Hello to all our readers and welcome to the final Confessions of a DC Geek of 2019. Now, when I started this segment for the website I really had no idea if it would take off, but nearly 2 years later, here we are at edition 26. This one is a little different. There have been calls for a certain someone to take part, team members certainly seemed keen on the idea. Therefore, as Christmas is around the corner, this is my gift to them. Yes, this edition features none other than myself. Interviewing yourself is a strange this but as I set the questions, I have had time to think about them, although I still struggled to come up with suitable answers for some questions. This also acts as my 100th post for DC World.
Anyway, on with the show…
JH @DCW: First of all, would you mind telling me a bit about yourself – name, age (if willing), where you’re from and what you do for a living or anything else you wish to mention?
JH: I’m John Hammond, grand old age of 46. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland but have lived in North West of England for most of my life. Married, 3 kids, 1 grandchild (and another on the way with a March arrival date), I’m a senior officer for the local planning authority and have worked there for 18 years. I’m a glutton for punishment obviously.
What, or who, helped kick-start your DC Comics fandom and when?
1987 (I bet plenty of readers of the DC World website weren’t even born then). Anyway, 1987 (I was 14), ITV and it all came about during a TV-AM strike. This meant no Good Morning Britain on the tellybox and in its place a number of shows were put on. These included Flipper among others. More importantly though, it meant the Batman ’66 series aired. While knowing of Batman and the television series I had never had the chance to see it. Obviously, I was hooked from the start. It’s bright, it’s colourful and a world away from the Batman we see today. Featuring larger than life villains, guest stars aplenty, as well as being a series you can quote time and time again, this show had me hooked on Batman. It also hooked me in to the world of DC and all it entails. I made it a mission to go out and find anything related to DC Comics that I could find. My DC journey began…
Disclaimer: I did see Superman: The Movie 4 years prior to this. I loved it, but my DC journey did not really kick in until seeing this series.
Who is your favourite DC Superhero and why?
Thanks to the wealth of DC related comics, tv shows and movies, picking a favourite superhero is never easy. However, given a shove I have to say Batman. A lot of it is down to the reasons above; he was my first real entry to the world of DC comics. Also helped that just 2 years later we had the first Tim Burton Batman movie in the cinema, a wonderful interpretation of The Dark Knight and I still remember my visit to the cinema.
To be fair, I have to say Batman, especially having a Bat-Tattoo on my forearm.
Superman, a very close second to Batsy…
Who is your favourite DC Villain? Why this character?
A few years ago I would have said Joker, and to a point that may still be the case. However, I have a constantly growing admiration for one Harley Quinn. Despite her bravado, there is something ultimately sinister about her. From her first appearance on Batman: The Animated Series to the Suicide Squad movie, the new animated show, she is a character that keeps getting more and more popular. With the new Bird of Prey movie on the way also, her stock is only gonna get higher.
I love the fun aspect of this character which sets her apart from other villains within the DC Universe.
Away from the two mentioned above, who is another character you could call a favourite, villain/hero/other character or one of each, what is the reason they are so great to you?
It would be easy to say Superman, Joker etc. so I’m not going to. I’m going to go with a team rather than an individual – Challengers of the Unknown. I was only recently introduced to this team after finding a second hand copy of a ‘Showcase’ book featuring them. Obviously, there are definite influences from Marvels’ Fantastic Four and that’s fine. However, where the F4 are a team of superheroes that act like regular people, the Challengers are regular people that act like superheroes. Being a massive F4 fan, it is probably fitting that the Challengers are my favourite DC team. And ‘Team’ is imperative to these guys; you take one away and it’s likely to cause serious consequences to the others. If you don’t know much about them, then I suggest you read up, brilliant stuff.
TV shows – which is your favourite DC effort, past or present?
Arghhhh! So many to choose from. Do I go with the series that started my love affair with DC, the greatest animated series of all time, the wonderful and soon-to-be-ending Arrow or the rather excellent Titans show? And that’s not even mentioning Lois & Clark (yes I have so much affection for this show), Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, Justice League animated, The Flash, Gotham, Legends etc. etc. So much good stuff. If I have to choose however, I would always say that the 1966 Batman tv series would be my favourite, for the reasons I mentioned earlier. I have so much to thank it for.
What is your favourite DC Movie?
