Warner Bros. Names New Head Leaves DC Properties in Limbo

by Josh Starnes, CMRO Editor

After two years of struggling, schmoozing and backstabbing the experiment in a Cerberus like three-headed CEO monster running the disparate aspects of Warner Bros. ended Monday with the announcement that Kevin Tsujihara will be the taking the reins as CEO of Warner Bros. entertainment.

The announcement left CEO competitor Jeff Robinov in his slot as President of the motion picture group, which has prompted speculation Robinov–head of the group since 2007–may jump ship to a CEO gig at a competitor such as Universal, according to an article Tuesday in Variety.

Such a change could also lead to major changes in some of the DC Entertainment fare lined up at the studio over the next decade. Robinov’s relationship with director Chris Nolan was a key piece to the success of The Dark KnightInception and The Dark Knight Rises. With his guiding hand off the wheel, future collaboration such as the Nolan produced, Zack Snyder directed Man of Steel due this summer could become a thing of the past.

That reality may already be setting in at Warner Bros. According to the Variety article, forward momentum on Justice League has been reduced pending the performance of Man of Steel this summer.

“A Justice League film wouldn’t likely be in theaters before 2015, as Warner’s top brass has indicated that they are awaiting the results of Man of Steel, which opens June 14, before moving further ahead,” the article said.

The success or failure of Man of Steel–and with it the proof that Warner Bros. can manage to make more than just successful Batman films–could also be key to Robinov’s future.

Other DC Entertainment property changes are already busy in the works. With the announcement of its 2013 schedule, Cartoon Network confirmed that the oft-delayed Young Justice was being canceled after the second season concludes, along with Green Lantern to be replaced by Beware the Batman and the returning Teen Titans Go!

CMRO Update (01/30/2013)

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Uncanny Avengers #3 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Uncanny Avengers

Issue #3

Written by Rick Remender, Art by John Cassaday

Published: March 2013

I love the Red Skull as a villain. He is a classic, old school, a true Marvel Original and it is nice to see him taking some serious limelight. In a way it is like they way Norman Osborne or Doc Ock got a big bump last year from being a villain that was a nemesis to a single hero became a world-wide threat. The Skull was a world-wide threat before it was a world overpopulated with heroes and now he is back and looking pretty tough.

I like that the Red Skull stays on target with his Nazi roots to eliminate the ‘unnaturals’ like mutants. Of course he has to use a mutant brain to allow him to so this in perfect comic irony. On the other side of the coin we have Captain America running a mixed team mainly for the purpose of showing the world that mutants and non-mutants can work together. So we have good versus evil battling on a large scale which is what the Avengers is all about. What more could you ask for in the first arc for this new run?

This issue was great because we had a lot of the Red Skull being diabolical and evil. I loved the dialogue and thought the writing was very strong. Plus there are some interesting points like Havok being more of the leader. We even had a nice twist that I won’t share. On the art side we have John Cassady just nailing it all over the place. There are subtle images on the edges of panels, emotion that you can see, and excellent detail; really top notch work. The colors were a bit off though, too bright in some spots which distracts.

Overall this issue felt like an 8.5 out of 10. Again my love of the Red Skull as a big villain made me overlook the less than stellar explanation for how he got his powers, but I enjoyed the overall read very much.

CMRO Update (01/29/2013)

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Days Of Future Past Adds More Cast Members and Ambition

by Josh Starnes, CMRO Editor

The sequel to X-Men: First Class is proving to have far grander ambitions than just being a sequel to X-Men: First Class instead promising to be a major cap on the mutant franchise, truly tying the old and new together.

“It’s epic. We get to bring both casts together. We’ve cracked it in a way that makes sense. I had a two-hour conversation with James Cameron about time travel, string theory, multiverses and all that. You have to create your rules and stick with them. That’s what makes Terminator and Back to the Future work so well. And there are certain mechanisms in X-Men, certain powers, perceptions and characters, that make this possible,” director Bryan Singer said this week in an interview with Empire Magazine.

Those comments come on the heels of reports of new cast additions to the film from the original series, including Anna Paquin as Rogue, Shawn Ashmore as Iceman and Ellen Page as Kitty Pryde, and rumors continue of a return by Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in the main franchise. Jackman cameoed in the role in First Class.

Based on Singer’s comments about plans for the story, it seems likely that he will have to have some sort of role.

“It has a lot of aspects of the comic. The actual comic of Days Of Future Past had a whole ton of stuff going on, so it’s like any of these things; you have to distill it. But I think the fans will be pleased that some of the most exciting parts of Days Of Future Past are going to be connected to this movie,” Singer said.

Beyond the returning original cast members, First Class cast members James MacAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence are also set for the film.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is due July 18, 2014.

Avengers #3 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Avengers

Issue #3

Written by Jonathan Hickman, Art by Jerome Opena

Published: March 2013

The first two issues of this re-launch came out strong so it was a bit disappointing to see even a slight drop off. But, that is what we have here. This initial arc ends with a good conclusion. I had hoped for great but there were a few things that Jonathan Hickman did which left me a little disappointed.

