Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I love Batman. Specifically I love Bruce Wayne as Batman. He's the OG as the kids like to say. However, over the character's 77 year history there have been quite a few other men (and some women) to proclaim themselves as Batman. I had a post before about who I felt were the best alternate versions of Batman (and we're gonna get a little into it here) but it occurs to me that there is always the possibility that we could see these guys on the big screen! The best part about it is that WB and Zack Snyder have done some of the work for me! They've already cast two of these alternate Batmen. I just had to put the pieces together and let my imagination run wild as to what their films could look like! Now granted this is pure speculation on my part, but I love sitting and thinking about what could be, and probably should happen with these films.


Whatever direction they decide to go with for Jim Gordon in the new Batman/Justice League films I think we can all agree that Simmons was brilliant casting! In just about everything he's done he has proven to be an exceptional actor. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be a great Jim Gordon. I can just see him now staring up at the Justice League members in total awe and saying some funny line about how much the world has changed. It's definitely going to be a memorable performance. 

But is that all? Simmons will be a great Jim Gordon and that's it?

So what's this all about, huh? What are you doing there, JK? You planning on taking Affleck's place in a future Bat-film? Well . . . probably not because he confirmed that this picture was taken in preparation for another movie. BUT . . . Let's have some fun with this idea!

In the comics, Batman was presumed dead after a long battle with the Joker. Gotham was trying to move on without Batman but his absence was noticeable as crime was on the rise. Powers Industries recruits former police commissioner Jim Gordon to be the new Batman to protect the streets of Gotham. It isn't long before Gordon is facing a crazy and dangerous new threat in the form of Mr. Bloom! It's definitely one of the craziest but best Batman stories that's been done in recent years. I would love to see a Batman film that adapts this in some way, now the story does feature Bruce Wayne having lost all his memories as Batman and trying to rebuild his life in a community center helping people the way he thinks his parents would have. I highly recommend this one to Bat-fans. 

I think it could be a really different take on a Batman film. We've had so many films featuring Bruce Wayne as Batman and so few of them have featured Jim Gordon as an important character. In the 90s films, Gordon was sort of the way he was in the 60s TV series meaning he sort of just relied on Batman to do all the crime fighting in Gotham. In the Nolan films, Gordon was a much more interesting character and helped Batman in his crime fighting as opposed to just letting Batman do all the dirty work. I'm hoping that trend will continue with Simmons and Affleck's new the Batman film. But also, seeing Jim have to BECOME Batman would be really exciting too. It's a chance for Hollywood to do something different with the films but still have Bruce Wayne an important figure in the film. Also, it will give Affleck some time out of the Batsuit and that can't be a bad thing ;) Plus Simmons could totally be Batman! Albeit, a very different Batman then we are used to but that would be the point! It would be hilarious to see him try to be how Bruce was as Batman but also try to do his own thing. Simmons would nail it for sure and it would be fantastic. 


Now this . . . This is the guy! When Morgan was announced as Thomas Wayne for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fans went crazy! It seemed like maybe they were setting something up for a Flashpoint film or maybe he'll guest star on The Flash as Thomas Wayne's Batman. While either of those situations would be absolutely incredible, it's probably just fans' imaginations running wild. However . . . let's not shoot it down just yet! Let's play around with this thought.

Now there are two options here. The first is an adaptation of Flashpoint where Bruce Wayne was murdered and it drove Thomas and Martha Wayne crazy. Thomas became a ruthless vigilante and Martha became a psychotic murderer. In case you never read it - Thomas is Batman and Martha is the Joker. It was a twist in the story that not only made a lot of sense but was captivating on every level. I'd love to see that adapted in some way. 

The other option is Thomas Wayne as the Earth 2 Batman. He's a much more ruthless, unforgiving Batman and he's addicted to Miraclo, a drug that gives you super strength for one hour at a time. He took up the mantle of Batman after Bruce died saving the world. He helped rally the other superheroes together during the second attack from Apokalips. That was one of my all time favorite comics. So if you're looking for a different take on Batman but it's not too terribly far off from your classic Batman then look no further than Flashpoint or Earth 2

Some have called it a waste that Morgan was just a cameo in BvS. Ok . . . I said that. I did. Because I love the Earth 2 stuff so much and he would be amazing as a darker, harder, meaner Batman. Given his body of work, especially Watchmen, it's not hard for me to imagine him donning the red and black Batsuit. Morgan is a brilliant actor with a lot of range. Thomas Wayne is a character we haven't gotten to see much of in the films or any TV series. Essentially, this character would be a brand new concept for movie audiences. While it's not likely that WB/DC will want to have a new Batman so soon after Ben Affleck's wonderful performance there is this idea out there. And like I said, it's pretty much on every fan's wish list to see Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Thomas Wayne Batman. It's definitely on mine!


