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Comic-Book Legend, Denny O’Neil Passes Away At Age 81

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It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of legendary comic-book writer, Dennis O’Neil who died of natural causes at his home on June 11.

Denny was best known for his iconic runs on DC Comics’ Batman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern, and was also the editor for DC’s entire range of Batman comics from 1986 to 2000. Though Denny gave us many wonderful tales of heroism over his formidable career, he is most fondly remembered as the author (alongside his mainstay artist, the fantastic Neil Adams) who ushered in Batman’s return to the dark side in the early seventies, following on from over a decade of camp silliness.

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Throughout his triumphant tenure on Batman, Denny also created some of the Dark Knight’s most memorable nemeses including such icons as Ra’s Al Ghul and his daughter Talia, and avenging angel – Azrael.

He was also responsible for revitalising DC’s foremost emerald dynamic duo (again alongside the great Neil Adams)  Green Lantern and Green Arrow of whom he teamed up to become one of comic’s first ever social justice warriors as they roamed the planet fighting inequality and societal ignorance.

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Denny also taught at the Manhattan School of Visual Arts, and wrote the didactic tome – The DC Guide To Writing Comics plus many, many other achievements too numerous to mention. In 2019, the city of Phoenix named May 25 “Denny O’Neil Day” in acknowledgement of his influence on the comic-book industry and his contribution to furthering the fight against unjust causes. Denny was a legend on and off the page, and we mourn his passing. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time.

With Justice Comes Variance…

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DC Comics are officially relaunching Justice League in June alongside the new creative team of Scott Snyder, Mark Morales, and Jim Cheung. the premise for the new series was originally set up through the rather fantastic DC Nation #0 and Justice League: No Justice, both of which launched in May 2018.

The new line up for the League includes seven core members from the New52 era and characters from the DC Animated universe. The Superheroic nucleus will feature classic heroes including (of course) the Trinity of Bats, Wondy and Supes alongside – The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Cyborg, and Aquaman… well then, pretty much an archetypal League team up.

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In celebration of the League’s newest arrival DC have announced an astonishing 16 variant covers, from talented creators such as – Jim Lee, Jim Cheung, Jock, Tyler Kirkham, Jorge Jimenez and more. There will be a primary of 7 variants available at most Comic-Book emporiums alongside 9 covers exclusive to certain retailers (Forbidden Planet etc…) Variants will also include black and white ‘sketch’ covers as well as a blank ‘draw it yourself’ cover. Are you as excited as us for the relaunch of JL? which of these stunning renderings are your favourite? sound off in the comments below, fellow fans of fantastic fiction…

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All images are copyright: DC Comics.

 

Green Lantern: A Celebration Of 75 Years

 

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“In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil’s might beware my power… Green Lantern’s light”

Green Lantern first appeared in All American Comics #16 in July 1940, created by artists Martin Nodell and Batman co-creator Bill Finger. Though casual comic readers may associate the emerald crusader with the more famous version of the character Hal Jordan, the original Lantern was actually very different to his later variants. Alan Scott was created by Nodell after seeing the opera cycle Ring Of The Nibelung, where he first noticed a trainman’s green railway lantern, which became his initial inspiration for the creation of a Superhero who wielded a magic ring that granted him a wide variety of supernatural powers.

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Alan Scott proved popular amongst comic fans and initially joined super-team Justice Society Of America as a regular member, before being granted his own comic series in Winter of 1940. After the cessation of World War 2, the popularity of Superheroes was in decline and Green Lantern was subsequently cancelled after just 38 issues. In 1959, DC Comics editor of the time Julius Schwartz, revived the character under a new guise. This new Lantern was named Hal Jordan and was empowered by the Guardians of the Universe, the Oans, as an interstellar law enforcement officer.

Hal was created by John Broome and Gil Kane and made his first appearance in Showcase #22. A member of the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps whose task is to bring peace and stability to the universe through the use of a power ring that enables its user to create absolutely anything they can visualise, constructs such as weapons and vehicles are all possible, ultimately only limited by the imagination of the ring wielder themselves.

