent part of the modern movie goers cinematic diet.  And like with any other form of art and entertainment each has their own strengths and weaknesses, though what those are will of course vary from person to person.  However as a fellow purveyor of the cinematic arts I though I would give my two cents on how studios, critic and fans alike could possibly improve on these in the future.  So without further ado, lets get things started.

 

 

 

  1. Accept That Different Tones are Good & Necessary.

One of the sad truths of cinematic universes is that they can all to easily become rather repetitive or monotone in nature.  This can be in the form of being far to light hearted or “fun” as some call it, or far to grim & dower.  This is rather restrictive as many times the comics or properties these universes are based on have many characters with content of various tones and themes.  Not every movie needs to be light hearted and “fun” or dark, serious and philosophical.  There is room for both extremes mind you, but like the characters themselves the movies should be able to have more then one tone to them.  For example, it is OK to make a movie about Thor more serious then a movie about the Guardians of The Galaxy, even though Marvel sadly doesn’t seem to think that is the case.  On the DC side of things if they ever made a Blue Beetle & Booster Gold movie, I would expect it to be more comedic and light hearted then a Batman or Deathstroke movie.  It is important to make the tone of the film match the tone of the character as opposed to everything having to fit into a narrow “fun & lighthearted” or “dark & serious” extreme.  Superheroes have a very diverse range of tones for stories and Hollywood would be wise to explore more of these, and critics and fans would be wise as to be more open minded to superhero stories with these characters that don’t just follow the generic MCU mold.

 

2. Stop The Juvenile Fan Wars.

Fans on both sides of the fence, be it the MCU or DCEU have become highly toxic towards each other as well as to themselves.  what is even worse is so called professional critics also engage in this ridiculous behavior to fan the flames of drama and controversy thus like a cruel right wing politician legitimatize and normalize such juvenile and toxic behaviors amongst both fan and critic communities which is unhealthy not just for set fan bases but for CBM’s, cinematic universes and the art of cinema as a whole.  This false sense of elitism and pointless desire to create division and rivalries where none are needed is as old as human culture itself, but like with any part of life it serves no purpose but to harm and like with those other aspects it must be fought against and stopped.

 

3. Do More Then Just Superheroes

As much as I love comic books and superheroes there is potential for non CBM universes as well.  Decades of animation, film and literature have also provided ample opportunity for cinematic universes based on beloved cartoon and movie properties of the past, and if utilized properly and given to diverse voices to direct and produce you could make unique and entertaining worlds for all to enjoy with them.

 

and finally

 

4. More Diversity in Directorial Positions and Film Decisions.

Despite what the bigots of the world may say, diversity is a natural part of the human experience and a natural part of life in general.  So yes we do need more movies with female directors, more movies by Men & Women of color, Asian, Hispanic, middle eastern and LBGTQ directors, writers, producers and staff.  We need diverse heroes like Static Shock, Vixen, Ms. Marvel, Moon Girl, Miles Morales, The Ray, Midnighter & Apallo, etc .

 

 

Overall I believe these small changes and acknowledgements could greatly improve the future of CBM’s and cinematic universes in general.  But hey, that’s just my 2-cents.

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The Flash #22: The Button Part 4 Review

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Published By: DC Comics

Written By: Joshua Williamson

Art by Howard Porter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next chapter in the DC Universe Rebirth Saga has finally come to a close.  Did The Button meet expectations, or was it not quite fast enough to make the cut?

 

To do a brief recap of the third part of the event Bruce & Barry ended up in the Flashpoint timeline where Bruce got to have a short heart to heart with his father Thomas Wayne before they were attacked by the Amazonian and Atlantien forces, during the fight they world begins to vanish and Bruce and Barry are forced to head back into the speed force where they encounter Thawne before he dies with the mysterious button in hand.

 

Part four of the story picks up where part three left off with Batman & Flash following Thawne through the speedforce via the cosmic treadmill while a mysterious voice narrates.   Thawne boasts that after he gets the power of the being behind the time/space manipulations he will go back and mess-up Barry’s childhood even more laughing at all the sadistic things he has planned.  However once Thawne finally arrives at the edge and faces the mysterious entity his bravado quickly becomes fear as he begs for his life and is destroyed by the mysterious force.  The ripples cause Barry & Bruce to be flung off the Cosmic treadmill but Flash finally here’s the voice that has been calling him and says Jay Garrick’s name which allows Jay to temporarily break free from the Speedforce and help get Flash and Batman safely back to the Batcave .  Barry attempts to stabilize him the way he had before with Wally but he fails and Jay is pulled back into the Speedforce.  Barry says he must not have been the right person that he wasn’t Jay’s lightning rod.  The issue ends with the button floating in space and Superman’s shield shown front and center in one of the panels.

 

In terms of story The Button does move the overall narrative of Rebirth forward, however at the end of the day it does feel a bit more like a mean tease more so than anything else.  The book does concrete that we will eventually get teams like the JSA and Legion of Superheroes back and does do some things that will most likely have some long lasting effects on the characters, such as the Death of Eobard Thawne The Reverse Flash, and Bruce having a heart to heart with his father Thomas making him doubt his purpose for being Batman.  Otherwise the story just seems to be a set-up for this Fall’s Doomsday Clock storyline.  On the Brightside however Howard Porter’s art is just as great as ever and his Jay Garrick is a nice mix of the traditional and the John Wessley Shipp version we see on TV.