Ok so this is just fan casting. But you cannot deny . . . It would be awesome to see. All we know, as of right now, is that at some point during Batman's career there was at least one Robin that was killed. There were rumors of it being Dick Grayson but it was confirmed to be Jason Todd. I think it's safe to say that Dick Grayson does exist in the DCEU (it would be a mistake for the filmmakers not to use him) and at this point in his life is probably Nightwing. But what if during the Justice League films or even in The Batman Bruce is killed off? Who would stand up and become Batman then? In the comics Bruce was presumed dead at the hands of Darkseid during Final Crisis and Dick Grayson took up the mantle of Batman in his place.

He even had a flying Batmobile!

Dick's career as Batman actually lasted a few years in the comics. After Bruce came back, he started up Batman, Inc and began recruiting Batmen from all over the world to protect their various cities while Dick remained in Gotham protecting it as Batman. This led to some wonderful Batman stories including Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin run and Scott Snyder's The Black Mirror. When the New 52 was launched, Dick took up the role of Nightwing again but remained a member of Batman, Inc. However, I think his career as Batman was a highlight for the character. He was a much different Batman than Bruce. He was wittier, lighter on his feet, and showed more compassion than Bruce ever did. It was one of my favorite Batman runs in recent years. I sometimes wish that they would go back to it because I love Dick as Batman so much. But then again . . . Nightwing is cool too (I guess).

Not long ago, just based on promotional material for The Hunger Games, I would have thought of Claflin as a good choice for Aquaman. I mean gosh darn it! Look at that picture! He looks just like Arthur Curry from the comics. However, after seeing the films I started thinking he would actually be a lot better as Dick Grayson. He pulled off the confident, bordering on arrogant personality but when it came down to it, he could kick major ass. That's who Grayson needs to be. There's a reason that everyone in the superhero community felt that he should take up the mantle of the Bat while Bruce was gone. I think that Claflin would make a great Dick Grayson even if he never gets the chance to be Batman. However, I do think that would make an amazing film story to see Bruce gone and Dick have to take his place. Like I said with the previous suggestions it would make for a different type of Batman film and I think that's what audiences are craving these days. I mean after Affleck kills it with his film first of course ;)

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm trying to run Ben Affleck out of the picture. I loved his performance in Batman v Superman and I can't wait to see the Batman and Justice League. I've just given it a lot of thought and it seems crazy that these two wonderful actors were cast, Simmons and Morgan, and they would make great Batmen on screen! Then of course there's my own suggestion of Claflin as Dick Grayson because, as of this writing, Dick has not been cast yet. Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing a new wave of Bat-films. Here's hoping that Geoff Johns will be able to convince WB to take a chance and maybe some day give us a totally different Batman to root for on film. 

Hey a man can dream right? :)

Till Next Time!

JJ - the Comic Junkie! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


After a long while, Lionsgate/Saban has finally released a teaser trailer for the new Power Rangers film coming out in March 2017. I was one of the lucky ones to see it firsthand during New York Comic Con (which was then released online like a minute later) during the Power Rangers panel. As I've said before, I'm a sucker for a good teaser. In my mind, Power Rangers had one of the best teaser trailers I've seen in a long time. It was well crafted with a mysterious tone and just enough footage to get us excited without giving anything away, which is all too rare these days with trailers. While not a lot of footage was shown, I was very excited by the implications the teaser gave us. I'd like to share with you my thoughts on it and what I think we can expect from the movie next March.


A good chunk of the trailer does have a certain Breakfast Club feel to it. Truthfully, I was hoping for something like that. You get the sense in the trailer that each of these kids has their own unique quirks, problems, and struggles. Obviously that's very important when making a movie about teenagers. That's the time of your life when you start to discover who you are and what makes you special. The challenge with doing that is that everyone around you is also figuring out who they are and they may not like what you are becoming for whatever reason. That was definitely something I struggled with as a kid. One of the best examples of this particular struggle was shown in The Breakfast Club. Those were five teenagers that never would have ever gotten together under any circumstance but that day they became lifelong friends. I think that Power Rangers is going to give us a similar story - 5 teenagers from different walks of life, rebelling against the system, their parents, their friends, etc and then they find each other. Then of course they become super heroes . . . Just like in The Breakfast Club. 


