The Supermen did not Reign: An example of reading the book is way better

Not everything translates well from comic books to animation. In a comic book, the writer can write a story and give explanations and backstories. They have monthly issues to plan and detail their story. When you move that same story that developed over an extended period from a book into animation, you would lose a good portion of the integrity of the new adaption. This was the case with Reign of the Supermen.

Following the 2018 animated movie Death of Superman, Reign of the Supermen was the second act in the famed 1993 DC Comics story about the death and return of Superman. In the original story, Superman is confronted with the alien Doomsday and during a massive battle both Superman and Doomsday are killed. During Superman’s, “death” for figures appeared to replace him: The Eradicator, the Cyborg Superman, Steel, and Superboy.

Superboy was a clone that was formed from the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor and created in the labs of Cadmus. Steel was a brilliant ballistics expert who was once saved by Superman and created his armor to serve as a replacement to the Man of Steel in Metropolis. Eradicator was a weapon created centuries ago on Krypton by an ancestor of Superman that took a human form to replace Superman upon his death.

Cyborg Superman was a scientist-astronaut named Hank Henshaw who along with his crew was poisoned with radiation and ultimately blamed Superman for the accident. Though his body died, Hank Henshaw’s mind molded with alien Kryptonian technology and he became Cyborg Superman and used his identity to get revenge on Superman by taking his name and being the bad guy.

The actual story of the Reign of the Supermen in the comics took months to flush out a lot more backstory than I have provided here. DC had the brilliant idea to try to condense this in a 2-hour animation. Not the best idea. A lot of plot points in the original story were condensed in order to make the ultimate bad guy behind Doomsday killing Superman and Cyborg Superman being the bad guy impersonator be none other than Darkseid.

Watch this movie for the fun of watching a movie if you have nothing else better to watch but please do yourself a favor and get the trades or go digital to read the full complete real story of the Reign of the Supermen. It’s not so much that DC decided to change the story to condense it, it’s the fact that they did not condense it well. In truth, this should have been a trilogy: Death of Superman, Reign of the Supermen and Return of Superman.

One of the main plot points that ruins this movie is the last 15 minutes. The lackluster explanation to bring Superman back so that he can save the day. Then have him reunite with Lois and give the world the worse explanation why Clark Kent was missing while Superman was presumed dead was the worse rushed feeling to the end of a movie I ever experienced. Even with the plot change to tie it all together in a new way, giving this whole movie to the replacement Supermen and having Superman come back in another installment would have told a better story.

Another misstep was the voice casting. Tony Todd, who is an exceptional actor and has done great voice work in the past was dreadfully miscast as Darkseid. At no point did Darkseid sound like the God he is but rather just a very angry human crime lord. Similarly, Rainn Wilson did not have the power in his voice to properly portray Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor should sound like the egotistical mega maniac he is not whatever this was. It was too nasal.

It was not all forgettable, there were some highlights. Steel and Superboy were both portrayed very well and made you wish you had more time with their backstory or at least a chance to see them in action without a Justice League to save them. Although it was rushed to fit in the movie, the love between Lois and Clark was shown in the best way. Throughout this movie even presumed dead, Lois’ love for Superman was undeniable.

If there is nothing on your regular cable stations and you’ve watched everything you want on Hulu and you’ve got no one to Netflix and chill with, then, yeah, give this little movie a chance and kill some time. Otherwise, do yourself a better favor and read the source material for this story.

Kenny Walker Jr

Event Horizon, In Space You Can Still Visit Hell

The human desire for space travel is a concept in science fiction as commonplace as dunes of sand in a desert. Writers and filmmakers have taken the idea into multiple areas ranging from semi-fantasy as in Star Wars and Dune franchises to the semi-realistic in the Star Trek universe or Babylon 5. Within these stories are usually the wonderment of discovery and the evolution of social, technological, and even physical humanity. However, while most of us, myself included, embrace the awe and possibilities of this landscape, others have introduced the idea of, “what if this went wrong”, or “what if this was horrifying.”

The latter is explored in Paul W.S. Anderson’s 1997 film Event Horizon starring Laurence Fishburne and Sam Neill, among others. The film, set in the year 2047, centers around a rescue crew sent to investigate the return of a lost starship, the Event Horizon, designed for interplanetary space exploration. Upon finding the ship, the crew begins to learn about what happened to the Event Horizon’s crew, have terrifying visions, and discover, much to their dismay, where the ship has been for the time it was lost. All culminating in a situation of absolute fear and horror which guides the flow of the film.

Event Horizon, as a story, is quite possibly one of the truest science fiction horror films ever produced. In the sense of science fiction, the viewer is introduced to the idea that while humanity has advanced significantly in space technology, the “big” elephant in the room comes to how does humankind travel beyond its solar system. Though not constantly harbored on, this element is a central aspect of the story. As science fiction fans we are given star travel plot devices within the majority of popular space operas. Star Trek famously has warp technology which set the pace for humanity to both explore space and served as a unifying measure as it was able to see that, to quote Deanna Troi, “We were not alone in the universe.”

Star Wars simply uses hyperdrives as a method of travel which is as commonplace, and easy to obtain, as a bicycle. In both franchises, the ability to travel through space, at times to different sections of the universe, is often without problem or consequence. Event Horizon takes a different stance in that while humanity is seemingly in a state of peace, it still desires, and desperately needs, to travel to other star systems. In this regard, the Event Horizon’s gravity drive is developed to cut a hole in space-time, via an artificially produced black hole, to instantly travel from one point in space to another. As a part of this want and need, there is a “mild” disregard for the possible ends to these actions which leads to dire consequences.

