Fox Prepares To Bring Gotham To Series

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

The fact that is no Batman on the big screen until 2015 or that Marvel has shown major rating wins by integrating its television shows into its feature film continuity has not slowed Warner Bros. or DC Entertainment in their goal to continue to recapture the success of “Smallville” with a series of focused, unconnected shows (and trying to forget that for every “Arrow” there is a “Wonder Woman” and an “Aquaman.”)

The next show on the block appears like it will be “Gotham” according to Deadline. The website reported yesterday that Fox had locked up a deal with “The Mentalist” helmer Bruno Heller to create a series built around the pre-Batman days of the infamous fiction city, one which will focus on a young James Gordon as well as on the early days of many of the franchises’ famous rogues gallery (can anyone say ‘Joker’?).

Despite the pitch for “Gotham” stating that it will focus on Detective Gordon with no Batman (suggesting a more police procedural style show), the series created a protracted bidding war according to Deadline. Such was the attraction of the series that Fox have decided to greenlight it direct to series without bothering to commission a stand-alone pilot. I’m sure the success of “Agents of SHIELD” had nothing to do with that.

The tone of the series remains in the wind at the moment, and probably won’t be found right away as Heller remains in hot demand in TV circles and will have many plates spinning in the air with “Gotham” being just one of them. Besides the Bat-show he is also commissioned to bring his science-fiction drama “Red” to the CW some time next season.

Heller is repped by the William Morris Endeavour agency.

Wolverine #9 Review

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer

Wolverine

Issue #9

Written by Paul Cornell, Art by Alan Davis

Published: November 2013

Oh no, it’s Batroc the Leaper!

I haven’t been crazy about Paul Cornell’s Wolverine title lately, but my love for the character keeps me coming back. Logan losing his healing ability is a big deal, too, and I’m curious to see how it all plays out. This is an important time for the character and losing his signature power isn’t the same as anyone else losing their powers. Logan’s healing factor has saved his life more times than anyone can count, and without it, he’s faced to confront his own mortality for the first time. Old enemies are coming out of the woodwork, not just to kill him, but I suspect a lot just want to see if it’s true. Issue nine serves as something of a lengthy lead up to a confrontation that pretty much has to happen, given Wolverine’s current state. Logan is headed to see Victor Creed. Wolverine will go head-to-head with Sabertooth, only this time Sabertooth will have a substantial advantage. His healing power still works, after all.

Last issue ended with Mystique breaking into the Jean Grey School and this issue begins with Logan returning, surveying the damage that she left behind. Too much of the issue is dedicated to everyone arguing Mystique’s reasons for breaking in. It’s certainly a part of the story that has to happen, and the end reasoning given by Wolverine is definitely interesting, but it’s discussed far too much and leads to a lot of boring moments.

Like I said, Cornell’s Wolverine has been more miss than hit lately, and this is another rocky issue. Cornell definitely has talent, and the upcoming confrontation with Sabertooth has a lot of potential, so let’s hope things ramp up considerably.

Indestructible Hulk #13 Review

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer

Indestructible Hulk

Issue #13

Written by Mark Waid, Art by Matteo Scalera

Published: November 2013

Mark Waid is just having a total field day, isn’t he? The Age of Ultron Aftermath has given him license to do a lot of things with the Hulk that otherwise wouldn’t really fly, and he’s using that license to pit Hulk against dinosaurs, Spartans, and even King Arthur, Merlin, and the Black Knight. In fact, there’s even a point in issue thirteen where Merlin uses his magic to give the Hulk the Black Knight’s legendary Ebony Blade, which Hulk then uses to cut through a stream of time being sent him at him by a Chronarchist.

The best part? It totally works. It all works beautifully.

The Agent of T.I.M.E. story arc has been absolute madness, but Mark Waid has managed to contain the madness so that it doesn’t go off the rails and just become incomprehensible nonsense. I’m a big fan of crazy, bizarre stories that sound ridiculous when condensed to a synopsis but actually work perfectly fine when executed. These past few issues of Indestructible Hulk have been just that. Also, Mark Waid is probably having just as much fun writing it as we are reading it.

Next issue deals with the third and final Chronarchist, which may or may not bring the arc to an end. I’m fine either way. This stuff has been incredibly fun and I’m not going to turn down more of it, but at the same time, reading great ideas just makes me wonder what other great ideas the writer has swimming around his or her head. At this point, the only thing I don’t want to see is Mark Waid leaving the comic. This is the Hulk at his finest.

Curse of the Mumy #0 Review

by Lindsay Young, CMRO Contributing Writer

Curse of the Mumy

Issue #0

Written by Bill Mumy, Art by Ron Stewart

Published: September 2013

Curse of the Mumy operates as a spin-off from “The Mis-Adventures of Adam West”, created and written by Bill Mumy, the actor. In that way, there might be a built-in audience for it out there, one that will get more out of issue #0 than I did. As it stands, it’s sort of a perplexing issue.

There’s something about issue #0 that just feels… off. The dialogue in particular is choppy, as though characters are making statements and not truly conversing with each other. The subject of conversation switches mid-page, and it’s difficult to discern what sort of tone is being hinted at.

