Nerd Bytes is all the news nerds love to hear from comic book, movie, television, video game and other nerdy industries. We know you can’t catch it all in your fast-paced lives, so we catch it for you and post it here in easy to read Nerd Bytes. One stop shopping for the Nerd Brain! Enjoy!
IDW BYTE: On Wednesday June 18th all of the previewing comes to an end as Harlan Ellison’s, Star Trek: Harlan Ellison®’s City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay finally hits the shelves of your local comic book store. The five-part miniseries from IDW Publishing is based on Ellison’s original teleplay. The episode of Star Trek: The Original Series, which is considered one of the best ever made, was not released as Ellison had intended. His version of the story, revolving around Dr. McCoy’s drug induced delusional jaunt through time to 1930s New York City, was changed before airing in April of 1967. IDW’s adaptation will, like the episode itself, alter the past to present Ellison’s full vision as he had originally intended it. Leave it to an innovative company like IDW to go back to the roots and show us what we missed all those years ago. It will be adapted from Ellsion’s original by Scott and David Tipton, veteran Star Trek writers at IDW, and illustrated by J.K. Woodward (CSI NY: Bloody Murder), who are certainly the right creators for such revered material. Star Trek: Harlan Ellison®’s City on the Edge of Forever – The Original Teleplay is on shelves by the time this episode of Nerd Bytes posts. What are you waiting for?
GOTHAM BYTE: The fall television season will likely be a treasure trove for the nerds of the world. Shows like CW’s The Flash and NBC’s Constantine will join proven shows like Arrow, The Walking Dead, and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD in a market getting ever more saturated by comic book based source material. Although all of those shows have the momentum to be successful there is one offering that will be the front-runner in the crowd, that is Fox’s Gotham. Created by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) and directed by Danny Cannon (CSI, Dark Blue) Gotham will tell the story of Jim Gordon and pre-Bat Gotham City. We will see the murder of Bruce Wayne’s parents, and how the event molded the bloody future of the city and its denizens, the most highly anticipated of whom is The Joker. Heller and Cannon recently did an interview with Moviepilot, in which they skirted some questions we all want to hear answered. When asked why Jim Gordon was the focal point of the plot, Heller said;
“Because he’s the human moral center of the Batman myth. If Commissioner Gordon doesn’t allow Batman to operate then Batman doesn’t operate. He’s the link between the two worlds, between the dark and the light world. He had a career in a procedural sense. He’s a framework. He’s not a wacky character who goes off to do odd things. He’s a steady paternal figure inside the myth so he’s the natural lead there.”
Eventually the questions turned to Batman’s greatest villain, The Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker. The character has been portrayed as everything from a prankster, circa the Batman TV Series as portrayed by Cesar Romero, to the ultimate sociopath, as portrayed by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. This television show will do something few have even attempted. It will delve into the past of the character, revealing what created the monster that would be The Joker. When asked how difficult it would be to take on such an iconic character, Cannon responded;
“It is daunting but the way to take it on is not to go, ‘Here it is,’ but ‘Here it might be. Wait, it’s not that. It’s something else. Wait, it’s not even that.’ I think that is the greatest tribute to the Joker, the fact that you may think it’s one thing, it ends up being something else because that guy, I think should never be able to be figured out.”
Batman may well be the greatest comic hero ever created so Gotham, and its creators really have their work cut out for them. Nerds are very critical and will undoubtedly looking for any flaws to attack. Everything I have seen so far tells me that this show could set the standard for television adaptations for the future. I hope so! Gotham will air this fall on Fox.
APOCALYPSE BYTE: As I stated in a previous Nerditorial, after seeing the “reset button” called X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer and the writers of X-Men: Apocalypse have an uncommonly clean slate on which to create. In an interview with SciFiNow Singer discussed just that. When answering questions about X-Men: Apocalypse, Singer said,
“My next goal is how did the X-Men come together? That story hasn’t been told yet, so [Days Of Future Past] is the inbetweequel. It’s in between the birth of that relationship with Charles and Erik and the formation of the X-Men.”
What does this mean for the future of the X-Men franchise at the movies? Many think it means wholesale recasting with newer and younger actors. Singer obviously wants to show how the X-Men came together. But which X-Men?
Comic fans know that the original quintet was Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Beast, Iceman, and Angel. There are still serious continuity problems with that group. Cyclops, Beast, and Marvel Girl would be fine. They are in the same chronology. Iceman, on the other hand, has been portrayed as a kid in the recent movies and is significantly younger than the others. Warren Worthington, The Angel, doesn’t really even exist, replaced by Stryker’s flying son in a way. So he’s probably not referring to the comic book originals, which is truly sad considering the huge role that the Angel played in the comic version of the Apocalypse story line. Singer is more likely referring to Cyclops, Phoenix and Storm, which is pretty cool too. It is time to bring those characters back into the fold and the X-Men: First Class timeline is obviously the go-forward continuity. Nerd Bytes will keep you posted on who Fox and Singer are talking to for those illustrious roles.