Very easy to answer this one. Superman: The Movie (1978). For me, and I’ve always said these exact words, “This is the superhero movie that all others aspire to be”. Not only is this a wonderful origin movie but the action, the effects (for the time – amazing) and the cast ensure that this movie goes in history as the greatest superhero movie of all time. People may not agree, which is fine, but I have never seen one better; and there are plenty out there. Gene Hackman gives a great turn as Lex Luthor and Margot Kidder is the quintessential Lois Lane. However, the casting of Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman has to go down as the most perfect choice of all time. Genius casting. He looked the part and his performance as both should be taught in superhero acting school. His casting is even more perfect than that for one of our Max’s favourite characters in Nuclear Man.
The DC Universe has featured many, many actors who have appeared on TV and in the movies, not forgetting a wealth of voice actors who lend their skills to animated movies/series’, so I ask you – who is your favourite actor, anyone who has made any kind of appearance within a DC creation?
For the reasons above I can’t see any way that Christopher Reeve could be surpassed. However, there are plenty who have made roles their own. Kevin Conroy as Batman in The Animated Series, Stephen Amell has excelled as Oliver Quenn/The Green Arrow, Melissa Benoist as Supergirl, Margot Kidder obviously but also Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane; also memorable. You can also throw in Mark Hamill as Joker, Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne/Batman, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Brenton Thwaite as Dick Grayson, Sean Pertwee as Alfred etc. So many great actors have taken on some iconic roles in DC media, it is a pleasure to be a fan.
Are there any DC Universe characters, any that we haven’t seen a live action/animated version of so far, you would like to see become part of the movie, TV or even animated universe? If so, which character and who would you like to see play/voice the part/s?
This is a really tough question if I’m honest (I know, I’m the one that set it) and it has taken me some time to come up with character/s that I would love to see on the big or small screen. I’m going to pick both a team and an individual.
Team – Challengers of the Unknown on the big screen. I really do think that this team is ideal for a big budget movie. Like I said earlier, similar to the Fantastic Four, given a well written script, a decent budget and the actors to go with it, the potential is limitless.
Individual – The Crimson Avenger (Lee Travis) on the small screen. Again, a character that would be ideal to be seen in a serial rather than a movie. No powers but an Olympic athlete and skilled in hand to hand combat, he could well be a successor to Green Arrow? Ok, maybe not but I do feel that this is a character that would lend itself nicely to live-action television.
I’d also like to see Midnighter, The Phantom Stranger and The Question in the spotlight. And of course, Batman Beyond is certainly due a live-action outing.
Comics – do you read them? If so do you have a favourite series, or a graphic novel, that you enjoy more than others?
I certainly do read them, however I am ashamed to say that that I don’t read as much as I should. Time alludes me at the moment, what with work, life and preparing for a move during the first weekend of the New Year.
Anyway, The Killing Joke is a favourite of mine. A brutal story, well written, wonderful art, a joy to read over and over again. Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, Superman: Red Son (love those Elseworld stories – maybe not True Brit but hey ho). There are so many stories that can be enjoyed by anyone.
DC vs Marvel – Social media seems to be a hotspot for this kind of talk, however, at times, it can get out of control and comments can become quite malicious (from both sides I might add); what are your thoughts on the whole DC vs Marvel issue, or do you feel that there should be no issue and, as Joker said in Batman ’89, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Oh, this drives me crazy and there is absolutely no need for the vitriolic attacks on fans of either franchise. And yes, it does come from both sides. I have acquaintances online who are very quick to bash on either DC or Marvel and I stay well away. I am a fan of both, no, I love both. And what’s not love? Both comic book franchises, both doing their best to put out great content and both putting stuff out there for fans. To then see attack after attack pains me, it really does. If you don’t like something from one or the other then say so, but don’t be an antagonist. It’s fine not to like something, it’s not fine to go all out to attack someone/something. It’s not difficult really is it?
Apparel – do you wear any clothing that relates to DC Comics and its Universe? If so, do you have a favourite item of clothing that is still worn aplenty?
I certainly do. Mostly it’s t-shirts that my wife always picks me up, as well as those that I’ve bought in passing. I do have a decent collection but some of them are now getting old and frayed (like myself) and are in need of being consigned to t-short heaven. I just can’t bring myself to do it.
My favourite piece of apparel though is not a t-shirt but a Superman dressing gown that was bought for me a good few Christmas’s ago. Still going strong, still keeping me warm, it’s bloody great.
Conventions – do you attend them and, if so, do you have a favourite convention that you have been to?
