Tag Archives: 2012

TEN BEST LIVE-ACTION DC CHARACTER PORTRAYALS (ARROWVERSE and GOTHAM)

Superhero TV shows have generally been a strong force in animation form for many years. With certain exceptions such as Batman 1966, Lois and Clark and Smallville, there has never been such high quality comic based shows on TV at one time. With DC ruling the roost on The CW and Fox, Marvel’s MCU taking Netflix and ABC by storm and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead and Outcast making some damn fine TV! So, the first in a number of countdowns, I wanted to give some top 10’s based on more current comic book shows and the characters that feature within them. With the short lived Constantine being hugely popular, Arrow creating a massive TV universe and Gotham giving us some great origins on much loved characters.

This list was not easy to write, but there was so many to choose from. Honorable mentions go to Morena Baccarin’s Dr Leslie Thompkins in Gotham, her partner and good cop Ben McKenzie’s Jim Gordon and Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells and Reverse-Flash in The Flash. I want to know who you would say was portrayed best as opinions will always vary. This is my personal list, so take this as you will.

  1. Harold Perrineau – Manny (Constantine)

Portraying an original character in a comic book show is not always seen as a great idea, but Harold Perrineau pulls it off so well as the angel Manny. Guiding Constantine on his journey to prepare for the oncoming war with evil, Manny appears at times of great need (even when John really could do without seeing him). Sometimes a very insightful character and a moment or two of comic relief, it is a shame that we may not see him spread his wings in Constantine’s future anytime soon.

Constantine-Manny

  1. Teddy Sears – “Jay Garrick”/Hunter Zolomon/Zoom (The Flash)

Trying to top the brilliant work by Tom Cavanagh in season one was never going to be easy, but Teddy Sears takes you on one hell of a journey in season two. Revealing himself to be Jay Garrick at the start of the season, he claims his speed was stolen by another known as Zoom! The twist here is that Jay is actually Hunter Zolomon AKA Zoom and he has hatched a plan to destroy all universes and speedsters…including Barry. Who knows if he will run again into the lives of the STAR Labs team.

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  1. Emily Bett Rickards – Felicity Smoak (Arrow, The Flash)

Originally a minor character, Felicity grew to be one of the most important characters in the Arrowverse. Originally an employee of Oliver’s step-father Walter, Felicity proves herself to be a welcome addition to Team Arrow. Originally only wanting to save Walter, Felicity eventually joins the team full time and is vital in helping Oliver become more understanding and find new methods to deal with crime. Though many see their romance as annoying, Felicity really does make a big impact in the show and I hope she will do for a long long time to come.

City of Heroes

  1. David Harewood – “Hank Henshaw”/J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter (Supergirl)

One of the biggest surprises of Supergirl was the revelation that head of the DEA Hank Henshaw was actually the Martian Manhunter. Having been nearly killed by the real Hank Henshaw, Kara and Alex’s father saved J’onn and in return J’onn promised to look after Alex and Kara as much as he could. A character with a huge heart and one of the most heartbreaking backstories in comics, he fights his inner demons and becomes a true hero who eventually gets the recognition he deserves.

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  1. Manu Bennett – Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Arrow)

Probably the greatest rival to come up against Oliver, Slade Wilson originally helped Oliver Queen survive on the island and gave him the help he needed to escape and find his family. After Slade was injected with the “mirakuru”, he finds himself stronger than ever before, but his mind suffers from the chemical. He personally wants revenge against Oliver after what happens to him in regards to Shado and losing his eye. Killing Oliver’s mother and almost destroying the city was indeed enough to push The Arrow to his limit!

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  1. Danielle Panabaker – Caitlin Snow/Killer Frost (The Flash, Arrow)

When she had her cameo in Arrow, I was not too sure how much I would like this character. But from her first episode, Caitlin is shown to be a great part of the STAR Labs team. She is shown to be very distraught over the particle accelerator explosion which seemingly killed her fiancé and at times being cold towards her friends. Though Caitlin is indeed, in at least one life, destined to be the villainous Killer Frost, she proves a true friend and a heart to the show. She knows how to take on enemies without powers of her own and will do anything to help you.

The Fury of Firestorm

  1. Stephen Amell – Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (Arrow, The Flash. Legends Of Tomorrow)

The man behind the Arrowverse, Oliver Queen returns to Starling City after five years being presumed dead. When he returns, he takes on the mantle of The Arrow to fight the crime in the city as part of his promise to his father. Originally wanting to take on this crusade alone, Oliver later gets assistance from John Diggle, Felicity, Roy Harper, Sara Lance, Laurel Lance and even his sister Thea. Though Oliver may be sometimes hard to trust, he does care about his friends and family and does show a lighter side with his friend Barry/The Flash.

