The Reconstruction of the Superhero, Part Three: Doomsday Clock #4

By Drew Kiess

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The following contains spoilers for Doomsday Clock #4: “Walk On Water”

I See What I Want To See

Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “The Abyss Gazes Also”, the sixth issue in Watchmen is, in this writer’s opinion, among the most important issues in comic book history. Showing the effects of witnessing tragedy on a once idealistic vigilante in such a brutal  way changed Watchmen from being an angry rebuttal of comic book culture into a true deconstruction of the building blocks of the mythos.

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“The Abyss Gazes Also” features Walter Kovacs, the first man to don the moniker Rorschach in prison, being interviewed by Dr. Malcolm Long.

Dr. Long is a mixture of good intentions and star struck, as he sees Kovacs as his chance to make an impression in psychological literature. His relationship with Kovacs is rocky, as Kovacs refuses to reveal much of what is going on in his mind. But as the issue continues, Kovacs’ story comes out.

Dark As It Gets

Kovacs retells a story of an investigation into the kidnapping of a young girl. Upon finding her kidnapper, he discovers that she was murdered, and possibly molested, her bones in the mouth of the monster’s dogs. Kovacs, in anger, brutally murders the man responsible.

“It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to  the dogs,” Kovacs tells Dr. Long. “It’s us. Only us.” Dr. Long sits on his bed that night, his marriage in ruins and his career in question after a lengthy and emotional effort to discover something of meaning in Rorschach, looks at an inkblot. Nothing but “meaningless blackness,” he thinks. The horror broke him.

There was nothing to solve.

What Do You See, Mr. Long?

Dr. Matthew Mason walks into the room where the mysterious Rorschach II sits, strapped to a chair, unmasked. Although Mason does not know his new patient’s identity, the inner monologue reveals Rorschach II to be Reggie Long, the son of Dr. Malcolm Long, driven to obsession when Veidt’s plan caused the death of his parents.

Reggie’s views of Dr. Mason, often comparable to Kovacs’ views of Dr. Long, are filtered through Reggie’s views of his father. Dr. Mason is nothing like his father, to him, although his view of Dr. Mason is how Kovacs saw Dr. Long.

Our heroes are how we choose to see them. In this way, the broken mirror image of Bruce Wayne deconstructs how the trauma of a young man views his parents’ relationship and death despite what we know is reality, and how tragedy informed his obsession and mission.

You Need To See Them At Their Best

Reggie had to be institutionalized after the death of his parents. While in asylum, he met Byron Lewis—Moth Man—former member of the Minute Men. Byron trains Reggie to be a one-man Minute Man, teaching him all the tricks the Minute Men had up their sleeves. In this time, Reggie’s view of reality is changed through the encouragement of Byron—instead of seeing them for how they died, he began viewing them at their happiest. He regained an idealized view of his parents, and his hatred for Adrian Veidt grew.

When Reggie’s opportunity to end Veidt’s life and avenge the death of his parents came, Reggie saw the remorse in Veidt’s eyes and couldn’t kill him. This conflicted with his simple view of good and evil. It broke him again.

I Have Someone To Blame

A fascinating element to the character of Bruce Wayne is that his crusade as Batman was never really about Joe Chill, the man who killed his parents. No, Wayne’s mission was to ensure that no child in his city should ever suffer the way he did. In contrast, Reggie Long wishes to avenge his suffering, and finds he has no place to send it. So it is interesting that, when it is revealed that Dr. Mason is, in fact, Bruce Wayne in disguise, that Bruce cannot penetrate through the inkblot.

Of course, Bruce is wearing his own kind of meaningless blackness. Two men attempting to understand each other through misperceptions and disguises are never going to achieve the understanding that they are after.

But which one is the hero? And which one is truly putting the future in jeopardy? Well, the only real answer to that is “we see what we want to see.”

Turned Them Toward Light

Issues like this separate great comic book stories and good ones. This was a game changer, even if the story feels like the story does not advance (it very much does, whether we see it or not). Not only is this the best issue of Doomsday Clock so far, this may go down as one of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s greatest accomplishment: Examining trauma and not losing heroism. Now, the reconstruction of the superhero can begin.

 

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Shanlian On Batman: Episode 111 wsg Sean Gerber

 

Justin and Kyle discuss the recently revealed logo for Shazam! and speculate about Matt Reeve’s “The Batman” as production for it has been set for a start date in 2019! Special guest Sean Gerber joins us part way through to also give his two cents on the Fallout from “Justice League” the ongoing situation with the DCEU and chats some Matt Reeves “The Batman.”

Shanlian On Batman: Episode 110 wsg Mario F. Robles

 

Justin and Kyle are back at it with special guest Mario F. Robles the Editor in Chief Revenge of the Fans. You can listen to Mario on his own the El Fanboy Podcast where you can hear him chat about the nerd culture and all things superheroes! We sit down with Mario and chat with him about the DCEU going forward, those leaked Shazam! pictures and the whether or not Matt Reeves is the guy for The Batman!

Shanlian On Batman: Episode 109 wsg Jay Oliva

 

 

Justin and Kyle sit down to have another discussion with our special guest Jay Oliva. Jay has directed many animated films and his extensive work as a storyboard artist has been featured in many great superhero films. Jay has worked on Man Of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman and Justice League.