To loosely quote the character of Smith, played by Sean Pertwee, confronting Neill’s Dr. Weir, “you violate the laws of physics and expect nothing to happen.” This idea is central to the heart of the story, which leads to the horror. The most standout aspect of Event Horizon’s horror lies not with an individual antagonist, such as the xenomorph from Alien, but in another dimension. Throughout the film, the story leads you through hellish, pun intended, obstacles which in the end make you question, “what is this place where the ship came from.” Is it simply another dimensional plane of pure chaos, as stated by Weir, or is it, in actuality, hell. It is even stated during the climax that “hell is but a word, the reality is far worse.”

One is left to judge based on the events, this time no pun intended, that the ship is punishing the crew for their past sins and ultimately torturing and killing them for said transgressions. However, it is both known and unknown what the place is and what the ship has truly become. In one way this echoes John Carpenter’s premise of Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise. While you know Michael is a killer and is virtually unstoppable, you never truly learn the why for both aspects. The same principal element exists in Event Horizon. Additionally, the horror is just as much psychological as it is physical with each being as direct. As previously stated, the ship is a being that knows how and when to torture its prey, then at the right moment physically strike.

Stephen King fans could view this in the same way as Pennywise the Clown creates absolute fear in his victims before killing them. All being said, both the ship and hell are mutual antagonists. In all, Event Horizon is, in my opinion, an intensely good film with an excellent and creative story and a cast that can carry it. In its original release, the movie was nearly panned by critics and even some viewers alike. In being both pure horror and pure science fiction, the film could alienate a viewer wishing to see one or the other. Additionally, the film carries a very hard gothic atmosphere to it. The ships, sets, and visual aspects are very dark and medieval cathedral-like versus the streamlined sci-fi pieces one is generally used to.

Thus, in some ways, this can stray the baseline science fiction buff away. The horror element also gleefully utilizes both gore and shock gore to a degree where one might think they are watching a Hellraiser movie albeit set in space, though there was such a film. In later years, the film would develop a profound cult following which has allowed its popularity to resurface in the past few years. As a die-hard horror and sci-fi lover, the movie is one of the truest bridges between both genres. However, every diamond is not without its coal.

The movie is a little over 90 minutes long, with an original cut being two hours and 10 minutes long. Though Anderson even stated that the original cut was “overly” long, he further acknowledged there were key points to the story within that 40 extra minutes which benefited the film. Paramount, following the film’s success on home release, wanted a director’s cut released. Unfortunately, the cuts were forever lost in a salt mine in Scotland, as the story goes, though a few cut scenes are available for viewing on YouTube. For anyone looking for a true space horror film, apart from Alien, Event Horizon is worth your time.

James Hales

The 10 Most Influential Black Comic Book Superheroes

To kick off Black history month, we thought we would give a listing of who we think are the 10 most influential comic book superheroes.

We went through a lot of heroes and could not put everyone on the list as we wanted because we wanted to keep it down to 10. Every hero is equally important and believe me if I could have put 20 or 30 on this list I would have but if I mention every Black hero I know that would not make these 10 stand out. So here it is.

Black Panther – Marvel

Besides having a hit Oscar-nominated movie, Black Panther makes this list for being the first mainstream hero of African descent. Debuting in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966, Black Panther even pre-dates the political Black Panther Party. Black Panther was the first hero to identify with Black people in America. This is the same renewed effect when the character was made into a movie in 2018. Black Panther has stayed relevant enough to inspire more than one generation.

Storm – Marvel

The African goddess made her first appearance in Giant-Size X-Men in 1975. She was the first major Black female character in the mainstream comics. She was also the first Black X -Man. Storm has been on many X-Men teams and often leading them. Once when she temporarily lost her powers, she had to duel Cyclops for leadership and at the time her powers had been taken away from her. Storm proved she could lead the team by taking on the fully powered Cyclops and defeating him with no powers of her own.

Blade – Marvel

Blade debut in The Tomb of Dracula in 1873. Blade is a mix of vampire and regular humans who hunts vampires. Blade was the first Black character that put Black people in the horror situation. Blade was brought to life by Wesley Snipes in the Blade movies starting in 1998.

Black Lighting – DC

Black Lightning first appeared in his own self titled book in 1977. What makes him important is he was introduced as not being a criminal but a teacher. In the Bronze Age of comics, a lot of characters of color were introduced as characters who could possibly be a villain with various criminal pasts. Black Lightning was introduced as an educator.

However, his early depictions had him wearing an afro wig and speaking “Harlem jive” to conceal the fact that he was educated so people would not link him to his secret identity as Jefferson Pierce. The character was supposed to be used in the 1970’s Super Friends cartoon but due to disagreement with the creator, Tony Isabella, Hannah Barbara made a character based on Black Lightning named Black Vulcan. Black Lightning has also managed to capture a new generation with the CW show that deals with issues facing Black people in America today.

