March 05, 2013 | 6:21 p.m.
Orson Scott Card’s contribution to “Adventures of Superman” will be delayed after the story’s illustrator, Chris Sprouse, bowed out of the project. DC Comics has been under fire since announcing Card would contribute a story to the first collected issue of the comic, due out May 29. Card’s involvement drew the ire of gay advocates, who called for boycotts of the comic and petitioned DC to drop the “Ender’s Game” author due to his anti-gay rhetoric. Card is an outspoken opponent of homosexuality and a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, which seeks to ban same-sex marriage. Sprouse — the Eisner-winning comic artist whose work includes such titles as “Tom Strong,” “X-Men” and “Justice League America” — cited the controversy in his decision to step down as the illustrator of the story by Card and Aaron Johnston. MORE: […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 9:29 a.m.
Bruce Willis has a new action hero role: defender of the 2nd Amendment. Willis told the Associated Press that he opposes new gun control laws and said he fears that such tinkering will lead to an erosion of citizen rights. “I think that you can’t start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it’s all going to become undone,” Willis told the Associated Press as part of the promotional tour for his new film, “A Good Day to Die Hard.” PHOTOS: Beyonce as Wonder Woman? “If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn’t they take all your rights away from you?” he told the news service. Willis’ decision to speak openly on such a controversial topic is unusual. Celebrities don’t usually wade into politically charged commentary, especially when they’re promoting […]
Jan. 12, 2013 | 7:30 a.m.
Whether you voted for Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, it’s good to know the president isn’t a Sith Lord. After more than 34,000 people petitioned the White House to “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016,” the White House released an official statement cleverly titled “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For,” rejecting Darth Vader’s weapon of choice. “The Administration does not support blowing up planets,” wrote Paul Shawcross, chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. “Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?” PHOTOS: ‘Star Wars’ at the box office The response also rebuffs the petitioners’ notion that a Death Star would be a smart economic move; any […]
July 26, 2012 | 12:32 p.m.
“Sons of Anarchy” creator Kurt Sutter read the headlines from Colorado on Friday and tweeted from the gut: “woke up to the news about shooting. this kinda thing always makes me question my liberal use of violence in storytelling.” Violence has been part of storytelling since humans began telling stories. Grotesque violence fills our video game screens — but it’s also hanging in frames at the world’s greatest museums and antiquity collections. Does the depiction of violence inspire aggressive behavior — or does it just give us something to do with Twitter and talk shows? We put the question to Chris Hecker, a game developer who has worked for Electronic Arts Inc. and is now working independently on his own game, called “SpyParty.” HC: What role does violence play in entertainment? How powerful a tool is it in the telling of the story or the game mechanics? CH: Violence […]
July 24, 2012 | 2:53 p.m.
DC Entertainment has asked retailers to delay the release of its comic book “Batman Inc.” No. 3 due to sensitivities in the wake of the Colorado movie-theater shooting. The company behind Superman, Wonder Woman and “Watchmen” sent a letter to retailers Monday requesting that they withhold the issue, which has already been printed and shipped with a scheduled Wednesday shelf date. “Out of respect for the victims and families in Aurora, Colorado, DC Entertainment has made the decision to postpone the release of ‘Batman Inc.’ No. 3 for one month because the comic contains content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events,” the letter stated. “We request that retailers do not make this issue available as previously solicited. Its new on sale date is August 22, 2012. Please contact the DC Entertainment sales team if you […]
July 21, 2012 | 10:10 a.m.
The defining moment in the history of the fictitious city called Gotham is when a trembling young boy in a tuxedo — he’s dressed up for a night at the theater — kneels next to his slain mother and father as a gunman runs off into the night. The gun-metal grimness of that scene in the 2005 film “Batman Begins” echoes in every part of director Christopher Nolan’s bleak and bruising franchise. And now, after the shooting at a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colo., the record-breaking Hollywood franchise will be remembered in shades of funereal black and lurid tabloid red. Police said the 24-year-old suspect had “painted” hair and told them after the shooting that he was the Joker, the warped murderer played by Heath Ledger in Nolan’s previous Batman film, “The Dark Knight.” According […]
July 20, 2012 | 4:46 p.m.
The dire headlines and unsettling images from Colorado tell us that a dozen moviegoers lost their lives after being gunned down at a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” — it’s an ugly spasm of deranged violence and everywhere people are trying to make sense of it, whether they reach for tissue, their Twitter accounts or a sturdy soapbox. In Paris, a red carpet premiere was canceled and Christopher Nolan was in lockdown mode with his cast and crew awaiting further information on the rampage of a 24-year-old gunman who reportedly referred to himself as the Joker when questioned by police. A short time ago the filmmaker released a statement through his Los Angeles publicist. “Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has […]
July 17, 2012 | 11:27 a.m.
Clark Kent writes for the Daily Planet but his new biographer, Larry Tye, filed his own front-page stories for the Boston Globe and Louisville Courier-Journal. Tye, author of “Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend,” is fresh from Comic-Con International where he was promoting “Superman: The High-Flying History of America’s Most Enduring Hero,” the 432-page hardcover from Random House that is being billed as the first “full-fledged biography” of the character that is called both Kal-El and Kent. We talked to Tye about the ramping interest in “Man of Steel,” the Warner Bros. film that will put a new version of the hero on the screen just in time for his 75th anniversary next summer. HC: This is an era of haunted anti-heroes like Batman, Wolverine, James Bond. We also have decadent tricksters — Jack Sparrow, Tony Stark, maybe even the new Capt. Kirk — and empowered […]
June 18, 2012 | 6:07 p.m.
Have the moviegoers of China been holding out for a hero of their own? If so, then help is on the way — his name is Annihilator and, no surprise, Stan Lee is one of the people trying to get him off the ground. “This is the perfect Chinese hero,” Lee said Monday. “China is a nation that is involved with movies and the industry is growing so it’s as though all the pieces are coming together beautifully.” The financing piece is off to a good start, certainly, with Monday’s news that “The Annihilator” tops the inaugural list of co-productions from National Film Capital, the state-run fund-management company that draws on $422 million raised by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and other partners. (The slate also included the action-fantasy “Dragon Scroll”; the historical epic “Genghis Khan,” from Los Angeles-based writer and director Peter […]
June 04, 2012 | 7:59 a.m.
In crime novels such as “The Jook,” “Bangers” and “The Underbelly,” Gary Phillips draws some scary chalk outlines around the City of Angels but in real life the author has nothing but love for his native Southern California. Born in 1955, he grew up amid the tumult of the Civil Rights era, Watts ’65 and the Vietnam War — and he also was in prime position to take in the Marvel Comics revolution. Phillips has gone from comics fan to comics creator (“The Rinse,”about a money laundryman in San Francisco, is now in trade paperback from Boom! Studios), but in the following guest essay he reflects on the Marvel Universe of his youth and one of its major Marvel innovations: The black superhero. PHOTO GALLERY ABOVE: BLACK SUPERHEROES UNMASKED (BE SURE THE “CAPTIONS ON” OPTION IS SELECTED.) I grew up on […]