Jake Thomas, Fanbase Press Contributor

Jake Thomas, Fanbase Press Contributor

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.


Writer/director Hisonni Johnson made a splash in 2013 when he premiered Grayson: Earth One, an online pilot that centered on a gritty version of Nightwing. It asks the question, “What if Dick Grayson was never adopted by Bruce Wayne but, instead, fended for himself on the streets of Gotham and Blüdhaven?” Since then, it has won top prizes at Dragon Con, Phoenix Comic Con, and recently at the GeekFest Film Fest.

Now, there’s Episode -- or, technically, Episode 1.5, since the story is now branching out and finding other Robins in Gotham and what their lives would be like if they never encountered the Batman. So, in honor of the Dynamic Duo, let’s look at both episodes!

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.


Director Vincent Tran has gained momentum this past year thanks to his very successful Supergirl fan film, Girl of Steel. (You can read my review here). His modern interpretations of DC characters strips off the colorful costumes and replaces them with logical and emotional motivation. The same trend continues in his newest film, a spinoff set in the same Tran-verse of DC continuity that promises even better stories.

“You can’t do serious comic book films!”

“You cannot do dark superheroes!”

“No one’s ever made an old television series into a movie!”

Executive Producer Michael E. Uslan remembers well the indignant howls. During the 1980s, every studio executive in Hollywood slammed their doors in his face. They refused to hear his pitch for a comic book movie aimed at adults. None of them believed that a summer blockbuster could be based on a character that the editor of DC Comics at the time referred to as “dead as a dodo.”

That all changed on June 23, 1989.

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.

For the first FFOW! of 2014, let’s look at one of the first big fan films to hit the web this year, Vincent Tran’s Girl of Steel.

Ron Randall’s Trekker stars Mercy St. Clair, a government-sanctioned bounty hunter or “trekker,” in the grimy futuristic city of New Gelaph. Her targets are wanted fugitives and terrorists -- wanted dead or alive, that is. Her assignments come from her police lieutenant uncle, Alex St. Clair. The New Gelaph force is a cesspool of corruption at many levels, which makes Mercy’s work a necessity.

The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.


Batman will appear in Superman’s next big-screen adventure, you say? Does that mean everyone in Gotham gets a brand new origin story? If you can’t wait until 2015, whet your appetite with a new, full-length origin starring the Caped Crusader’s most infamous villain.

The words “Silver Age” conjure several images in the minds of DC Comics readers, including the Flash bursting through his rejuvenated monthly title or the Justice League fighting Starro the Conqueror; however, as Tom de Haven states in his foreword to Superman: The Silver Age Dailies Vol. 1, the stories of the Silver Age were “kooky.”

This new, black-and-white collection of Superman’s three-panel newspaper adventures confirms just that. This is the quintessential “super-dickery” phase. Some hate it. Others relish it.

 

Rocketeer Jetpack Treasury EditionHigh-flying Americana. That’s the spirit of these stories starring The Rocketeer, created by Dave Stevens. Rocketeer Adventures: Treasury Edition from IDW collects short, one-shot tales from writers such as Darwyne Cooke, Kurt Busiek, John Cassaday, and more. For those who love nostalgic pulp stories from the 1930s and 1940s, this is a treat.

 

DW Shroud of SorrowDuring series three of the BBC’s rebooted Doctor Who, writer Paul Cornell adapted his previously published novel, Human Nature, into a two-part episode that became a highlight of what was already an amazing series of an amazing show. After finishing Tommy Donbavand’s original Doctor Who novel, Shroud of Sorrow, I wanted them to do the same for this fast-paced and resonant story.

Dirty LaundryThe FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films.  Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.



The Punisher
movie released in 2004 was a guilty pleasure of mine in college. It wasn’t a masterpiece. It was a guys’ matinee action movie that cost two dollars in the mall quinta-plex outside of my Ohio town. That’s exactly how I first saw it, and I’m pretty sure the only way I ever saw it. In my memory, it’s a hard-as-nails revenge movie fronted by the grimmest visage to play the character of Frank Castle, Thomas Jane.

In 2012 Jane returned to the Castle, and this time Jane don’t got a gun.

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