Falcon – Marvel

Introduced in Captain America #117 in 1969, the Falcon is the first Afro American superhero in mainstream comics. He would become Captain Americas partner and at a time shared the titles of the book with him. Falcon would grow out of Captain America’s shadow into his own books, guest appearances in other books, a member of the Avengers and even taking on the mantle of Captain America when he had to retire. Today Falcon, being played by Aaron Mackie, is a main character in the Avengers movies.

Luke Cage Marvel

Luke Cage has always been a hero for the people. Debuting in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire in 1972, Luke Cage was the first Afro American superhero to be featured as the protagonist and title character of a comic book. He was created at the height of Blaxploitation movies and was jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. Luke Cage has gone on to work with the Defenders, filling in for the Thing on the Fantastic Four and lead the Avengers. Brought to live action on Netflix, Luke Cage displayed true Black culture and history in Harlem, NY.

Cyborg – DC

Debuting in DC Comics Presents in 1980, Cyborg makes this list because he is a technologic hero that can be well identified and related to by Black youth in America. This is a hero that has the computer world at his feet because he can get into any system. Cyborg was brought to life by Ray Fisher in the Justice League movie.

Static – Milestone/DC

Static is the young hero from the Milestone universe that the fans are just waiting to see turn into live action. Created in the Milestone universe in 1993, static was the main character of his own cartoon. Because of his age, Static is a character that is relatable to youths of color in America.

Miles Morales – Marvel

When Peter Parker Spiderman died in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, Miles Morales took over the mantle as Spider Man. Miles Morales debuted in Ultimate Spiderman #64 in 2011 and has remained a popular version of Spiderman. Miles was later integrated into the mainstream 616 Marvel universe giving fans a teenage Spiderman once again. The character’s popularity is so much so that he was used to star in Marvels latest animated movie Into the Spiderverse

Spawn Image

Spawn was created by Todd McFarlane and debuted in 1992. The cursed hero is a powerful lead into the world of the supernatural. His popularity has garnered the character a movie in the late 90s and talks of a second Spawn movie are rumored.

Let us know what you think of our list and what characters would you add or take off to make your own list.

Kenny Walker Jr

Superhero Weaknesses

Sometimes the power of a superhero can be overwhelming. They can be created so powerfully that they seem impossible to defeat. Superman can move mountains; Green Lantern can do anything in his imagination and Thor is literally a God. However, for all their power there are some drawbacks. They do have weaknesses. 

Superman Kryptonite

Let’s tackle the obvious and easiest one first. As we all know Superman was born on another planet which was destroyed. Apparently, shards from the destroyed planet can weaken Superman and even kill him and small meteorites have made their way to Earth to keep the man of steel humble.

Green Lantern yellow

The Guardians power ring choose Hal Jordan to become a Green Lantern because he was fearless and with this ring, he can do whatever his mind can create. Green Lantern can combat any foe that he comes across ….as long as the color yellow is not involved. The power of his ring cannot even touch anything yellow meaning if you paint his whole world yellow, he’s just a guy with a glowing green ring.

Green Lantern (Golden Age) wood

The first Green Lanterns ring has more of a mystic background. There is no space corps involved. However, this Green Lanterns weakness is wood. So, if a tree is falling on you and there’s nobody around to save you if this Green Lantern shows up you are still out of luck.

Wonder Woman bound at the bracelets by man

Ok now, this is a bit sexist and slightly pornographic. Wonder Woman’s power rivals that of Superman and she has stood toe to toe with him. One of the things that makes this possible even though he is stronger is her training as an Amazon warrior. However, if an ordinary man happens to be able to sneak up on her and bound her by her bracelets, she is powerless. Considering the times in which she was created, this was a simple fix in making a woman submissive.

Daredevil loud sound

Daredevil is the man without fear. He is blind with heightened senses. He doesn’t need to be able to see. In fact, his heightened senses are much better than sight making him a very formidable superhero. However, if you overload him with noise then you have a good chance of defeating him. You must overload his high senses. Makes sense.

Flash too much Speed

The fastest man alive has a weakness that is his greatest strength. Running too fast. For as powerful as Flash is if he runs too fast, he can destroy himself.

Thor more than a minute away from his hammer

We’re putting this in even though it no longer applies. But this is too classic to let go. when Thor first appeared, he had a human alter ego named Donald Blake which was a handicapped doctor who used a cane to walk. When said doctor tapped this cane on the ground, he became the demigod, Thor. The cane reverted to its true form of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Thor had to be connected to his hammer. If the hammer left his side for more than 60 seconds than Thor would revert to Donald Blake. Marvel decided this was a dumb foil and got rid of the concept back in 1984.

Human Torch asbestos

Johnny Storm the Human Torch is a very powerful being. His ability to go supernova and literally be able to destroy everything if he chose is a power to be reckoned with. However, if you happen to have some asbestos on then you can have the fight half won.

Martian Manhunter fire, matches

A lot of people aren’t familiar with the Martian Manhunter. His powers put him in league with Superman and in my opinion, make him even more powerful. He’s got super strength, flight, invulnerability, heat vision, shapeshifting, invisibility, and telepathy. However, if you got some gasoline and light a match to set the whole room on fire than it is literally on. Martians weakness for fire is what helped Batman defeat a room full of Martians in a classic Justice League story.

Firestorm organics

Firestorm the Nuclear Man is very powerful indeed. I mean, come on, he’s the nuclear man. One of his main powers is his ability to transmute objects. So, you try to shoot him with a hail of bullets and he turns them into flowers or cotton balls. He can transmute anything except anything organic. He can not transmute humans or animals in any way.

