DC FanDome Digest #2

By Ben Wright (@iamzavagno | www.xgeeks.co.uk)

The dust has now settled on DC FanDome and its safe to say it was a huge success!

The virtual platform allowed content creators, actors and a whole range of other amazing people to share their passions and projects with a Wolrd wide audience. From the cinematic panels like The Batman and Wonder Woman to the BAME panels prompting serious and honest discussions about important issues. The event was a triumph, leaving fans filled with longing of a safe return to the world we knew before the global pandemic brought the world to a standstill

Before a big shout-out to Neil over at Get Your Comic On who did an outstanding job of covering the event, constantly providing up the minute announcements and articles going throughout the entire weekend. Well done my friend!

This is by no means an in-depth look into every single announcement, see GYCO or We Have  A Hulk for that! But instead, I have chosen some of the big announcements as well as announcements of interest to me personally.

The Batman

Despite the film’s production shutting down due to lockdown, Matt Reeves has still managed to bring a teaser trailer to the table and boy is it a good one!

When Pattinson was first announced as the new Batman, I immediately saw the positives. Having watched this trailer? I’m feeling very confident. The suit looks great and it’s clear that this will probably be the most emotional and intense version of Batman that we’ve seen so far in this format. The Arkham-style beatdown was brutal and if that is any indication of the route they are taking with the action setpieces then this could be something truly special!

As for the villains, Colin Farrell is unrecognisable as Oswald Cobblepot and Paul Dano’s Hush-esque Riddler looks incredible! We also got a small tease of Zoë Kravitz as Selina Kyle and I look forward with intrigue to see how her relationship with Batman unfolds.

The trailer itself is stunningly crafted, from the music used to the slick edits – the tape unfolding, the music cut-off for the beatdown. It was a stunning trailer and it is not difficult to see why everyone is talking about this movie!

Justice League (Snyder Cut)

It feels like an eternity that people have been calling out for “THE SNYDER CUT!”. Well, folks, it has finally arrived!

Personally? If we weren’t ever to get TSC, I could have lived with that! For all its problems, (Hi Joss Whedon…) I actually enjoyed the Justice League movie. But once it was confirmed that we were to get the completed version or at least the nearest they could get it, then I was on board. If this trailer is anything to go by, it looks like the issues I had with what we got have been addressed. Taking the scenes from this teaser, in isolation, and inserting them into the film we’ve already seen, it feels like a completely different movie. But that’s the main negative of Justice League, tonally it was a mess. This teaser looks and feels in fitting within Snyder’s mini-verse within the DCU.
The music choice is cheating a little, but it worked really well. Though it did give me Watchmen flashbacks! Darkseid looks epic and the original Steppenwolf design looks so much better. The black Superman suit we all knew and wanted is back and taking front and centre too! I honestly had goosebumps twice during this teaser. Once at when the group stood shoulder to shoulder and again with Affleck’s final line of being united. This trailer hit a lot of sweet spots!

Snyder has said that the film will be split into 4 hour long parts with the option to watch as a whole movie afterwards. He also said that they are working on looking for international distributors. Keeping it on HBO Max and only in the US was always a stupid decision given the global appetite for this movie. It could be that SKY Atlantic will end up being the UK choice, due to the nature of their deal with HBO. Fingers crossed! (Oh and Warner? Don’t ‘Mandalorian’ this as Disney did!)

The Suicide Squad

For the most part, I wasn’t a huge fan of the final cut of Suicide Squad, nor did I enjoy Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. I have spoken on the reasons why numerous times and it remains, to this point, why I am still yet to watch Birds of Prey. BUT, if only cosmetically, it looks like James Gunn’s vision for his movie The Suicide Squad looks like a step in the right direction.

If any director was going to get this property right, it’s James Gunn. He’s proven over at Marvel that he can make the unknown popular and bring the laughs that hit their mark every time. The behind-the-scenes teaser will undoubtedly win many people over and bring them back to the property, of that I am certain. It looks incredible! The wirework alone just shows how much they are going for it! This is not going to be another music video!

As for the cast, It is a fantastic mix of characters, with Gunn set to make household names out of some of the obscurist DC villains!

Wonder Woman 1984

Before I go into the trailer I just want to mention who great this panel was! You can tell this group have a real bond of friendship and understanding that, hopefully, will translate into the final film.