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  1. Grant Gustin – Barry Allen/The Flash (The Flash, Arrow)

After getting caught in his lab as the STAR Labs accident happened, Barry Allen became The Flash. Originally unsure if he deserved his powers, Barry would go on to become one the greatest heroes in existence. With a pure heart and mind, Barry is definitely the best person to have on your side when in trouble with a meta-human. When Barry developed his powers and begun travelling through time, we see him truly get emotional with anything around his deceased mother when he sees her in the past. We want Barry to have a happy ending, but has he destroyed the world to get it?

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  1. Robin Lord Taylor – Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin (Gotham)

The only Gotham character to make it into the list, but there is a good reason why he is this high! Robin Lord Taylor from episode one managed to make Penguin probably the best portrayal of the character in any medium. Danny DeVito done a great job in Batman Returns, Nolan North makes a great performance in the Batman Arkham games but it is Taylor’s take on the character which is unique and intriguing. Starting as an aspiring gangster, he eventually takes control of the Gotham underworld and uses many means to get what he wants. Whenever his version of Oswald Cobblepot takes to the screen, I am glued!

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  1. Matt Ryan – John Constantine (Constantine, Arrow)

You know you have done a character right when you have a fan and cast campaign to get you to be the character again (eventually appearing in Arrow Season 4) and then becoming the character again for an animated movie (2016’s Justice League Dark). Am I right? Matt Ryan embodies the character perfectly and does everything right. He smokes like a chimney, isn’t afraid to be rude, enjoys being an arse to people and fights demons with ease. The look is also done right, down to the hair colour and the clothes. We may have only had 14 hours of TV with John Constantine, but I am sure Matt Ryan’s version of the character will be around for a long time…and maybe that petition to get a season two of Constantine will also become reality one day!

Constantine - Season Pilot

 

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove

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Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe

With Captain America: Civil War just a couple of months away, the start of Phase Three will see some huge changes come to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With favourites such as Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Spider-Man about to debut in the world, there is plenty of excitement growing for the upcoming movies. But, we should not forget the past. The 12 films in the series so far have proved just how far the series has come. With a great majority of films doing a splendid job, tight casting and some of the most memorable scenes in cinema through the 21st century. The MCU is definitely going to leave a huge mark on cinema history forever. Let’s see how the films so far rank from worst to best…

  1. Iron Man 2

Maybe the obvious choice, but it had to be. First off, we get Mickey Rourke after he wowed in The Wrestler and Sin City being given very little in terms of character development and being made to look too much like a slimmed down Iron Monger suit. We finally get Samuel L Jackson making his first full appearance as Nick Fury, but where exactly does he go for a majority of the film? Then we had Terrance Howard being replaced (though I did grow to like Don Cheadle a lot more from Iron Man 3 onwards). Though not a bad movie on its own, it is certainly misguided.

  1. Thor: The Dark World

Now, in my defence I think this film is very funny and the chemistry between the cast was great. It definitely gave us a better look at Asgard and was the first MCU film to really feature alien planets prominently. Though, the lack of menace from Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith and the story was almost non-existant. It did seem the film was just throwing ideas at a wall, hoping something would stick. Though seeing Stellan Skarsgard running around in the nude at Stonehenge is definitely something fun and unexpected, it couldn’t save the film.

  1. The Incredible Hulk

Don’t make Edward Norton angry…oh, they did! Clearly a huge improvement on the unrelated 2003 ‘Hulk’ by Ang Lee, this film still had a lot to prove. Luckily, the biggest improvement was the actors who stepped up. While Edward Norton may not be the favourite Hulk anymore, he certainly made a good attempt at being Dr Bruce Banner. With Liv Tyler being the heart, Tim Roth proving to be a top villain and William Hurt giving us the true General Ross, what could go wrong? Well not much, but from this film we could see it seemed almost unrelated to the MCU, save for that little post-credit scene which I still believe is a flash-forward to ‘Captain America: Civil War’.

  1. Iron Man 3

After The Avengers did the best job possible for superhero movies, it was then left to Robert Downey Jr. and his friends since 2008 to somehow continue after this peak. While it was not as good as the 2012 team-up, it certainly did keep the entertainment levels up. Breaking the previous formula slightly from the first two films, we see Tony Stark go against someone with powers. The extremis-powered Killian was certainly a good match for strength and proved to be a greater danger and a better villain than some that came before.