Shazam & Captain Marvel Jr saying their own names

These two heroes go in together because not only are they related to each other of sorts but they have the same weakness. Shazam used to be called Captain Marvel but because of rights and confusion, he is now called Shazam. However, for Billy Batson to become Shazam he has to say his name for the lightning to strike so if he is in his superhero form and says his name again, he reverts back to Billy Batson. The same applies to Captain Marvel Jr who has to say Captain Marvel to get his powers. In Captain Marvel Jr’s case, this may no longer apply since Shazam has been retconned and Captain Marvel is no longer a thing in the DC universe.

Gladiator self confidence

Gladiator is like a space Superman. You name it he can do it. Strength, speed, slow aging, invulnerability, the whole thing. However, an attack on his ego and give him doubt then you have him right where you want him. For all his grandiose posturing and bravado, if you shake his confidence than the battle is won.

Power Girl raw unprocessed natural material

Power Girl has a slightly confusing background. Originally, she is the Earth 2 cousin of Superman but that has been changed in so many different ways. She is now on an Earth 2 that I care not to go into but that doesn’t change the fact of why she’s on this list. Her weakness is raw unprocessed natural materials. So, man-made bullets she can handle but if you try to drive a wooden stake through her heart like a vampire you are on to something.

Wolverine The Muramasa Blade

Over the years, Wolverine has become annoyingly hard to kill. Don’t get me wrong, Wolverine is a great character but over the years they kept throwing things at him and he would not die. So, what do you do with a character you make too powerful? You create a special sword that can actually kill him. For good.

Adam Strange too long away from Earth

The hero Adam Strange is not so much a hero on earth as he is a hero on the planet Rann. He was drawn there by the zeta beam. However, this is also his weakness. He can not stay away from Earth for more than a year at a time. So even if he’s in the middle of a mission and his year is up, he vanishes back to Earth.

Kenny Walker Jr

Black Panther Makes Film History

In a world where the superhero genre does not seem to get the respect it deserves, comic book fans have been patiently waiting for this day. The day when the Academy recognizes that comic book movies are worth being recognized for more than just technical awards. Our place at the big boy’s table

Black Panther has given us our seat at that table. Not only has Black Panther been nominated for six other different awards but it has been nominated for the granddaddy of awards: Best Motion Picture. This makes Black Panther the first comic book movie to be nominated in this category.

Scoring 98% on Rotten Tomatoes the Marvel film has also been nominated for Best Achievement in Music for Motion Pictures (Original Score), Best Achievement in Music for Motion Picture (Original Song), Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

The competition is pretty fierce in the Best Motion Picture category. Black Panther will be going up against Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, BlacKkKlansman, and Green Book. All pretty solid movies in the box office for 2018 along with Black Panther. But I think the movie that had a budget of approximately $200,000,000 and grossed approximately $700,000,00 will have no trouble giving all nominated movies a run for their money.

The closest a comic book movie has come to being nominated to a top award category such as this is the posthumous win of Best Supporting Actor award won by Heath Ledger in 2008. The first comic book movie to get nominated for an Academy Award is the Max Fleischer Superman cartoon of 1941 nominated for Best Animated Short Subject. The first comic book Oscar went to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie for Best Art Direction.

If Black Panther doesn’t get the Best Picture Oscar, the Marvel movie won’t have an empty award shelf. The movie has previously won best movie awards at MTV Movie & TV Awards for Movie of the Year, Black Film Critics Circle Award for Best Picture, BET Award for Best Movie, African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) for Best Picture, AFI Award for Movie of the Year, and Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films for Best Comic to Film Motion Picture among some other wins for the film. More than a few awards have also been won by Michael B. Jordon for his portrayal of Killmonger.

Hopefully, this sets a new trend for comic book movies and they are taken more seriously by the Academy. I was surprised to find that Black Panther was the first to ever get nominated in this category. I would have thought for sure the 1978 Superman, the 1989 Batman or Nolan’s 2008 the Dark Knight would have been nominated but I couldn’t remember until I researched it. As good and classic as those movies were, they mainly only got nominated for technical awards. These comic book movies are very rarely nominated for the acting ability of the stars which is a shame.

These actors do a stellar job because as cheesy as it sounds, they often have to play two characters in one movie: that of the hero and that of the person with the secret identity. Regardless here’s to a hopefully bright future and turn around for the comic book movie genre.

Kenny Walker Jr

Glass: a superhero movie, but not

In the world of film, great trilogies can be difficult to achieve. For every Star Wars, episodes IV to VI, of course, there is a Godfather, where one leaves you almost thoroughly satisfied and the other says “we should have stopped at part 2.” As a filmmaker, M. Night Shyamalan has certainly had his share of greatness mixed with not so great. One would argue that The Sixth Sense was highly masterful as opposed to The Last Airbender which left much to be desired.

This past weekend the director’s newest work, Glass starring Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodward, and Sarah Paulson was released. The film is the final part of a trilogy which began with Unbreakable in 2000 and Split released in 2016. The trilogy revolves around the existence, and implications, of superheroes and supervillains in the real world.

The characters from the two previous films continue their individual paths of the hero David Dunn, played by Willis, the intellectual villain and titular character Elijah Price or Mr. Glass, portrayed by Jackson, and the “brute” villain with multiple personalities Kevin Wendall Crumb, played by McAvoy.

