I was heartbroken to hear that Dwayne McDuffie passed yesterday, so unexpected as it was. McDuffie had long been one of my favorite modern animation & comicbook scribes, particularly for his work on Justice League Unlimited.
It was his unique take on The Question (one of my absolute favorite comic book characters) in the JLU episodes that spurred me to contact Dwayne via email some years back. We discussed Denny O’Neil, Steve Ditko and his use of the Randian elements, Rand hercrazyself, Justice League arcs and Lex Luthor, and the single usage of the fantastic phrase “Brobdingnagian distaste” that I had, and still have, ever heard.
From that first email we went on to talk about his work on Damage Control, Milestone comics, and plenty of other fangirly things not to mention my own apsiring writerdom. He was unbelivable generous with his replies to my dumb college self, and since then I’ve been a lifelong fan of his work.
He was an assiduous writer, a prolific storyteller and a truly magnanimous gentleman. He will be sorely missed.
As a tribute I watched the McDuffie adapted ALL-STAR SUPERMAN last night. It was released yesterday and captures the comics wonderfully. Highly recommended to any DC fan. Over on Twitter this morning @dblackanese captured the bittersweet final moment of the film nicely:
CBR has a nice tribute: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=30978
The job hunt is officially on, my eyes are finally recovering and I really enjoyed Iron Man. Bring on Batman and Hellboy, hell Hancock even, I’m already there.
Don’t ask me how, but I ended up on a satisfactory little blog about the peculiarities of language and formal grammar: Invented Usage is some fun stuff. I found their Ackbar Retrospective particularly amusing. The only possibly improvement to this gem:
…would be to somehow also work in DeNiro or To Kill A Mockingbird. What’s going on with that DeNiro/Pacino thing anyway? I worry the longer it is until its release, the greater the need for concern.
Not that you can even correllate the likes of WATCHMEN to the sugary goodness of JLI… but in my mind I’ve got a lot of the Ditko inspired stuff tied together, which always means that I’m lumping Vic Sage in with Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and Guy Gardner.
Vic then inevitably comes to a bizarro connection with Moore’s WATCHMEN through Rorschach and I’m always partial to the Question exhibiting some of the paranoid traits of his Inky-highness.
And there’s a point to all this comic blathering, really- namely the secret image hidden in the 300 Trailer.
Which really only looks to be a proof type thing since WATCHMEN isn’t in production, but still rad. And yes, I am a total dork, but I honestly haven’t been jazzed about a comic book movie since V FOR VENDETTA. All the other upcoming adapts are leaving me lukewarm.
Expressing an opinion online is like talking to your favorite stuffed animal- sure it may have eyes and ears, but it doesn’t necessarily mean anyone’s listening and there’s a good chance by doing so that you’re certifably insane. But for the sake of hearing myself talk, I continue to ramble on without meaning and today my ire has been raised by talks of Ryan Phillippe in the running for Harvey Dent in Christopher Nolan’s next Bat-flick.
Now, yes, I do have an irrational attatchment to the character Harvey Dent. He is my favorite Batman rogue. He represents a sort of chaos theory take on old Bats- two guys with the same goal who ended up in very different, and yet not all that dissimilar, places. I like what Harv represents and I like the potential he has. Does he ever get used to that extent? In the previous media, not so much. Batman Forever isn’t worth the time to argue over. But all the merit in Harv can be immediately recognized by dropping two names – Loeb and Sale. That’s right- The Long Halloween. Just about the most perfect Two-Face origin there is to be had. It’s sexy, it’s noir, it’s fucking rad is what it is. If Nolan puts even a shred of the Harvey Dent from The Long Halloween/Dark Victory in his next picture, then I will probably be happy. I say probably because of what I mentioned before- Ryan Phillippe.
There’s nothing overtly wrong with Philippe, it’s just that he’s very pretty. But, you say, irony! That’s whole point. No, no, no. A gorgeous, proud Harvey Dent who gets scarred and goes crazy is all well and good, but this ISN’T SE7EN! Harvey Dent has substance and convictions! He’s a paragon of JUSTICE. If you make him a Ken doll who goes nutso because he can’t look in the mirror, that’s hugely selling the character short and undermining the development of Batman. So you’re damaging more than just Harv here.
I know Phillippe has chops and I don’t sell him short. The Way of the Gun and Crash, and Gosford Park, yay. Good stuff. But I’m thinking a lot about dynamics here, and the Bruce/Jim/Harv dynamic is so important, that I just can’t get on board because he’s younger than Christian Bale, Phillippe’s miles and away from Gary Oldman and after the Heath Ledger news, I just uhg… is pretty Joker going to scar pretty Harv and we’re just going to get pretty pretty Gotham city with only pretty supervillians? Where’s the grime and corruption- the dark brooding menace that makes Gotham, Gotham? This is unacceptable. This has me very worried for the fate of Batman. One villian per movie please. No blacklights. For godsake. Let’s learn from history here.
But not to completely abolish Ryan Phillippe, cause I don’t really dislike him, he might make a good Thomas Elliot. And that would be an excellent fresh story that Nolan might make good use of. When challenged to name a better Harvey Dent- and I’ve thought this over many times- my best thought is Sam Rockwell. Or Mark Ruffalo. Maybe Henry Thomas or Sean Patrick Flanery. Someone less fair, more brooding, and potentially volitile.
So what about you? Best Two-Face?