The choppiness of the writing is also reflected in the pacing. Things happen, one right after the other, without the benefit of smooth transition. The issue hints at an intriguing cast waiting in the wings, but they’re not so interesting that they make up for the muddled writing.

I’m also not really sure what sort of tone or atmosphere they were going for with the artwork. The backgrounds are very sparse, the poses are awkward and the character expressions seem somewhat plastic. The whole thing feels very bare-bones, and the style isn’t one I particularly like. It feels clunky, outdated in an unattractive way.

The issue is short, too, which means that every page has to count. Unfortunately, the time spent on awkward dialogue and seemingly unrelated domestic affairs ends up feeling like space wasted.

In terms of getting readers on board for a new adventure, I’m not sure issue #0 has much to offer new fans.

Faction and Lowe Lay the Ground Work for Inhumanity

by Joshua Starnes, CMRO Editor

With readers deep in the throes of “Infinity” Marvel has already begun a full court press or “Inhumanity,” the All New Marvel Now launch title Matt Fraction will be leaving his Fantastic Four duties to script. Fraction and editor Nick Lowe put out a Marvel conference call to multiple websites to discuss the series today.

“They have hidden in plain sight in our midst for centuries, the strange race of genetically engineered and enhanced beings known as the Inhumans. Now, the cataclysmic events of ‘Infinity’ have revealed their presence, their numbers, and the frayed tapestry that is their history. The Inhumans are plentiful, they are powerful, and now they are everywhere. As their ranks swell by the minute, they are perched to become a major force in the Marvel Universe – one that the royal family and its powerful monarch, Black Bolt, cannot hope to contain. Witness as the Marvel Universe plunges into Inhumanity,” the initial pitch read.

According to Fraction the series will focus on a “super humanitarian crisis” as the Inhumans find their ranks suddenly swelled as a multitude of Inhuman descendants suddenly find themselves transforming into their Inhuman selves at the same time the race itself has become homeless following the apparent destruction of their homeship Atillan in the pages “Infinity” #3.

The story will begin with “Inhumanity” #1 by Fraction and Olivier Coipel in December which will focus on Karnak and his investigation into what exactly happened to Atillan, according to the call. That one-shot will be followed by the ongoing “Inhumans” launched by Fraction and artist Joe Madueria which will focus on the new Inhumans spreading around the world and what Black Bolt intends to do about them.

Venom #41 Review

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer

Venom

Issue #41

Written by Cullen Bunn, Art by Jorge Coelho

Published: November 2013

There’s only one more issue left of Venom, which debuted over two years ago. The title has had its ups and downs, but its downs were never too bad and it’s been one my favorite Marvel titles for a while. That’s why it pains me to admit that, while I’m keeping my fingers crossed that issue 42 is going to be something special, I’m already really disappointed at the direction Bunn is taking.

Lord Ogre was introduced shortly after Venom arrived in Philadelphia and was quickly hyped up as his next big nemesis. The road to Lord Ogre has been anything but direct, with the villainous Jack O’Lantern attacking one of Flash’s students and Flash inadvertently turning her into a new anti-hero. It’s been a bumpy ride, but it all felt worth it, because as the series reached its end, it felt as if it was going to culminate in a big, climatic battle with Venom and his new protégé Mania finally taking on Ogre. Only that’s not happening, because Lord Ogre dies an extremely anti-climactic death at the hands of a bunch of demon’s and the storyline involving the Devil’s Mark has abruptly taken center stage.

It’s not that I don’t find this story interesting, and I certainly appreciate Bunn tying up all of the loose ends, but Lord Ogre has been built up since issue 36, six issues ago, so to see him just wiped out like that is incredibly disappointing. It’s still a decent issue, and obviously I’m going to read the last issue of the series when it hits next month, but I’m much, much less excited than I was before.

Daredevil #31 Review

by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer

Daredevil

Issue #31

Written by Mark Waid, Art by Chris Samnee

Published: November 2013

Here’s something entirely unhelpful when read in a review: I don’t know what I think about this issue. Sorry!

I’ve gushed about my love for Mark Waid time and time again and that certainly hasn’t changed. For the most part, issue 31 of Daredevil is just as top notch as the rest of them. I also really appreciate that Mark Waid weaves real-world stories and issues into his storytelling, not just because it makes it feel more relevant, but I also admire him for being unafraid to work his own biases in without getting preachy or using the comic as a soapbox.

With all that being said, the way that Daredevil 31 is so blatantly about the Trayvon Martin case is honestly a little weird. I don’t even think the word “inspired” works in this case, because in a lot of ways Waid just adapted the events. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but like I said, it just feels off in a way. Again, I’m a big fan of art imitating life – I love Law & Order for that very reason – but I think that it needs to be a bit more subtle.

Still, he’s Mark Waid, and even if the sum of the parts is a bit off-putting to me, the parts themselves are fine, with plenty of exciting and fun moments happening one after the other.

I can’t talk about this issue without talking about Chris Samnee, whose name is featured prominently on the cover in a blurb touting him as an Eisner award-winning penciler and inker. Even with that fanfare, I was still blown away by how good this issue looks. Of course Javier Rodriguez deserves his credit for his brilliant colors, but Samnee’s pencils make for one gorgeous issue.