As for the trailer? Most of it we have already seen before, which I don’t mind, as it doesn’t end up showing you the entire movie. We got more of an idea of what Maxwell Lord is planning and more importantly, this trailer centred a lot more around Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am very excited to see this famous Wonder Woman villain make it to the big screen, but my initial reaction to seeing the full VFX Cheetah was… Cats (2019). It was only after four or five re-watches that I finally warmed up to it. It looks comic accurate, that wasn’t my issue, it was more the execution, but the dark lighting does not help here. It’s fine. 

Once again I love seeing the fish-out-of-water role reversal that Gal and Chris have done. This fact hammered home with another “Oh Steve” moment when he tries to find a new outfit. This looks like it is going to be a much lighter movie than was had previously and that fits with Wonder Woman’s current standing in regards to the timeframe. The trailer did everything it needed to do, now we just have to patiently wait for its release!

Gotham Knights

Batman is DEAD! (Though I’m calling it now, he really isn’t!)

WB Games Montréal is releasing a brand new open-world, action RPG game focused around the Bat-Family of Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood and Robin. There is no Bruce, no Commissioner Gordon, just lots of corruption, lawlessness and the tiny matter of THE COURT OF OWLS!!! (It is because of said Court why I don’t believe Bruce is actually dead.

The gameplay looks really good, and there is a big emphasis on teamwork and combos. Gotham City itself looks great and for those who have played the Arkham games, much of it looks very familiar. 

My biggest concern was that they were going to announce it was solely co-op, but thankfully you can play solo or with one other character. The characters, deigns and gameplay all looks first class and this looks set to be a fun game for sure!

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

When we got the teaser poster of Superman with a crosshair on the back of his head, most of use thought we would be getting a Suicide Squad video game. And sure enough, Rocksteady have delivered!

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League will be an open-world action-adventure and is in the same continuity as the Batman: Arkham series of games. This already has my attention, because it will be interesting to see how the events of these past games shape the characters and world. Playing as Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang or King Shark you can play either solo or multiplayer.

The trailer does a great job with the humour and establishes the tone of the game, and although this is a cinematic trailer, if they manage to convert half of these cinematics into the gameplay, this could be a very fun game indeed!

Other News

Milestone Media – HUGE news from the surprise panel that DC is bringing back Milestone Media, best known for Milestone Comics which produced the fantastic Static Shock series, which looks set to be heading to the big screen in the future. The comics are set for a return on February 2021 and, for me, this is long overdue and a big step forwards for DC. There is a huge pool of talent out there waiting to tell a range of different stories featuring great characters, this now creates an avenue in which these voices, characters and creators can be heard.

Shazam 2 – We now know the title of the up-coming Shazam sequel, ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’. WHAT A TITLE! With the positive success of the first movie, they kept things very grounded, with this title and with the conclusion of the events of the first film, it appears the world and craziness is about to get a whole lot bigger!

Black Adam – We got our first real look at Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and the signs are positive, for sure!  The suit looks great, and he has no trouble filling it out! But for me, the biggest take from this is that they have announced the Justice Society of America will be introduced including Doctor Fate. Doctor Fate is one of my favourite characters and I am really hyped to see him on the bring screen! This feels like it could be a big hit for Warner and DC and should it succeed it sets up a Black Adam versus Shazam very nicely!  

The Flash Movie – We got to see some concept art of the Flash’s new suit for his upcoming solo movie. It looks like they are going for a more traditional look, which comes thanks to the help of Bruce Wayne. The suit looks great, Keaton and Affleck will be great and the man behind the camera has a solid track record. The ingredients for a good movie are there, let’s just hope they don’t burn it!

The Sandman (Netflix) – No big cast announcements, posters or teasers here, but Neil Gaiman has confirmed that the COIVD pandemic has allowed them to work refine the script. It will have a modern setting and some character’s genders and ethnicities may change from the comics. Not for the first time, he brought up the fact that some of the elements in the original comics were a mistake and something he would never consider doing today. With that being said very quickly after the gender identity comment, the script for the new show may just correct some of the series’ more misplaced ideologies and ‘of it’s time’ tones.

John Ridley’s Batman – 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley is writing a Batman comic book mini-series, set for a release in January 2021. The story will be set around Lucius Fox and his family, with the intention of seeing an African American under the cowl. This sounds like a really promising series and I cannot wait to see what Ridley brings to the table!

Let us know your DC FanDome highlights in the comments!

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