The official synopsis for the film states that the teenagers are chosen by fate to become Earth's protectors. However, in the teaser it looks like the kids accidentally stumble upon the power coins and then gain their powers. So . . . which is it? Most likely, it's some sort of combination of the two. Perhaps Zordon is a bit more of a puppet master and leads the kids to the Command Center and they discover the power themselves. I'd like to think of it like a Green Lantern / Thor's hammer combo meaning that the power chooses them (and is never wrong) but they also have to be worthy of its power. I'm pretty sure the film will go in that direction. We won't know for sure until the next trailer or possibly even the film itself. It would be kind of a let down if they just stumbled on the power rather than earned it or were chosen. To me, that's much more interesting. They have to be worthy of the power. After all, the teaser shows them as good kids, even if they have rough pasts, so it should be interesting no matter what happens. 


This is something that I've always wanted from Power Rangers but never got - they have superpowers outside of their costumes. It's probably somewhat implied in the show since there are quite a few times they fight the Putties without their costumes on. I always kind of suspected they were given powers and the suits just enhanced them. However, it was never directly stated. It's unclear from the trailer if they are all given different powers or if they might have individualized powers. After all we see that Jason has super strength, Billy is invulnerable, and they all seem to be able to leap a great distance and survive underwater. That's pretty damn awesome if you ask me. Hopefully the film will elaborate on just how powerful they are. In the series, it seemed like they had powers but it was never really said how much. Then again, for the purposes of a 30 minute action series, I suppose they didn't really need to get into it. 


Clearly the Batman Begins era of inspired reboots is still going strong. What I mean is that the world of Power Rangers seems placed in reality just like Christopher Nolan placed his version of Batman in reality. There seems to be a grounded nature to the film. Angel Grove feels like a real small town, as opposed to the city from the series. This type of trick can help the audience relate a little better to the story and to the characters, "Hey I grew up in a town like that!" or something like that. Again, because of the low budget nature of the show and the fact that it was spliced with Japanese footage, Angel Grove never really felt like a real place to me. I enjoyed the show, but I didn't care about Angel Grove. However, in Batman Begins or Man of Steel despite the fact that Gotham City and Metropolis are not real cities, I still worried for them when the villains were trying to destroy them. It looked and felt real to me in the theater and made the suspense that much more exciting. I'm hoping for something similar in Power Rangers


This is something I spoke about in a previous blog post - I never felt afraid of Rita Repulsa. I always thought Zedd was cool and Goldar was scary but I was never afraid of Rita. I just didn't get how the Power Rangers acted like she was so tough. She was kind of embarrassing as a character. It's most likely due to the Japanese footage and the quick cuts of it, but I never liked her. I don't know. However, that's all gone out the window now. I'm a huge fan of Elizabeth Banks and I can't wait to see what she does with the character, which to me, is kind of a blank slate. Although her appearance in the teaser is very brief, it's pretty memorable. I think, unlike previous adaptations, we'll see Rita as a genuine threat to the Rangers. I also like that she is taking an active interest on Earth and is willing to get hands on and dirty with the Power Rangers. In the teaser, we see her attacking Trini in her bedroom. That makes for a truly scary villain. She knows where you live and can come for you whenever she feels like it. It has been confirmed that Goldar and the Putties will be in the film, but it's still cool to see Rita be an up close and personal threat to the Power Rangers.


Like I said, this was definitely a teaser to remember. We only get the briefest of glimpses at the Power Coins, Rita, The Command Center, and then the Rangers' morphing. It's exactly the kind of teaser trailer I wanted. Just when it's getting good it cuts off. So far of what I've seen has gotten me really excited for the new film. There's so much that we haven't even seen yet! Where are the Zords? Alpha 5? Zordon? Goldar? The Green Ranger? While the Green Ranger has not been confirmed for the film he has also not been denied so it's possible that the Green Ranger may show up in some form or another. But at this point it doesn't matter. This teaser gave us just enough information to get us all excited and held back a lot. That alone wins it points in my book. But then again, I'm biased. So far, this looks like the Power Rangers story I always wanted to see. 

I'm definitely looking forward to the new film. From every little announcement, image released,  seeing the action figures on display at New York Comic Con and now the teaser has just got me super amped up! I can't wait for next March!

I have very high hopes for this movie. Hopefully it will be successful and we'll see a brand new take on one of my favorite shows from my childhood. 

Till Next Time!

JJ - The Comic Junkie!