The story brings all three together after each is confined to a mental institution where their abilities, viewed as baseline mental disorders, are analyzed by psychologist Dr. Ellie Staple who believes their conditions are a form of delusions of grandeur. Through the course of the film, the characters are explored and, in true M. Night fashion, a myriad of plot twists and turns lead to a final conclusion which can launch the viewer in several directions depending on how they embrace the story.

A singular aspect one must realize when watching Glass is that it in every way is a superhero movie, but not. The film’s strength, as with the previous entries, is that it thrusts the viewer into a “real world” of superheroes and supervillains. This subtlety of content erases the ultra-fantastic elements of costumed teams of powered individuals fighting cosmic beings while placing the viewer in a possible, relatable, reality where disbelief is less suspended.

However, a soft weakness is, as, with any sequel, one must know the prior films. Glass is not a movie to walk into without watching Unbreakable or Split. There are literally only two new characters in the film with little points of extended explanation of the established characters. Thus, with no knowledge of the original players, the viewer will more than likely not grasp certain elements of the story. The film expects you to jump in and start swimming.

Overall, the film is a masterful conclusion to the series which started with Unbreakable. Truth be told, I have been waiting for this movie since I saw Unbreakable. As a die-hard comic book fan, one might say my appreciation lies solely in the superhuman subject matter. However, this aspect, though very important, is tertiary to the telling of a great story.

Shyamalan wove a tale of absolute fantasy and absolute reality that is impossible to ignore. While some critique the film in the context of high-level known superhero films, it would be best to judge the movie, and its setting, in a class by itself. In comic book terms, there are serials and then there are graphic novels, Glass and its predecessors are the latter. As previously stated, know the two other films and once viewed, one shall certainly enjoy and value Glass.

 James B. Hales

News Round-up

The biggest news in comic book culture in a quick review. Once a month Obsidian Nomad will run through some quick need to know stories that we may come across. If you have any stories you would like for us to report on, please do not hesitate to drop a message in our comment section of this article. Enjoy.

Spider Man: Far Away From Home Trailer

The trailer for the new Spiderman movie dropped on Tuesday, January 15 and boy did it set the internet on fire. We got so much in this first trailer that I hope there is more to surprise us when the movie is finally released. Assuming this takes place after Avengers: Endgame we see that Peter Parker has made is through the event alive. There was really no doubt. We see that Nick Fury also made it out alive and has a prominent role in recruiting Peter for an important mission.

Apparently, Aunt May has not only accepted that her nephew is Spiderman but she also appears to have a growing relationship with Happy Hogan. Peter seems to be making his move on M.J. and she seems to be ok with that. As villains go Mysterio looks awesome and the hope is that one of these water elementals is Hydro Man. Internet speculation is that we don’t see Tony Stark in this trailer because he may not make it out alive in Avengers: Endgame.

I’m not so sure of that because I’m under the belief that the MCU just wants you to wonder at this point. Come on, can you really kill Tony Stark? Another internet speculation is that Samuel Jackson’s Nick Fury is either classic Spiderman villain Chameleon or a Skrull. This could go either way but seeing how they are in Europe and Chameleon is of European origin this could be possible. And let’s not forget we were promised a return of Michael Keaton in this movie. Spider Man hits theatres July 5. We cant wait!

Punisher

Season 2 of Punisher hits Netflix on Friday, January 18. Jon Bernthal returns as what is considered one of the best of many Frank Castle adaptions. Season 1 was hard and gritty and was everything a fanboy or fangirl would want from a Punisher show. I still get a kick out of the guys wanting to pick a fight with the man knocking down a concrete wall alone.

The thirteen-episode series is centered around Frank Castle saving a young girl from being murdered and contemplating his life as the Punisher. Like all the Marvel Netflix series, this takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe along with the movies and tv shows. Seeing how this might be the last chance we get to see this adaption due to Netflix not renewing these Marvel shows, I hope the Punisher goes out with a bang just as Daredevil did last year.

Reign of the Supermen

The sequel to last years animated Death of Superman hits in January. The movie played at select Fathom Events theatres on January 13 and was released digitally on January 15. The DVD and Blue-ray will come out on January 29. This is an animated retelling of the now classic story about the ones who came to replace Superman after his sacrifice defeating Doomsday that took place in the Death of Superman animated movie. Steel, Superboy, Cyborg Superman, and the Eradicator are all featured along with Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and the Justice League leading up to the eventual return of The Man of Steel himself.

Second Coming

DC Comics has announced that it will be publishing a comic called Second Coming which one of the 2 main characters will be Jesus Christ. The premise is that God sends Jesus back to Earth to learn what traits he should have to be more successful this time around from a superhero called Sun Man. Jesus, of course, is upset about the state of the world and Christianity today. There is no mention of Jesus having God-like powers. However, with DC Comics new endeavors, we can probably expect more news down the line from Christian groups when the book hits in March of this year.

Kenny Walker Jr

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Young Justice: Outsiders Season 3

After protests, petitions and a long wait Young Justice: Outsiders Season 3 is finally here. The series return debuted on DC Universe streaming channel on January 4, 2019, at 9 am. Young Justice premiered on Cartoon Network on November 26, 2010, and was canceled in the Spring of 2013. This cancellation was very surprising to the fans because this was a much-beloved show. It was great. Like reading a comic book and it had more adult themes which were awesome.

