Category Archives: sandman

Absolute Justice

Last night the CW aired one of the most anticipated episodes of “Smallville” ever, and it represents a turning point in the TV series. While it may be what many fans have been waiting for, the episode, “Absolute Justice,” might also be where “Smallville” finally jumps the shark.

The episode’s story has Clark, Chloe and Oliver (where is our Green Arrow spin-off already?) helping to solve the case of an assassin hunting down the forgotten and disbanded members of the Justice Society of America. It’s an Easter egg filled geekfest, and I’ll be the first to admit to a geekgasm while watching, but I wonder what regular viewers of “Smallville” thought of it. This was a solid break from the usual soap opera aspects of the show and full frontal dive into comic book land.

Yes, it was great seeing Doctor Fate in the flesh (although a taller actor would have been better) as well as seeing Stargirl, Sandman, Icicle, Star-Spangled Kid, Amanda Waller (yeah, Pam Grier!) and Hawkman come to live action life. That said I had problems with the rules to Fate’s helmet being reworked for TV. But the good far outweighed any quibbles.

We got to see Superman’s red cape (that series star Tom Welling has sworn he’ll never wear), and got two hours of spandex superhero action. We also got to see J’Onn J’Onzz not only back but repowered, green and almost in costume. And did I mention superhero action? Heck, the Stargirl/Icicle battle lasted longer than last season’s clash with Doomsday. But with this introduction of the spandex set to “Smallville” continuity, the game has changed, and there’s no going back now.

The show has gone from freak-of-the-week to an “X-Files” wannabe to a “90210” wannabe to what “Heroes” should be – but this, this just might be what makes the series jump the shark. Spandex and superpowers are conceits that comic book fans just accept, but the visual reality of said may be too much for television audiences. Time will tell.

As for me, even if this is the last season, all I have to say is bring on the superheroes!

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In the world of film, not many folks may know the name Neil Gaiman, but anyone involved with comics or even on the fringe of the comics world will tell you the man is a master storyteller. His Sandman is probably one of the triumphs of the last two decades in making comics into real legitimate literature. From there Gaiman moved onto writing novels like “American Gods” and “Good Omens.” Then came his entrance into television and film with “Neverwhere” for the BBC and the theatrical MirrorMask.

Now with Stardust Gaiman brings one of his own novels to the big screen. Described as an adult fairy tale in the vein of The Princess Bride in Hollywood-speak, that is actually pretty accurate. Imagine TPB as if it were directed by Terry Gilliam, and you’ve got a pretty good idea what it’s like. Unfortunately from what I understand (I’ve never read the book), the flick deviates a bit character-wise from the novel.

I think it’s a given that both Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer are way over the top but I don’t see it as really out of place. I thought they were both delightful. Stardust is a lot of fun and a must see.

As a preliminary for Stardust we got to see the preview for Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf, which Neil Gaiman did write the screenplay for and is a flick I have been waiting a looong time for. I am looking sooo forward to that one.

And extra special thanks to the Dark Crystal for getting me into this sneak preview.