There are lots of comic book films coming out soon on Blu-ray/DVD. Here’s a round-up of what’s most interesting. All links take you to Amazon.ca. (We’re not an affiliate, and we don’t get any money for clicks, FYI. This post is merely informational!)
According to The Digital Bits, The Shadow will finally be coming to Blu-ray on June 4, 2013. It looks to be pretty reasonably priced, and we can safely assume that the AV quality will be an upgrade from the full-frame DVD (widescreen, please), which is heretofore the only release of the film as far as I know. No word on special features yet, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for anything… Click through for information on more upcoming releases!
Out a little bit before that on May 21, 2013 is the “long-awaited” release of Albert Pyun’s Captain America in a “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray. This was promised to us a while back through Pyun himself, but ended up being either a scam (emails sent to Pyun’s website were never returned) or just something that fell through. I think it’s been available in the States for a while through MGM’s DVD-on-Demand program, but up Canada way this is the first that we’ll see of Salinger’s Cap in HD. That said, I wouldn’t expect this to actually be in HD. In terms of video quality, I’d be shocked if it was a hair better than a 3rd-gen VHS dupe. (When I saw this screened at FantAsia last year they actually had to screen a downloaded VHS dupe when Pyun failed to show up at the screening with his print.) So, you might be better off sticking with that bootleg you got off eBay… [EDIT: Please see the comments section for additional information.]
Recent home video releases of non-English comic book movies also include Mars et Avril (DVD only), from Quebecois director Martin Villeneuve (and based on his own graphic novel) and Chicken with Plums (also DVD only) from Persepolis directors Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi and based on the latter’s graphic novel. Both look fantastic and I can’t wait to check them out.
There’s also a glut of animated superhero fare being released from Marvel and DC. Beginning with the House of Ideas, on April 16, 2013 Iron Man: Rise of Technovore comes out on Blu-ray and DVD. The animation style looks similar to the Marvel Anime series released a while back, and I suspect that it’s part of that initiative. The following week sees the release of a team-up movie between ol’ Shellhead and ol’ Green Skin in Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United on Blu-ray. Tony Stark and Bruce Banner’s chemistry was one of the high points of The Avengers, so perhaps Marvel is looking to capitalize on that with this straight-to-video animated release. The animation style looks a little wonky to me based on what I’ve seen, but perhaps it will look better in HD than it did on YouTube.
The most exciting upcoming release of all, in my opinion, is Superman Unbound, the latest offering from the DC Animated Universe. The film adapts the “Superman: Brainiac” storyline by Geoff Johns from a while back. I think I was buying Action Comics around when this storyline was happening because of the run that Johns was co-writing with Richard Donner that immediately preceded “Brainiac”, but I think I stopped buying regularly when this storyline started. I’m looking forward to going back and seeing what I missed! This Blu-ray/DVD combo pack also comes with an Ultraviolet copy of the film for exactly nobody. (Seriously, give us iTunes downloads or nothing at all. I’m guessing that anybody with the tech savvy to use Ultraviolet also has the tech savvy to rip a DRM-free digital copy of the DVD they just paid for.) Street date is May 7, 2013.
- Now available: Chicken with Plums (DVD)
- Now available: Mars et Avril (DVD)
- April 16, 2013: Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (Blu-ray and DVD)
- April 23, 2013: Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United (Blu-ray)
- May 7, 2013: Superman Unbound (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Combo)
- May 21, 2013: Captain America: Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
- June 4, 2013: The Shadow (Blu-ray)