But here’s the thing, no show lasts on television without the sponsors. No cartoon show lasts on television if you can’t sell the merchandise with the show. At first, it was said that the Young Justice cancellation was because more girls were watching the show and DC execs wanted more boys watching the show to buy more merchandise. Incidentally, there are a lot of fangirls in the comic book nerd community than these execs know about apparently. Then it came to be known that the toys from Mattel that were aligned with the show were not selling and Mattel pulled the toy line.

This pulled the funding for the show which affected the third season. The replacement by Cartoon Network of Teen Titans Go was a big disappointment to fans who loved Young Justice. However, Titans Go sold a lot of merchandise to younger audiences and manage to stay afloat to the present day and even produce major motion animated pictures. Fans protested and signed petitions to bring Young Justice back and all the hard work paid off. When DC announced its streaming network one of the prime reasons most people signed on was the promise of the much-demanded season 3 of Young Justice.

DC Universe started streaming by fall of 2018 and fans learned that they wouldn’t get their favorite show until January 2019. On January 4, 2019, all their dreams came true with three premiere episodes of the new season. As someone who subscribes to the streaming channel, it took me over two hours to get in through my app. But when I finally got in it was well worth the wait. Season 3 picks up where season 2 left off. The Reach has been defeated, Nightwing takes a leave of absence and Wally is still gone.

The Justice League and Young Justice are still working side by side in the satellite. Then time jumps 2 years. Nightwing is still flying solo, Wally is still gone and the story revolves around experiments done on kidnapped youth to expose their metagene and turn them into metahumans to exploit. Batman, believing that the Justice League is not effective anymore resigns with a small fraction of Leaguers. Nightwing is off following his own lead on missing kids.

The thing I liked about season 3 is while watching it you forgot that it had been 5 years since you last saw these characters. The flow of how this show picked up was steady and smooth. Being that the show was now on the DC Universe streaming network there was a slightly different tone. This was an even more mature tone than when the show was on Cartoon Network. With lesser restrictions, Young Justice can reach its audience with subject matter that it could not do before.

Filled with action along with a well-written script, Young Justice: Outsiders season 3 was exactly what the fans have been waiting for all this time. Just as the prior two seasons showed five years ago, the action played out like reading a comic book. But this wasn’t just an animated fight show where there were pointless fights, the drama is what makes this show stand out. The feeling of betrayal when Batman leaves with his fraction of Leaguers, the love of Superboy and Miss Martian, Tigress still missing Wally West, Black Lightening feeling like he is no longer the hero he once was, and the interaction of the royal family of Markovia all played out in this script evenly with the action sequences.

Kudos to the voice actors for bringing this animated show alive. Just like the original Outsiders from the comic book Batman and the Outsiders, we are also introduced to 2 new characters to the show but familiar to comic readers: Prince Brion, Geo-Force, and Halo. And what would bringing original Outsiders into the fold be without also re-introducing a favorite villain from the original comic: Baron Bedlam. Yes, this show had it all and it’s only 3 episodes in. If the first three episodes are any indication then this is a formula for a winning season. Young Justice is back. Season 3 looks to be everything the fans asked for.

Tell us what you thought of Young Justice: Outsiders season 3.

Kenny Walker Jr

Movies To Get Excited For In 2019

There’s going to be a lot to get hyped for in the cinema for 2019. We have an eagerly awaited sequel to a 2018 blockbuster, heroes returning to the screen, reboots, mutants, and a new powerhouse to the MCU among other great projects.

ObsidianNomad is going to give you our short take on some of these upcoming projects for 2019. Let us know what you think of the 2019 movie year.

January

11th

Glass – Universal Pictures – Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L Jackson

This movie serves as the last part of a trilogy by writer/director M. Night Shyamalan after the two successful films Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016). Using the same formula as the previous films with the same showrunner and acting talent this will no doubt be a third success.

February

14th

Alita: Battle Angel – 20th Century Fox – Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley, Keean Johnson

Produced by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis and directed by Robert Rodriguez this movie is based on Yukito Kishiro’s manga Gunnm. Translation of manga and anime to live action has not always been successful, especially to the fans of the original. Let’s hope this movie can turn things around for that trend.

March

8th

Captain Marvel – Marvel Studios – Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Annette Benning, Clark Gregg, Jude Law

This much anticipated Marvel addition is sure to be a hit. Captain Marvel is a superhero that’s going to bring two well-needed concepts to the MCU: a female lead and Skrulls. One of the things that woke up fans about this movie is the introduction of the alien race to the MCU because of the other possible storylines that can spin out of it. Also, we get the return of Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson back to the MCU where he belongs

29th

Dumbo – Walt Disney Pictures – Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin

The classic Disney animation is coming to live action with some great acting talent on the screen. With the names listed above, it would be conceivable that the movie will be a hit. However, with Tim Burton directing, there is a chance that the classic will take an unrecognizable dark turn as Tim Burton remake projects tend to do sometimes. I’m already a little put off that this movie is not coming from the animal point of view and seems to be more focused on the humans around him. Surprisingly enough he has not called on his main go-to actor Johnny Depp to fill yet another over animated part.