 

Overall The Button is an interesting story that is just one more piece in the gigantic puzzle that is Rebirth.

 

Final Score

Story: 7

Art: 8

Overall: 7.5

  

The Flash #21: The Button Part 2 Review

Publisher: DC Comicswcn02k72xoey

Written By: Joshua Williamson

Art  By: Howard Porter, Hi-Fi

Letters By: Steve Wands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest Rebirth Event continues with a murder mystery very personal to the scarlet speedster, but as we soon find out the case is big on questions and short on answers.

 

The second part of the Batman/Flash crossover “The Button” starts with an elder Johhny Thunder on top of the retirement home begging Thunderbolt to come back to him and help him find the Justice Society of America as he blames himself for their disappearance.  Meanwhile Barry Allen examining the site while also monolouging about how he is relieved Thawne is finally dead though disappointed someone else did it and that the criminal will never truly know justice.  He goes to ask Bruce what he remembers about the incident but Batman can give him little information on top of what he already knows, Barry says he is going to investigate more on his own and heads to the Justice League Watchtower.  While there he dusts off the Cosmic Treadmill and prepares to start it up as Batman walks in and tells Barry that he is going with him.  At first Flash states that Bruce is too injured to come along but he states that he’s been through worse so the two go together into the speedforce to travel back in time to The Flashpoint to see if they can discover who killed Thawne and who put the mysterious button in the Batcave in the firstplace.  While traveling through time they see flashes of the stolen years Wally had previously talked about showcasing events such as the formation of the JLA in the silver age, the first Crisis on Infinite Earths and Identity Crisis.  Suddenly a storm catches them and they get knocked out of the timestream into the Flashpoint Batcave where Bruce meets his father Thomas Wayne who is that timelines Batman.

 

Overall Williamson continues King’s narrative quite well the story while a bit fast paced is well executed and moves the event forward enough to keep readers interested.  The dialogue between Barry and Bruce shows how the two are more similar than they would like to admit but also how they contrast when dealing with issues.  The greater narrative or Rebirth is moved forward a bit as well as we see more hints at the return of The Justice Society and we see part of the ten years time taken from the DC Universe when Bruce & Barry are in the speedforce.  In terms of art Howard Porter’s art may not be quite as detailed as the art in the previous installment however it still fits the narrative well and helps give The Flash flair in his motions throughout.  Hi-Fi also does an excellent job on the colors complimenting Porter’s art quite well, although the costumes do look a bit overly shiny at times.  Once all is said and done however the second installment of “The Button” while not as suspenseful as the first is still an enjoyable read overall.

 

Final Score

Story: 8 out of 10

Art 7 out of 10

Overall: 7.5 out of 10

Batman #21: The Button Part 1 Review

Publisher: DC Comics190240_1060281_3

Written By: Tom King

Art By:  Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson

Letters By: Daron Bennet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the DC Universe Rebirth Special DC put out last summer Batman found the Comedian’s bloody button from the Watchman buried in the wall of the Batcave. Now nearly a year later we start a crossover between Batman & The Flash to investigate the mysterious artifact with a four part crossover titled “The Button”.

 

The first part begins with the amnesiac Saturn Girl from the Legion of Superheroes in Arkham watching a hockey game on TV, this triggers something in her memory and she begins screaming about how Superman won’t come and the Legion will die.  Meanwhile we cut out to Batman back at the Batcave and the titular button reacting to the Psycho Pirates mask sitting next to it.  Bruce contacts Barry about this however The Flash is unable to speed over as he is currently in the middle of a battle with a group of  robotic samurai but tells Batman he will be over in a minute.  As soon as he ends the call Batman sees a swoosh thinking it is his friend however it turns out to be Eobard Thawne: The Reverse Flash, who taunts Batman by ripping up his letter that his father Thomas wrote for him during The Flashpoint and starts beating poor Bruce into the ground until he is unconscious and is able to steal the button from him.  As soon as Thawne gets his hands on the button he is momentarily teleported away and reappears looking much worse for wear merely stating “I Saw God!” before collapsing and turning into a skeleton.  The issue ends with Barry arriving at the Batcave finding an unconscious Bruce and a dead Thawne.

 

In terms of story the first part of The Button is near perfect, we see more of the staples that have made King so popular, nine panel page layouts, cryptic dialogue, social commentary, a nice cliffhanger ending and well paced action scenes make the issue one heck of a ride that would make The Watchmen themselves proud.  The art by Jason Fabok complements the story perfectly and Fabok continues to be at the top of his game creating a truly tense and engaging atmosphere in near every page and panel, all of which are well complimented by Brad Anderson’s color work which give us bright and defined colors to help make the characters and surroundings really pop out on each page.

 

Overall Batman #21 is an excellent start to what may be one of the most important storylines since Rebirth began in June of 2016 and is a much have for any Batman &/or Flash fan.

 

Final Grade

Story: 10

Art: 9.5

Overall: 9.5