Although I normally leave the commentary for current comics-related news to the other 6,500 comic book blogs, I occasionally like to throw in my 2¢. Here's a few items of recent vintage that grabbed my interest:
1. Ryan Reynolds cast as Green Lantern: Great news! I'm not super-familiar with the guy's work, but from what I've seen, he's got the look, the attitude, and the ability to play Hal Jordan in a big-budget Green Lantern movie. With the success of Iron-Man, it's been shown that movies featuring so-called "second tier" characters (in the right hands) can be every bit as popular as the more iconic A-listers like Spider-Man or Batman...so here's hoping for a similar kind of success for a GL franchise. Better yet, Reynolds' popularity with the ladies ensures both men and women will flock to see the movie...and the Green Lantern tradition of space-faring high adventure should appeal to a wide age-range as well. Of course, much more needs to be seen before I can declare the movie a pre-ordained hit...but casting a great match for the main character is certainly a big step in the right direction.
Speaking of Green Lantern, I can hardly wait for the July 28th release of the Green Lantern: First Flight DVD. If it's done right (which I'm hearing is the case), it could really help "set the table" for the live action movie, in that it will give the character some good mass-market exposure and build name recognition.
2. Over on the Marvel side of the aisle, I'm similarly pleased with the casting choices for the upcoming Thor movie, slated for 2011. As a Thor fan from way back, I'm ecstatic this film is being made...and it's encouraging to see such spot-on choices for Thor (Chris Hemsworth), his evil half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and their papa Odin (Brian Blessed). The selection of these three guys alone ensures a certain level of quality and fidelity to the source material.
Left to right: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Brian Blessed
I'm less than thrilled to hear the wooden Natalie Portman may have been cast as the rather inconsequential character of Jane Foster (the bland love-lorn nurse of early 60's Thor comics), but that disappointment is balanced out by the possibility Jennifer Biel could be playing Sif, Thor's Asgardian lady-love. Like with the Green Lantern movie, it's still very early in the process...but from what I've seen so far, I'm very hopeful for top-notch Thor movie.
3. Is it time for the San Diego Comic Con already? Having attended three of these between 2003 and 2007, I have to say this event seems to have spiraled out of control. It's now SO big...so overwhelming...that I'm not sure how much of my San-Diego Con Survival Guide even applies anymore. But, if you're going, check out my five part series and glean whatever wisdom you can from my ramblings:
4. New York's Finest vs. World's Finest: For all the positive exposure superhero movies and Comic Con have brought to superhero comic books, it's depressing how quickly a couple of costumed knuckleheads (and a lame Batman TV show headline) can resurrect all of the bad old stereotypes of superhero comics and their fans.
To clarify, I don't think comic book fans are viewed as cop-punching panhandlers, but at the same time, these idiots seem to confirm a more subtle impression I've encountered before that there's something a bit "off" or inherently unstable about folks who happen to like superheroes.
Sad, shameful stuff...especially seeing the spectacle of cops holding down someone in the costume of Superman, supposedly a character who's on their side!