April

5th

Shazam – Warner Bros. Pictures – Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Djimon Hounsou

Another addition to the DCU has come and taking a hint from the trailers it seems to be along a much lighter tone than previous DCU projects. Hopefully, director David Sandberg and writers Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke can maintain the upswing Aquaman has begun to set the DCU towards. Although to some, it looks too campy, hopefully, a lighter tone will revive whatever Warner Bros. and DC Films are trying to do with these properties

12th

Hellboy – Summit Entertainment – David Harbour, Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim

Based on the Dark Horse Comics character this movie is a reboot with David Harbour taking over the title role. Directed by Neil Marshall, this movie seems to be taking a darker and gorier turn as it was given an R rating. Hopefully, this works out for them and is well received by fans.

19th

Avengers: Endgame – Marvel Studios – Far too many stars for us to list. Know that just about every person you have seen in the MCU since the first Iron Man movie will probably be showing up here.

This is it. Endgame. After over a year wait, we get to see the aftermath of the mad God, Thanos’, snap. Now we are not stupid and there’s not total suspense on this. Due to their success and already knowing that there will be a sequel to their first movies, we know Black Panther, Spiderman, and Dr Strange will come back and be survivors. The question is how this all unfolds. We also await the reunion of Captain America and Iron Man after the events in Captain America: Civil War. Most importantly, we will be looking for a post humorous appearance from the late great father of comics, Stan Lee.

May

10th

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu – Warner Bros. Pictures – Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe 

Directed by Rob Letterman and written by Nicole Perlman, this adaption is taken from the video game and is an American and Japanese joint project. With a different, more adult take on the character and Ryan Reynolds voicing the lead character this may be the cult hit of 2019.

24th

Aladdin – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures – Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzan, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, Numan Acar

The second live-action remake of a Disney classic in 2019 this one directed by Guy Richie and written by John August and Venessa Taylor. Aladdin has been an animated movie with a sequel, a cartoon series, and a Broadway play so a live-action remake will be filling a big shoe. I like Naomi Scott from Lemonade Mouth and Power Rangers and think she will make a perfect Jasmine and I’m hoping Will Smith can deliver as the Genie which is a big shoe to fill within the movie itself.

31st

Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Warner Bros. Pictures – Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Charles Dance

Directed and written by Michael Dougherty, King of the Monsters will be the sequel to the 2014 Godzilla movie. This movie marks Millie Bobby Brown’s debut in a feature film and judging from her work on Netflix’s Stranger Things I doubt she will be overshadowed by the enormous monsters such as Godzilla and Mothra.

June

7th

Dark Phoenix – 20th Century Fox – James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, Jessica Chastain

Written and directed by Simon Kinberg, 20th Century Fox is taking another shot at redeeming the mess they have made of one of the most cherished franchises in comic book history. As a true X-Men fan from the comics, I’m not sure how this is going to work in one two-hour movie especially without any involvement from the Mastermind, The Hellfire Club, The Shi’ar and the Imperial Guard. But once again, 20th Century Fox takes its own liberties. So glad they let Ryan Reynolds have more say in the Deadpool movies.

14th

Men in Black: International – Sony Pictures – Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Najiani, Rafe Spall, Laurent Bourgeois, Larry Bourgeois, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson

This spin-off to the hit trilogy is directed by F. Gary Grey and written by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. MIB International utilizes the chemistry and success Hemsworth and Thompson shared on Thor: Ragnarok. The only cameo connection you get from the previous films is Emma Thompson reprising her role as O from MIB III and the alien worms.

July

5th

Spider-Man: Far From Home – Sony Pictures – Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal, Cobie Smulders, Samuel L Jackson

This sequel collaboration with Sony and Marvel Studios is directed by Jon Watts and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. The two things that stick out to me is that apparently, Peter Parker survives the snap and Tony Stark is not mentioned as prominently as he was in the first movie. Hmmmm.

19th

The Lion King – Walt Disney Pictures – Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyoncé Knowles Carter, James Earl Jones

Another live action adaption of a Disney classic, this one directed by Jon Favreau. From the trailer, the special effects look awesome. Bonus: James Earl Jones will be back in his role as Mufasa from the original animated movie. That alone is enough to put me in the theatre.

August

2nd

The New Mutants – 20th Century Fox – Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Blu Hunt, Alice Braga

Directed by Josh Boone and written by him along with Knate Lee this does not seem to take the typical mutant superhero theme as past X franchise movies. I’m hesitant on this as I feel 20th Century Fox does not handle these properties correctly. I remember picking up the first New Mutants graphic novel and reading the comic until it became X-Force and beyond. You can not do a proper New Mutants film without heavily involving the actual X-Men in some capacity.

October

4th

Joker Warner Bros. Pictures – Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Josh Pais, Shea Whigham

I realize a lot of people are looking forward to this movie but this movie being unconnected to the current DCU storylines makes this movie ridiculous to me. Remember that Venom movie without the main hero Spiderman? How do you expect to make a movie around a villain whose origins take place around an action from his main hero nemesis Batman? Directed by Todd Phillips and written by him and Scott Silver, I hope this movie is as good as Joaquin Phoenix looks as the main character.

