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Monday, May 02, 2005

The Monday Briefing -- Over at The Great Curve, a comics blog I contribute to, they've got a highly readable new look and an interview with Steve Englehart conducted by Curve editor Alex Segura Jr.

Englehart's Dark Detective revisits one of the best Batman eras ever, the 1970s Detective Comics by Englehart with artists Marshall Rogers and Terry Austin. The whole gang is reunited for the mini-series that kicks off this week, and as someone who was just the right age to appreciate their original stories, I am curious enough about this reunion that I might give it a look.

Yesterday my wife and I watched "The Balance," an above-average episode of Justice League Unlimited. The main characters were Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman, and the plot focused on the tension between them as they tried to shut down a supernatural threat to the League's magical members. Nice cameos for The Demon and Zatanna, The Flash f8inally showed up for a (funny) bit, and the anger between Hawkgirl and Diana was nicely played. If you're not watching the series, it was revealed some time ago that Hawkgirl was a sort of advance scout for an invasion of Earth by Thanagar, and how she's trying to find her way back into the good graces of some League members who feel she betrayed them. It's interesting to see how these DC characters can be involved in serious conflict like this without anyone being raped from behind or having their head brutally blown off; turns out it's actually more enteraining and provides more story potential for the future than the cynical fan-fiction that passes for DC's comics these days. Yep, interesting. Dwayne McDuffie and the rest of the people writing JLU should be handed the DC Universe for a few years, just to show the current bad stewards of the DCU how professionals can create good superhero stories without treating the characters like Dr. Mengele's test subjects.

After nearly a week of trying to track it down, I finally found a copy of the new Criterion Collection DVD of F For Fake, a brilliant latter-day film written and directed by, and starring, Orson Welles. Those of you using Netflix should put this one in the top of your queue, as it's probably Welles's best and most interesting film other than Citizen Kane. The Criterion DVD has some impressive bonuses, including the terrific documentary One Man Band, which I had seen, I think, on Showtime, a year or three back. This two-disc set is must-watching for anyone interested in fraud, fakery, fiction, storytelling, movies, or Welles himself. I find all those subjects endlessly fascinating and was delighted to slap down my forty bucks for this new release. Like I say, if you're not as committed as I am to F For Fake you might want to rent it first, but it might be a bit hard to track down. It's well worth the search, though.


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