When he isn’t working on those films he worked as a director at Warner Bros. Animation and has directed classics like The Dark Knight Returns, Batman vs Robin and Batman: Assault on Arkham.

Tonight, we chat with Jay about all his recent storyboard work on Man of Steel, BvS, Wonder Woman and Justice League. We finish the episode discussing the amazing film he directed Batman: Assault on Arkham and everything he did to make that film so incredible!

Episode 108 ft. Daniel Alter

 

 

Justin and Kyle are joined by honored guest Daniel Alter. Dan is a movie producer and lover of Superhero Films and Nerd Culture, and we are so honored for him to come on the podcast for a second time!! On this episode we chat with Dan about the lack of Superhero Film Representation at this year’s Academy Awards, the Wonder Woman Snub, Logan and The Lego Batman movie.

Additionally, the guys chat about the future of The DCEU, the ongoing situation with #Batfleck and thoughts on if Jake Gyllenhaal would make a great live action Batman!

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Shanlian On Batman: Episode 107

This week Justin and Tom get together for a heavy hitting discussion about the latest Flashpoint news and the current ongoing situation with #Batfleck and #GyllenBat. There is plenty to discuss on this episode so make sure you get you light the Bat-Signal and join us in the podcast cave for Episode 107 of Shanlian On Batman.

If you would like to help support the show you can do so by signing up to be one of our Patrons at www.patreon.com/PodcastEmpireNetwork and as always
make sure that you like our Facebook Page ,Shanlian On Batman Podcast, Follow us on Twitter @ShanlianOnBat, If you want follow us individually on Twitter do so by following @BatmanShanlian, @BatmanBassSlap and @LootingKyle and visit www.ShanlianOnBatman.com

Future of DC Films Unfolding

by Andrew Kiessdceu-9292017

DC news needs to stop dropping when I’m in school.

There is a lot to cover and I honestly do not want to go through it like it’s all breaking news, because, let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you know what’s been going on. I will keep the news brief and then explain what I think it means for DC Films going forward.

Two weeks ago, news broke of Joseph Hamada was taking over for the departed Jon Berg as President of DC Films. Later in that week, we learned of a major shakeup in the executive suite of Warner Bros. motion pictures, with Sue Kroll stepping away from her role as president and Toby Emmerich, is essence, taking over as chairman if Warner Bros. Picture Group, taking over some duties previously held by WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara in day-to-day operations of the film studio.

The good news in this is it slims down the number of chefs in the kitchen for the WB executives, particularly with Tsujihara no longer in a position to call the shots. Whether or not Emmerich is the man for the job remains to be seen, but there is reason to be optimistic in light of this shakeup.

What is more interesting from a producer standpoint is the news coming from Suicide Squad 2, where Michael De Luca joined Charles Roven as producer. This shows a departure from DC Film’s habit of having one producer oversee multiple films. It appears that this move signals a new age in the structure of these films, with a focus on individual franchises rather than the universe as a whole.

We also now know that Shazam! will hit theaters in April of next year, and will feature Mark Strong as the villain Dr. Sivana. With Shazam! being produced by New Line where Walter Hamada oversaw production, it will be our first glimpse of the future of DC Films.

Finally, and certainly not least, we have our directors for Flashpoint. After Ben Affleck reportedly turned down the job, WB has entered negotiations with Vacation directors and Spider-Man Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who will be working from a script by Joby Harold. This would be far from my first choice for this project, but I think it would be fairly safe to say that the Flashpoint film will be quite far away from the beloved Geoff Johns story. With rumors of Ben Affleck making one last appearance in the cape and cowl, Flashpoint has been a popular choice for that appearance, although Suicide Squad 2 could also be a possibility.

It’s an interesting time to follow these movies. I am cautiously optimistic that at the end of these changes will be some movies that I will truly love. While Aquaman will represent the end of this era of DC on film, it is exciting to see the next era coming in strong. We can only hope that the product delivers.

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Shanlian On Batman Episode 106

 

Thank you for coming back or welcome to another episode of Shanlian On Batman! This week Justin, Kyle, and Tom are together under one roof for a rare “home show”. The fellas sit around and kick it old school episode style talking about some highlights and lowlights from 2017 and what they hope for in 2018. As always discussion of current DC news and much more. We appreciate you guys listening and contributing so much, thank you, and enjoy episode 106 of Shanlian On Batman.

As always make sure that you like our Facebook Page ,Shanlian On Batman Podcast, Follow us on Twitter @ShanlianOnBat, If you want follow us individually on Twitter do so by following @BatmanShanlian, @BatmanBassSlap and @LootingKyle 

Episode 105 WSG Tim Seeley

 

This week Justin and Tom get to talk with the incredible Tim Seeley. The guys go over Tim’s life and work including his creative childhood and massive run on Grayson. They also talk about leaving Grayson and taking over the duties on Green Lantern. Enjoy episode 105 of Shanlian on Batman!

Make sure that you like our Facebook Page Shanlian On Batman Podcast, Follow us on Twitter at ShanlianOnBat. If you want follow us individually on Twitter make sure that you follow us @BatmanShanlian, @BatmanBassSlap and @LootingKyle!