November

1st

Terminator 6 – Paramount Pictures – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna, Natalie Reyes, Diego Boneta

Linda Hamilton was one of the nicest celebrities I have ever met at a comic con and for that, I hope her return to the franchise is a success. However, I’m not sure how many times we can tell this story. This is to be a sequel from the first two Terminator movies and skipping over the television show and the other movies because they are on alternate timelines. Yeah, really. This potential disaster will be directed by Tim Miller and written by David S Goyer. The people who made Back to the Future knew when to let the timeline flux disruption thing go, why can’t these people. SMH

8th

Sonic the Hedgehog – Paramount Pictures – Ben Schwartz, James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Jim Carrey

2019 seems to be the year to turn any animated cartoon or movie into live action as Jeff Fowler takes his turn at directing Sonic and Patrick Casey, Josh Miller, and Oren Uziel take their hand at penning the hedgehog’s adventures. I think the bigger buzz of this movie will be how Jim Carrey will overact the main villain, Dr. Robotnik.

Kingsman: The Great Game 20th Century Fox – Rhys Ifans, Charles Dance, Daniel Bruhl, Harris Dickinson, Zander James

Another installment of the franchise directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by him, Dave Gibbons and Mark Millar. Currently, in production, this movie is set before the first movie to show us how The Secret Service came to be what it is.

December

20th

Star War: Episode IX – Walt Disney Studios – Like the Avengers movie earlier this year there are just too many actors to mention. Rest assured that the usual suspects will return for another space odyssey.

Directed and written by J. J. Abrams, two points stick out to me: I finally get the return of Billy Dee Williams to the franchise as Lando Calrissian as I have been waiting for since the Force Returns and Carrie Fisher has some unseen footage that will be used. I suspect that her real-life death will be explained and done tastefully.

Kenny Walker Jr

Aquaman Saves the DC Cinematic Universe

When I was a kid, I used to watch the Aquaman cartoon on television. The main reason I liked taking baths was that I could get in the water and pretend to be Aquaman. I would twirl my hands under the water to pretend to make whirlpools. To me, being Aquaman was cool. However, everyone else saw him as the lame fish guy.

With the new release of the movie Aquaman starring Jason Mamoa, Aquaman is no longer just the fish guy. Aquaman has made the title character what he was always meant to be: one of the most powerful and interesting characters in the DC universe. Director James Wan has breathed new life into Warner Bros. DC Comics properties with his take on this classic character.

Wan has made Aquaman one of the best DC Comic films in a very long time taking away the dark brooding elements that have plagued previous DC Universe films. Wan has returned to the hero in superhero showing his main character in the light and giving him a heroic quest to fulfill his destiny. We first got a look at Jason Momoa’s Aquaman in the Batman vs Superman cameo.

Then we got a full range of what this character would be from the Justice League movie. I must admit, I was not impressed. The character did not seem like the Arthur Curry that I had read about in comic books. This Arthur Curry seemed like a brutish bore. This movie proved me wrong. The Aquaman movie gives Arthur Curry background, personality, and depth. Jason Mamoa portrays Aquaman as a brute because in his world he has always been the most powerful person around.

The cast is completed by Amber Heard who plays Mera and acts as a guide as Arthur discovers more about the other world he is from. Heard portrays Mera as the warrior princess who is loyal to Arthur. The undeniable chemistry between Momoa and Heard moves the story along as it is predominately about their quest to set Arthur as the proper King of Atlantis.

Patrick Wilson does a second outing as a DC comic book character (Watchmen) by playing Orm, Arthur’s half-brother. The misconception to those that do not know the comic book world is that they believe there should be an unfair comparison to the half-brother relationship of Orm and Arthur and Marvel’s Thor and Loki. Orm and Loki are two different kinds of characters from two different comic book universes.

Originally, in the comics, Orm started as the human half brother but over time his origin has been rebooted to the Atlantean half-brother. Orm is not a mischievous trouble maker bent on taking a throne that is not his but an Atlantean born and under Atlantean ways. Orm was trained as an undersea ruler and seeks to strengthen his rule and protect his sea. Orm uses deceit to trick the various Atlantean tribes that they need to unite under his rule for their own protection.

Nicole Kidman also does a second outing in a DC comic book movie (Batman Forever) by playing Atlanna, the Queen and Arthur’s mother. Hers is a tragic story of a Romeo and Juliet type of love that she has with Arthur’s father, Tom Curry played by Temuera Morrison. Both Kidman and Morrison sell this love affair with the limited screen time they are given. William Defoe portrays Vulko who serves as a mentor to Arthur teaching him some Atlantean ways and how to use his powers.

Dolph Lundgren portrays King Nereus, Mera’s father, who is the first King to willingly go along with Orm’s plans of conquest and revenge upon the surface world. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II portrayed Black Manta the typical villain out to get revenge on our hero for something he did in the past that the villain blames him for. Although this is a plot point that has been seen countless times, in this case, the villain is right.

It was Aquaman’s fault Black Manta’s, father played by Michael Beach, is dead. The typical scenario was made better by the fact that you got to see a classic villain come to life on the screen. You got a savage Black Manta with laser eyes and all. All in all, Aquaman was definitely worth the ticket price. I originally walked into this expecting a typical bad DC Universe movie that doesn’t hit the spot with its characters and came out thinking this is how Aquaman should be done and this is a direction that DC should keep with their movies.

Yes, there were a few plot fails like how did Orm and Manta meet to partner up in the first place and how did Vulko become Arthur’s teacher when he was a youth. Minor things that could be overlooked for the sake of moving a story. I’m going to take more baths and be a big kid playing in the water as Aquaman.

Kenny Walker Jr