Justice League New Frontier DVD.One of the highlights of WonderCon this weekend was the premiere of Justice League: The New Frontier. I really liked Darwyn Cooke’s original mini-series, DC: The New Frontier, and I’d been looking forward to the animated adaptation. Overall, I’d say the film succeeds.

The story links the dawn of the Silver Age of comics, and the formation of the Justice League of America, with the dawn of the Space Age, set against the political background of the Red Scare. It focuses most heavily on Green Lantern-to-be Hal Jordan and on the Martian Manhunter, but touches on Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and the Flash as well.

What Works

Cooke’s drawing style and the 1950s retro look to the artwork both translate well to the screen. Continue reading

As Veronica Mars approached the end of its third season, the show prepared for two possible futures. They could pick up a fourth season where they left off, with Veronica still in college, or they could jump forward a few years to the start of her career as an FBI agent. They even prepared a trailer demonstrating the possible new direction.

Well, the CW decided to pass on both possibilities and canceled the show. Some good news, though: TV Shows On DVD is reporting that the Season 3 DVD set will include the trailer for the FBI revamp. At least we’ll have a chance to see what could have been.

Babylon 5: The Lost Tales Cover ArtThe Babylon 5 Scripts mailing list just announced a July 31 release date for Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. JMS announced the project at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con: to revisit the universe for a series of direct-to-DVD movies. The first, Voices in the Dark, focuses on Sheridan, Lochley, and Galen, set during the 10th anniversary of the Interstellar Alliance.

One part of the story follows Sheridan as he picks up an unexpected visitor on the edge of Centauri space, Prince Regent Dius Vintari, and a warning about what will come afterward delivered by the techno-mage, Galen. The other part of the story is set aboard Babylon 5, as Colonel Lochley summons a priest from Earth space to deal with a problem that may have dark supernatural overtones. The two parts of the greater story intersect at certain key plot and thematic points, so that they overlap and complement each other while telling separate, but simultaneous, stories.

JMS has been posting photos and notes from the set from time to time, and (via ***Dave), TV Shows On DVD has posted a press release with more background and information about the DVD.

Interestingly, the press release and cover art make no mention of it being the first in a projected series. This is hardly a surprise, though, as Warner Bros. has always been reluctant to commit fully to Babylon 5 without testing the waters. Then they see the dollar signs and go all-out. It happened when they decided to release the pilot as a TV movie, instead of committing immediately to a series. It happened when they licensed the VHS rights to Columbia House, until they realized how much money Columbia House was making and launched their own series. It happened when they released just the pilot and one prequel as a DVD, before they were willing to release full season sets.

Hmm, perhaps the pre-order on Amazon shooting up to #10 in DVD sales before the end of the first day might help convince them? Edit: On day two, it’s up to #5. His people are coming.

Here’s hoping it’ll be worth the wait.

Bart as Impulse in 'Justice'With Bart Allen returning to Smallville tonight—alongside Cyborg, Green Arrow, and Aquaman—I find myself wondering about the best way to hang onto just a few episodes. Last night I went looking for my tape of “Run,” the first episode in which he appeared, and I couldn’t find it.

I have no interest in buying full seasons of Smallville, but I’d like to have copies of the two episodes with Bart (partly for character research, partly for completism). Warner Bros. has no reason to release individual episode DVDs, but downloadable episodes (as in iTunes) might be an option.

Another possibility: themed collections. There have been enough episodes guest-starring other DC heroes that WB could do something similar to Buffy‘s Slayer Collection, or The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” set. A single disc featuring, let’s say, the Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman episodes (Green Arrow might need his own disc), followed by tonight’s big team-up, “Justice.”

Hey, I’d buy it.

I grew up with Star Wars. It was the key fandom of my childhood. I don’t remember discovering Star Wars because I did so before I could really form long-term memories. I started reading the novels when Heir to the Empire came out, and the Dark Empire and Tales of the Jedi comics. I was thrilled to see the special editions in theaters after nearly 15 years, even though some of the changes, like Greedo firing first and the way that you restored the Jabba scene,* didn’t make sense.

And while I’ve lost some interest over time—the novels and comics have gotten so complex that I wouldn’t have time to keep up with them if I wanted to, and the prequels were less engaging than the original series—I stayed on board for the entire prequel trilogy. Grumbling at times, but enjoying them nonetheless.

When you announced that only the special editions would be available on videotape, I was disappointed, because I liked both versions. When you announced that the films would be changed again for the DVDs, I was disappointed for the same reason. But I bought the DVDs, and (mostly) enjoyed them.

So when you announced that the original versions of the original trilogy would be available on DVD, I was thrilled! Continue reading