  1. Thor

We get to meet Thor, God of Thunder and our first true “alien” for the Avengers. But also, we get to meet Loki. Possibly the best villain the MCU has shown, Loki really gets to have fun and he really gets to show his descent into evil with emotional consequences. The fight between the “brothers” is certainly a highlight for the MCU and to see the legendary Sir Anthony Hopkins take the part of Odin was too great to be true. The film may not be perfect, but it is a fun piece and will be regarded as taking a huge step in the development of the MCU.

  1. Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Bringing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes together for the second time was no easy task, and the ripples of it still resonate nearly a year later. Joss Whedon had previously done so much for the MCU from taking on The Avengers and giving his touch to phase 2 overall. Though Whedon has said about his struggles with the movie, he certainly did give 110% and maybe put in a bit too much into the runtime of the movie. Setting up many elements for phase three, bombarding many characters into the film and not giving them the necessary breathing space, it was a huge task. Though the film is great, I am sure we could have had a few changes. Ultron was great though!

  1. Ant-Man

Funny name? Think it’s a gimmick? Well, it isn’t. Many didn’t know that Ant-Man actually came to comics before many of the Avengers you may know, and it was a worthy wait to see him finally come into the MCU. Bringing a huge amount of humour and truly creating a different character for the screen, it was indeed a lot of fun to finally explore the world from a different perspective. Plus, how many comic actors can really make a character who is a thief become a popular film hero? Paul Rudd really made this character his own, and I am sure Civil War will see him shine again!

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger

We had Iron Man, we had Hulk and we also just had Thor. To complete The Avengers, we needed the super soldier from the 1940’s. Going back in time, we get a few ties to the other avengers in regards to the serum which would later be adapted and create the Hulk, or even Howard Stark meeting Cap before his son would by 70 years. Also, we get to see a character that possibly is the most vulnerable of all the heroes we had seen so far. Plus, the iconic Red Skull is well achieved by Hugo Weaving, and we need Red Skull back! Plus we got Peggy Carter, and she is awesome!

  1. Iron Man

Iron Man kicked off the MCU, and he made the Marvel world cool again. The bad taste of Spider-Man 3, X-Men: The Last Stand and Fantastic Four made the mid-2000’s a bit dull for comic adaptations. Iron Man though, proved you could be fun and serious. Robert Downey Jr. made himself the coolest guy in Hollywood by taking this B-list Marvel character and making him challenge and better many heroes that came before. Also, it showed that big stars wanted to be in superhero movies, a trend which still continues today.

  1. The Avengers

The results of years of work paid off in a huge way. The highest-earning superhero movie of all time, and for a great reason, and some of the greatest fun I have ever had at the cinema. Seeing the return of Loki, we saw the god come to earth to claim it as his own. The Avengers then assemble and bring everyone on their A-game to make a brilliant work of art. Also, who knew that a superhero movie could be that funny, and the biggest laughs coming from the Hulk of all characters? Definitely a spectacle in cinema.

  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

The film which many people apparently dreaded (many people felt mixed on Cap, and few were originally interested in his next solo outing). Coming out in the UK in MARCH! Yes, that is MARCH. It seemed too early of a date to become a blockbuster, but we was wrong. Captain America came back on fighting form and within minutes, proved himself to be one of the most popular characters in cinema today. Chris Evans took the superhero to new heights and brought in “The Dark Knight” of the MCU. It was gritty, intelligent, tough, fun and had heart throughout. The reveal of Bucky may have been obvious from day one, but nobody cares when you leave that film thinking “Captain America is F***ING AWESOME!”. He may not fly, have weapons coming out of his arms or can turn green, but he certainly knew how to fight his critics.

  1. Guardians Of The Galaxy

Where do we begin? This film was almost doomed from the start. An unknown group of heroes, a director known more from Slither and the live-action Scooby Doo films (Yep, he wrote them. No joke!) and how about the idea of a sentient tree and talking raccoon being friends? Well, you was wrong! This film was just incredible. It was a hug punch of adrenaline into the mainstream and showed that risks should still be taken in Hollywood. The film was just a delight for the eyes, the music from the 1970’s was a perfect complement to the visual treat and the acting was second to none! James Gunn is currently making the sequel, due to be released next year. If it is half as good as this movie, I will be very happy indeed.

Written by Jonjo Cosgrove