With the plethora of great comic related movies out this year many of us, including me, missed the Superman-ish film Brightburn.
I was discouraged from seeing it when I learned that the studio, Sony/Screen Gems, did not offer an early screening to critics. This is usually an indication that the studio has little faith in the film and fear early bad reviews. And that the movie sucks.
But the news is we will get to see for ourselves Tuesday, Aug. 20, when it is released on DVD. It’s sure to show up on streaming services like Netflix or Amazon soon, but no information on exactly when is available.
The flick, sort of a “What if Superman was evil?” trope, didn’t exactly kill at the Box office. It pulled in about $18 million, which the optimists could note was more than double the $7 million it took to make.
While some folks were not willing to risk the ticket price to see it in the theater, I’m betting any comic fan worth their salt will invest 90 minutes to see the film, which has been praised and panned by critics and viewers alike.
Up, up and away.
Speaking of Superman-like characters, the underrated title of the summer is Second Coming, (Ahoy Comics, $3.99) about the return to Earth of a certain carpenter from Bethlehem.
The second issue just came out and it is brilliant. Writer Mark Russell and artist Richard Pace explore the story behind God’s motivation to create the Earth, toss Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, and let his son go back to Earth.
Bitingly satirical but never silly, Russell and Pace humanize God and Jesus when JC returns to modern day Earth to get hero lessons from a Superman-ish hero, Sunstar. It was supposed to come out from DC/Vertigo until the DC folks got cold feet.
Russell, whose past works include the very amusing God Is Disappointed In You, (Top Shelf Comics) and the acclaimed Exit, Stage Left! The Snagglepuss Chronicles from DC, is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers.
Check out issue one of “Second Coming,” you’ll be back for more.
Russell is also the writer of the just-released Sinestro one shot, part of DC’s Year of the Villain. With the help of artist Yildiray Cinar (who illustrated one of the stories in my book, Tales of the Starlight Drive-In), Russell has written a powerful story that illuminates the character of the DC villain perfectly.
There are facets of the story that are so fascinating and clever that I will not even hint about them for fear of ruining the fun.
I’m not sure how this whole Year of the Villain thing is going to play out, but if the other entries are even half as good as Russell’s, we’re in for a good run.
Michael Sangiacomo, who usually refrains from mentioning his own comic work, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, he’s that old.