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Green Lantern #2 – Hal Jordan

In October DC Comics will celebrate seventy five years in the company of the green guardian of space sector 2814, by releasing a hardcover anthology that features stories taken from throughout GL’s long reign as the ultimate space cop. 400 pages in length, this epic tome features some of the greatest talent the world of comics has ever seen including the likes of – Neal Adams, Geoff Johns, Denny O’Neil, Jim Lee, Gil Kane and John Broome. 

Green Lantern: A Celebration Of 75 Years will be available at your local comic book emporium and all stockists of emerald clad, universe spanning adventurers, from October 14.

Green Lantern is copyright: DC Comics.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Green Arrow #44

Copyright: DC Comics

Copyright: DC Comics

Delivered to you like a boxing glove arrow to the face is this weeks instalment of ‘Comic Cover Of The Week’, and our spotlight of excellence this week falls upon this stunning Patrick Zircher Green Arrow cover. Stunningly understated, the cover depicts a mean and moody Ollie Queen alongside his newest crime-fighting companion, with the issue exploring the mythology and origin of the emerald archer’s newfound four legged friend. As has become the norm for DC Comics in recent times, this weeks Green Arrow also ships with a variant cover, by none other than the comic book legend that is Neal Adams. 

Awesome Neil Adams Variant

Awesome Neil Adams Variant

This cover harkens back to the halcyon days of the frequent team up between Green Arrow and Green Lantern, lovingly illustrated by Neal Adams who regularly drew their adventures throughout the 70’s and 80’s. The cover also ties in with the 75th anniversary celebration of Green Lantern, that’s right friends, seventy five years of Blackest Nights and Brightest Days. 

Green Arrow #44 is available at your local comic book emporium right now. Written by: Benjamin Percy. Cover and interior art by: Patrick Zircher. Variant cover by: Neal Adams.

DC Comics Roll Out The Big Guns…

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The scene is set for DC Comics’ biggest ever Comic-Con next month in San Diego, with their arch rival Marvel strangely sitting out of the world’s largest and most popular comic book convention, DC will be making the most of their absence with a massive showing of their upcoming cinematic universe. DC will have the convention floor to itself and will, if rumours are to be believed, roll out all their big guns including sneak peeks at their two big movies for 2016, Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice and David Ayer’s Suicide Squad.

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Trinity of AWESOME!!

DC stole the spotlight at this years CineEurope Film convention and trade show, by showing exclusive footage from both Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad,though the footage has at this point, unfortunately not been made available to the public at large, it is expected to be shown in its entirety at this years SDCC. There are also rumours that news or maybe even pre-production footage may appear for both the planned Wonder Woman and Aquaman movies (starring Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa respectively.)

Margot Robbie as everyone's favourite mischievous misfit "Harley Quinn"

Margot Robbie as everyone’s favourite mischievous misfit “Harley Quinn”

It is also surmised that we may be hearing more news on Ben Affleck’s solo outing as the Caped Crusader in the planned 2018 movie tentatively titled “The Batman”. The film itself will be directed by Affleck, and it is also possible that Chris Terrio, the writer of one of Affleck’s previously directed movies “Argo” will be taking the writing reins for the Dark Knight’s new film.

Green Lantern's John Stewart and Hal Jordan may take the stage at SDCC 2015!

Green Lanterns John Stewart and Hal Jordan may take the stage at SDCC 2015!

Also expected at SDCC 2015 will be news about the reboot of the Green Lantern movie, after the poor performance of the 2011 Ryan Reynolds helmed film. And in a surprising move, it looks like Warner Bros and DC have already picked the actor who will be playing Hal Jordan, Captain of the Enterprise himself, actor Chris Pine. It is strongly believed that Pine has been offered the role of the titular green space cop, even though it was previously thought he would be inheriting the role of Steve Trevor in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie.

Little has been mentioned about the new GL film, though it looks increasingly likely that this time we shall be getting two Green Lanterns for the price of one, as Hal Jordan, it is presumed, will be be sharing Space Sector 2814 alongside fellow Lantern John Stewart, with Warner Bros expected to confirm the name of the actor who will portraying Pine’s co-star at SDCC. 

