Sunday, May 28, 2017

Is This Big News...or Not?

In their regular announcement of their releases for May 31, DC has announced a highly-detailed, premium action figure under the trademark "Shazam!" Here is a picture: is the link:

...and here is the text
When young Bill Batson speaks the word “Shazam!” a magical lightning bolt transforms him. Embodied with the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the invulnerability of Achilles and the speed of Mercury he is now Shazam, the world’s mightiest mortal. This One:12 Collective figure features over 32 points of articulation, and its 1:12 scaled, accurate real fabric uniform has some amazing details with sculpted accents and a poseable cape. The figure also includes: hyper-realistic regular head, alternate smiling head and yelling “Shazam!” head; interchangeable hands (pairs of fists, flying and grabbing hands); an attachable lightning bolt; and two of Shazam’s greatest foes – Mr. Mind and Mr. Atom. Packaged in a deluxe, fifth panel window box with a translucent acetate slipcover.

Did you notice something?

It is not so much that the name "Captain Marvel" is not used, but that the hero is named as "Shazam."

DC does not use the name of the hero in any way that could be construed as a violation of Marvel Comics' trademark of the name "Captain Marvel, and since issue #13 of their comic book "SHAZAM!" This has led to awkwardness of having to explain that the hero's name is Captain Marvel and not Shazam. In the last years before the establishment of DC's "New 52" reboot, DC basically gave up and gave the powers of the hero, which had belonged to Billy Batson, to Freddy Freeman, the former Captain Marvel, Jr," and gave him the name "Shazam."

Then the New 52 began and DC completely re-cfreated the origin and makeup of the hero marketed under the trademark "Shazam!" and called him Shazam. This character had significant changes to his costume, his origin, and his powers, although he was still Billy Batson and still said the magic word. But shortly thereafter, they also established that there were a total of 52 universes, and in one of them there was a hero much like the original Captain Marvel named...Captain Marvel.

This action figure is costumed much like the original Captain Marvel's very first costume, which had been repopularized by Jerry Ordway in his 1994 reboot of the character "The Power of Shazam." The Earth-5 version is costumed slightly differently in line with the outfit worn by the hero through most of his 1940-1953 run in Fawcett comics and every appearance from 1972 to 1992 in DC Comics.

So the question is: Is this a typo, a mis-proofed piece of copy, or has DC actually ret-conned the name of this iconic hero they own?

What do you think?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kevin Feige's explanations and other news (and clickbait) about Marvel's "Captain Marvel" directors

Not 24 hours had gone by since the first announcement of the new directors for Marvel's "Captain Marvel" but the Interwebs were blowing up with commentary about the news. Fortunately for Marvel, they had some very positive and supportive things to say about these directors.

Kevin Feige is the head of Marvel Studios, so when he talks, fans listen. So does the press. That way fans can hear him talk, and then listen.

This past week fans were listening to him talk about the choice of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Directors of Mississippi Grind, Half Nelson, Sugar, etc.) to direct the Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers movie. The words were recorded by Fandango in an exclusive interview, and pretty much everyone copy/pasted them into reports of various length and depth.

Here is what he said:
"We met with lots and lots of people as we always do, and had multiple meetings, and Anna and Ryan just had an amazing way of talking about Carol Danvers and talking about her journey," Feige said. "We want filmmakers that can help us focus on and elevate the character journey so it doesn't get lost amongst the spectacle. And there's going to be a lot of spectacle in the Captain Marvel film."

Feige continued, "We're pretty good at that at Marvel Studios, and have an amazing team that can help with that. But when we're filling a director chair or chairs, we want people who are focused on the emotional journey, the humor, the surprising twists and turns of a singular character journey, which is what Captain Marvel is. They had the best handle on it. And when you look at the work that Ryan and Anna have done in the past, they are all amazing and very diverse character studies and journeys, and that impressed us."

This was covered and commented upon by:
Movie Pilot (which also gives a rundown of the directors' significant works)
We Got This Covered 
Heroic Hollywood
Slash Report (Not to be confused with SlashFilm - see below)

Apparently, on the same day, Feige also talked to SlashFilm, and those words were shared elsewhere as well. He pretty much covered the same ground, but focused a little more on different details:

"They came in many, many times and impressed us in the room with what they had to say about Carol Danvers. […] They live in New York and they would fly out at a moment’s notice to come in and pitch on it, which always means a lot. Anna and Ryan had a strong sense of, not just the plotting and the machinations of the plot, but on Carol’s journey, which is the most important thing about the movie.

"We can help out with all the accoutrements of action and sci-fi worlds, but we wanted someone who could really be a guiding hand to Carol and to Brie [Larson] and to that journey, which is what the whole movie is about: someone becoming the most powerful being in the universe. You look at their work and like most of the directors we’ve hired, [they’re] not giant, effects-drive action, but rather very unique and very personal character stories and character journeys. And very diverse, in terms of the subject matter they’ve chosen to tell and they nail it every time. I think they see Carol as another rich, three-dimensional character to explore, who just happens to be able to fly and punch through moons and to lead intergalactic teams."

This was covered and commented upon by: (kudos to