NOVA BYTE: Months ago we reported a rumor that was going around (we do that a lot around here). The rumor was that Nathan Fillion had a part in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming to theaters this August. He even sent out some cryptic tweets to solidify the rumor. Now it seems that he was more prophet than story-teller. Late last week word from “sources” was that Fillion has been signed by Marvel Studios to play Richard Ryder, NOVA. Initially it looked like he would have a very small part in Guardians of the Galaxy. Speculators let their minds and their knowledge of Marvel Studios run rampant and assumed that this would mean a multi-appearance deal for the cult hero of Firefly. The Nova character is, after all, an integral part of both the cosmic and Earth-bound Marvel Universe. We assumed that Marvel Studios would love to lock-down Fillion especially when it would interfere with DC/Warner Bros. rumored interest in him for the Green Lantern role. This could have been a long and fruitful union for Marvel Studios, Fillion, and the fans, but alas it is not true. James Gunn, Director of Guardians of the Galaxy was quick to dispel the rumor on twitter.
He did, however admit that Fillion did have a cameo in the film that he agreed to as a favor to Gunn. So, take heart you will get some small amount of Fillion in a Marvel Movie. Let’s hope it translates to more later.
SCREEN ROUND-UP: Heroes Reborn, NBC’s return to the popular world of Heroes, was announced months ago. Tim Kring, creator of the original series, certainly has the skills to bring back the series and make it good. He’s now working on filling the cast with the tools to make it great! That toolbox now has its first piece as Jack Coleman, who played Noah Bennett (the man in the horn-rimmed glasses), has become the first original Heroes co-star to sign on for the new 13 episode miniseries. While officials have said that other original cast members may be dropping in, it has also been said that Zachary Quinto (Sylar) and Milo Ventimiglia (Peter) are “not available, for now”. Let’s hope that changes.
The producers of Arrow are also busy preparing for season 3 of the popular CW series. They are reportedly casting for four new recurring characters: Toshi and Akiko, Oliver Queen’s handlers in flashbacks of Tokyo; Daniel a wannabe hero and rival for Felicity’s attention; and Seth, a villain who uses a drug to drain willpower. Speculation already abounds that Akiko may be Lady Shiva, or Katana. Daniel may well be Ted Kord (Blue-Beetle) although fans would rather this character turn out to be Nightwing which is highly doubtful. Some speculators think Seth might be Scarecrow, but that would diverge from what we already know from the Bat-movies. I did a little research and didn’t find anyone who fit the bill as written in the comics. This may be another cross-over character. Maybe the “willpower” aspect is to bring Green Lantern into the fold. We shall see, this Fall from the CW.
Great news (maybe) from the House of Ideas (that is Marvel Studios, in case you’re wondering) regarding the future of the Hulk. According to Mark Ruffalo, the man who played the monster in The Avengers, a new Hulk movie may be possible. Ruffalo said, “I think they are, for the first time, entertaining the idea of it. When we did The Avengers it was basically ‘No!’, and now there is some consideration for it.” World War Hulk anyone?
INDIE BYTE: Our friends at IF? Commix, specifically Andrez Bergen, are at it again. As if a new novel, Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth, coming in July and a trade paperback version of his first novel Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat, coming in August weren’t enough, Bergen has found time to write and illustrate a second issue of his comic book, Bullet Gal. The first issue was a mini-comic, a teaser of sorts. I stated after reading it that the art brought me back to early Bendis material like Torso and Jinx. After reading the second installment I stand by my earlier statement. Bergen’s style of sequential art draws you into his world of Heropa and brings it to life in a way that makes you experience the story first-hand. I continue to be impressed by his writing, but it no longer surprises me. I have read nearly everything he has done and his writing simply resonates. It is real dialogue, real emotion, real drama. You live his work. As much as I love his novels, his graphic novel are right up my alley. I’m a comic book guy through and through so when you combine great writing with unique and innovative art, you got me! Do yourselves a favor and go check out IF? Commix, you will be glad you did. Oh, and did I mention that their digital downloads are just $1? Well they are. What are you waiting for?
NERDITORIAL: Recently Marvel Comics released their September solicitations. That is always a fun day for me because I get a sneak peek into the future of comics. This time there was some of that, but it quickly came to a halt when I got to the bottom line, which was $4.99. We were already aware that the upcoming Death of Wolverine four-issue arc would cost fans $4.99. What we didn’t know, until the full solicits arrived, was that fifteen other books from Marvel will hit that same price point in September. The list includes Superior Spider-Man #33, New Avengers #24, Avengers #35, Avengers #34.1, Fantastic Four Annual #1, Thor: God of Thunder #25, Miracleman #10, Hulk Annual #1, Deadpool Bi-Annual #1, Hawkeye vs. Deadpool #0, and Deadpool #34. Welcome to the new normal, or just an odd month with a lot of oversized or special issues? I’m not sure at this point but evidence seems to be pointing toward $5 being the norm going forward, and I AM NOT ONBOARD!
I know $5 is not worth what it used to be. You barely get more than a gallon of gas for that these days. You can get a barely substantial, and completely health-free, meal at Taco Bell. You can also get half a box of coffee for your Keurig (or 1 cup at Starbucks). Now, courtesy of Marvel Comics you can get one (1) comic book. So much for wanting to get kids back into reading them. So much for using the movie madness to reinvigorate a slowly declining comic industry. Is it just greed or is it the rising cost of production? Maybe it’s some level of both. Either way it’s too much. This might be the latest signal that print comics are dead and that the future is in digital. I understand the argument for the continued production of print versions. I’m a long-time collector myself. But at what price do we call it done? Five dollars may just be that price. We’ll see how it all shakes out but I’m still surprised that an industry that is failing to create a new customer base would further damage that hope, all the while putting more pressure on the ever-dwindling customers that remain. What do you think? Is this the beginning of the end, or just one less trip to Taco Bell each week?