So, exciting times ahead  fellow DC fanatics. The San Diego Comic-Con runs from July 9 through the twelfth.

Comic Cover Of The Week: Green Lantern #41

(Copyright-DC Comics)

(Copyright-DC Comics)

This weeks outstanding comic cover depicts Green Lantern of space sector 2814, Hal Jordan in his newly redesigned costume. This revamp falls in line with the recently unveiled visual tweaks and overhauls in outfits for DC’s other best selling characters that include, Wonder Woman, Batman, Green Arrow and the Flash. In his new look Hal forgoes his traditional figure hugging spandex styling for a hooded jacket, but still retains his classic mask. Also of note is the replacement of his iconic power ring with a power glove, this gauntlet was first witnessed in the Geoff Johns penned “War Of The Green Lanterns” published in 2011.

Green Lantern #41 marks a new chapter in the life of Hal Jordan as he becomes ‘the universe’s most wanted outlaw!’. Written by: Robert Venditti. Cover and interior art by: Billy Tan and Mark Irwin. Variant cover by: Ben Oliver. 

New Comics Spotlight: Green Lantern #40 – Movie Variant Cover

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(DC Comics, 2015)

Welcome friends to another new comics wednesday, and the spotlight this week falls on: Green Lantern #40 – movie variant cover. Now I’ll be completely honest and say that I haven’t had the chance to read the issue as of yet, but was I was so impressed with its alternate cover, that even without experiencing its interstellar tales of the Green Lantern Corps, as of yet… the cover alone qualifies it for the spotlight.

Green Lantern/2001 A Space Odyssey comparison.

Green Lantern/2001 A Space Odyssey comparison.

As I mentioned earlier this week, DC comics is celebrating 100 years of Warner Brothers Film, with special movie variant covers across 22 of it’s monthly titles, depicting a classic WB film poster redone using DC’s biggest characters. Green Lantern’s take on Stanley Kubrick’s breathtaking classic, 2001 A Space Odyssey is a gorgeous recreation, pencilled by Tony Harris.

Plot Synopsis:

Green Lantern, Hal Jordan strangely betrays the Corps, turning on the Templar Guardians and his actions will have consequences that will carry throughout all of the Green Lantern titles. 

Green Lantern is available at your local comic-book emporium right now. Cover Art: Mark Irwin, Billy Tan. Movie Variant: Tony Harris. Written by: Robert Venditti.

Convergence…

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Convergence is DC Comic’s next major crossover event following on from this years Multiversity saga. Beginning in April 2015, this series will comprise a weekly 9 part main title and 40 new 2 issue mini-series featuring classic versions of DC’s biggest characters.

Convergence returns us to a pre-new 52 era and takes us back to earlier versions of characters and storylines, remember the time when Azrael was the Batman or when Green Lantern Hal Jordan became the biggest threat in the universe as the entity Parallax, these issues will take us back to those halcyon days when Ted Kord was the Blue Beetle and the Man of Steel was actually a man in a steel outfit.

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Also a return for some of DC’s fan favourite characters who have been conspicuous by their absence in recent years including former Batgirl Stephanie Brown, Kid Flash Wally West and Renee Montoya as the Question plus many more. The Convergence creative teams includes talented artists and writers like – Greg Rucka, Dan Jurgens, Gail Simone, Fabian Nicieza, Denys Cowan and Keith Giffen.

DC Comic’s Superhero Extravaganza!

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As you already may have heard, DC Comics and Warner Bros announced in the last couple of days their line up of Superhero movies coming to the cinema over the next five years, beginning in 2016 with the highly anticipated  Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot. That very same year will also bring us the Suicide Squad movie and rumours are rife at the moment as to who has been asked to take starring roles. We already know that David Ayer of Training Day and more recently Sabotage is directing the film, but the rumour mill was in overdrive yesterday with actors Tom Hardy and Will Smith seemingly interested in roles within the film.

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Will Bane return?