Honestly I will try and not spoil the issue and instead just focus on the likes and not likes. What I liked was the dialogue. We had some crisp and funny exchanges that really helped the issue feel light and fun. Also the concept is still strong; the Avengers are a team that deals with big problems, not the nickel and dime stuff. The Earth is in danger so you call in the big guns. I really like that they need to use an expanded roster to tackle big problems instead of dealing with issues that Iron Man or Thor alone can probably handle (or does handle in their own books). The writing is solid with a developed idea and some really great moments.

What I didn’t like are things that I hope will improve. First off, the expanded roster needs more attention. Instead of a three issue arc, four should have been used to give the entire team more coverage rather than making some members seem more like a single issue cameo. Next, when Thor and the Hulk are part of the team the threat really does need to take longer than a few panels for resolution. Or if it will be that easy then one of two should be neutralized to make it more of a struggle. In issue #1 the team wasn’t strong enough so they beefed up with more members, but then it was too easy.

The art by Jerome Opena was very nice. He drew some beautiful scenes, especially on Mars. He did a great job with the varied cast plus all of the action. The bottom line is a solid 8.5 out of 10 to finish the arc. I had hoped for more but this is still a fun issue and a lot of people should really enjoy this comic if it stays strong.

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She-Hulks #1 Review

by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer

She-Hulks

Issue #1

Written by Harrison Wilcox, Art by Ryan Stegman

Published: January 2011

Spinning out of the wake of World War Hulks, She-Hulks is a miniseries devoted to Jen Walters and Lyra, the two current bearers of the She-Hulk name. Betty Ross, the red She-Hulk, does not appear here, but that’s probably for the best since she’s getting plenty of face time over in The Incredible Hulks.

Our first issue of this miniseries follows the two She-Hulks as they track down leftover members of the Intelligencia. The Leader and MODOK have been neutralized, but that still leaves guys like Egghead and the Wizard at large. If there’s anybody who is benefiting from more exposure here, it’s the Hulk himself. The original gamma-irradiated monster shows up only for a brief while, as does Banner, but he is very effective. As the Hulk points out to one of his enemies, he and Banner have reached an agreement following World War Hulks. And, as the Hulk says while intimidating someone, “Imagine what I could do with his brain and these hands.” This can also serve as a loose explanation of why the Hulk spoke like Bruce Banner in Hulk #24. Maybe the jade giant was letting Banner drive for a little while.

The She-Hulks themselves get some nice quips in during their fight scenes, and the story as a whole is helped a lot by some good scripting from Harrison Wilcox and crisp, clean art by Ryan Stegman and Michael Babinski. The one area that things get a little muddy is with the character of Lyra herself. In this issue, she’s hiding out as a high school student. That makes sense to a degree, since Lyra is technically still a teenager. However, there has been nothing previous to suggest that she is physically a minor. I mean, she came into the current Marvel timeline on a mission to reproduce with Normal Osborn, for crying out loud. She has seemed physically to be an adult, and has proven capable of taking care of herself. She also has a pretty thorough education already, thanks to her arm-computer from the future. I also have to wonder how even the She-Hulk, despite being a lawyer, was able to forge an entire identity for Lyra so she could even get into high school. And why go through all that trouble instead of just send her to Xavier’s School of the Gifted, since she could technically be considered a mutant?

The high school sections of the story run about as you would expect a typical high school comedy-drama to go. Lyra is grossed out by her cafeteria lunch, she’s picked on by the mean girls, and she finds one cute guy who is way less of a jerk than any realistic high schooler actually is. Pretty standard stuff, with jokes about Lyra’s post-apocalyptic upbringing mixed in.

Overall, She-Hulks #1 is a pretty snappy issue, but one that is maybe too reliant on the high school plot that seems completely unnecessary. Whether Wilcox will go anywhere with it or just keep milking it for jokes is probably the biggest determining factor in whether this miniseries will distinguish itself from the rest of the pack.

Deadpool #4 Review

by Nick Walden, CMRO Contributing Writer

Deadpool

Issue #4

Written by Brian Posehn & Gerry Duggan, Art by Tony Moore

Published: March 2013

The Deadpool re-launch has been pretty decent over the first four issues. Deadpool is a complex character to write, probably more than a lot of others because of all the different ways he has been used over the years. The constant undertone of comedy that is pretty much required makes other aspects of drama that you might find in other solo books harder to use. As such sometimes writers forgo a lot of character development and focus on having fun; that is exactly what we have going on here.

Duggan and Posehn are comedians so it is not a huge surprise that they went the funny route with Deadpool. I just don’t think they have it in them to delve into his character, his motives, or other deep musings unless it is in pursuit of laughs. But that is okay. Four issues in now I have gotten used to it and am just taking Deadpool for what it is, a very fun ride. Really when you have a zombie Abe Lincoln in a boxing ring on the cover what can you expect? Deadpool fighting Abe Lincoln in a boxing ring of course! We are getting some really zany and odd directions but since it is Deadpool it all sort of works. Some of the work is great and some is so-so. More than likely different people will enjoy it more than others; Deadpool fans tend to be a varied bunch.

The art by Tony Moore certainly elevates this issue and gives it some great readability. Great action scenes that really keep the pace going make this book visually appealing even in slow spots. The bottom line is a 8.0 (maybe an 8.5) out of 10. The book was light and fun which made me laugh a lot. Duggan and Posehn do good work and if you like a funny Deadpool then give this new run a chance.