 Tom Hardy of course has already portrayed Super-villain Bane on the big screen, could we see him returning to this character? Bane has in fact been an on/off member of the Suicide Squad in the comics, so it is a possibility and if not as Bane then maybe super assassin – Deadshot would be a great fit for this talented English actor, as for Will Smith … he would be an inspired choice as anti-hero: Bronze Tiger.

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Suicide Squad’s Deadshot

2017 will bring us the big screen premiere of  comics’  first female Superhero – Wonder Woman, actress Gal Gadot is playing the awesome Amazon and this is the film we are looking forward to seeing the most. Also that year will be DC’s mega team up movie: Justice League, starring their most popular characters including Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Cyborg, the Flash and Aquaman.

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2018 will be the year that the Flash zooms onto the big screen in his very own movie, portrayed by actor Ezra Miller and Khal Drogo himself, actor Jason Momoa will be playing the King of Atlantis – Aquaman, another fantastic piece of casting in our mind.

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2019 will see mystical Superhero Shazam hitting the cinema, though no casting details have been confirmed on who will be playing the role of Shazam himself, we do already know that the role of  villain/anti-hero – Black Adam has been given to the always entertaining Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson, the sequel to Justice League is also being set up to come out this year.

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To finish up this busy, costume-filled five years we have in 2020, a Cyborg film and a reboot of  Green Lantern (though I personally liked the Ryan Reynolds version … I am in a minority it seems) Warner also announced separate standalone films for Batman, with Ben Affleck and Superman, starring once again Henry Cavill. So if you’re a DC fan (like us here at the Precinct) then these are exciting times indeed, which of these announced projects are you most excited by? why not sound off in the comments section fellow DC fanatics.

 

Super-Villain Sunday: Star Sapphire

Welcome once more comic-fans to Super-Villain Sunday, today’s classic villain is: Star Sapphire…

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Star Sapphire was created by Robert Kanigher and Lee Elias in 1947, and made her first appearance in All-Flash Comics#32, the original of the many Sapphires that would appear over the years was the Queen of the 7th dimension. It was later revealed she had been chosen to be the Queen by a race of female warriors known as the Zamarons.

The Zamaron were originally the females members of the Maltusians, after a renegade scientist performed a forbidden experiment that unleashed evil into their universe the Maltusians split as a race, the male Maltusians (now known as Green Lantern originators Oans), settled on the planet OA. Another group split off and became the Guardians of the universe, the females however were known as the Zamarons and became a warlike warrior race akin to the Amazons back on Earth. They would choose a Queen from a mortal race (Zamarons and Oans are immortal), and would gift her a psionic purple crystal thus transforming her into Star Sapphire.

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The second and most well known of the Star Sapphires was Carol Ferris, whilst working at her father’s Ferris aircraft she met her on/off love interest Green Lantern – Hal Jordan, her first appearance as the new Sapphire was in the 1962 issue of Green Lantern #16. Chosen to be the new Sapphire by the Zamarons, Carol would go on to battle Hal for many years until the power was finally removed from her when Hal briefly became the entity known as the Spectre.

The third Sapphire was Dela Pharon, chosen to be the new Queen of the Zamarons, she would go on to battle Carol Ferris for the honour of being the superior of the Star Sapphires.  There were two other significant versions of Sapphire over the years, Debbie Darnell is the adopted Earth name of Remoni Notra of the planet Pandina, who eventually moved to Earth and joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Next was Jillian Perlman, daughter of a Texas rancher who became a pilot in the US airforce, saved by Green Lantern after an engine on her jet malfunctioned, she would later be possessed by the purple Sapphire crystal becoming the new Sapphire.

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After the events of 2009’s Blackest night saga, the Star Sapphires became one of the seven Corps that gain their powers from an emotional spectrum, with the Sapphire Corp becoming the Violet Lanterns, the violet colour denoting the emotion of love. The powers of  Star Sapphire are similar to that of the Green Lanterns, the ability to make violet hued hard-light constructs of whatever they can think of, they also have the ability of flight and can form protective shields and auras.

Villainous Rating: 5 purple hearts out of 5

Precinct1313's  very own Star Sapphire from deep inside the Comic-Crypt

Precinct1313’s very own Star Sapphire from deep within the Comic-Crypt