To be honest I’ve only ever attended a couple, although these are the smaller ones that are close by to me. I’d love to be able to get to the bigger ones but time and budget are always sticking points for me. Of the ones I have been to, I love to take a look at what the traders have on offer, there is some serious merchandise available. For me though, it’s all about meeting any of the guests that they have making an appearance. Photo, autograph, excellent.
This editions’ BIG question:
BIG Q). Michael B Jordan has been rumoured for the role as Superman in a future move. However, it doesn’t look like a Superman movie could hit cinemas before 2023. If this was confirmed (bear in mind that Henry Cavill has said the Superman suit still hangs in his closet), what would your thoughts be on the casting?
Personally, I think this could be great and bring a whole new dimension to the character. His stock keeps on rising and he has become one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, leading to a glut of roles. It’s been said that he pitched an idea to Warner Bros. but as no Superman movie is due for another 3/4 years, a glitch has been hit. I think he’d be great. However, as Henry is Superman now, I’d like to see a bit of consistently unless they are rebooting the DCEU. There is also the opportunity of Superman from another earth that Jordan could take on if Cavill was to stay. Plenty of options for the character.
Before we go on to questions regarding your collection, if happy to do so, could you please tell our readers where we may find you online (Twitter, YouTube, Blogs etc.)?
I am on Twitter and Instagram – @JH_ComicBookMan
Now we have your confessions of all things DC, I’d like to ask about your DC collection.
First up, do you collect large amounts of various and random DC merchandise or is there a single type of item that you enjoy picking up more than others?
Of the DC merchandise that I own, I collect anything. I have anything from busts to pencil toppers. If there is something that is related to DC comics then, if I don’t already have it, I’ll add it to my collection (my wife loves it).
Do the collect items that are specific to a character/movie/TV Show etc. or is it all things DC Comics?
While I do have lots of DC merchandise, I am someone who enjoys all sorts of things from DC to James Bond to Doctor Who to Marilyn Monroe and therefore the merchandise I pick up is very varied. Please be assured though that DC is very well represented.
Thinking about the items you own, do you have a most prized possession? One that you cherish most of all; why does it mean so much to you?
I have a number of items that mean a lot to me but in terms of DC, I’m gonna go with my signed by Ray Fisher, Cyborg Funko Pop. I was lucky enough to win this in a competition that was run by the We Have A Hulk team a while back (well worth a follow by the way) and it is something that took pride of place at home. Unfortunately, it is currently packed away safely due to our upcoming house move.
In your collection do you have anything that is considered a bootleg piece of merchandise? If so, what is the item and what made you buy it?
I am going to be the first person who has been asked this question to say, yes, yes I have. I’m not ashamed to own them, I bought them knowing what they are. I have a set of 4 or 5 toys that are ‘related’ to the Batman ’89 movie. Don’t get me wrong, the quality is poor (like something you’d see on a cheap market stall perhaps) but they are pretty awesome all the same.
Do you have something in your collection that could be described as a rare item? If so, what is this rare item?
I do, but it isn’t DC related I’m afraid. I guess the rarest item would be the bootleg merchandise I have mentioned above.
When you want to show off your collection, what is you “go to” item?
My signed Cyborg Funko or a Batman bust that my brother bought for me a couple of Christmas’s ago. I also manage to show off a few other non-DC related items such as a signed by Roger Moore book that I treasure.
What is the most/least expensive/valuable item that you have purchased to add to your collection?
This is something you would probably need to ask the wife about. Beth is wonderful and manages to find all sorts of great stuff out there. Cheapest items are probably keyrings. As for most expensive, I wouldn’t like to guess I’m afraid.
Is there a Holy Grail for you, an item that you would love to own that may prove to be extremely difficult or even impossible to obtain?
Detective Comics #27, Action Comics #1 or an original piece from Superman: The Movie; a screen worn costume perhaps, which would be pretty bloody awesome.
Away from your confessions and collection, what are your hopes going forward for the world of DC Comics? Please feel free to write about all mediums (TV/Movies/Comics etc.) that you wish.
The comics keep dishing out top quality, long may that continue even though I am a fair bit behind with my reading. The TV Shows have shown some great quality whether it be on the DC Universe or the CW; long may that continue and can’t wait to see the new shows that are in production. Would love to see a new character take centre stage at some point (*COUGH* Crimson Avenger *cough*). More importantly though I’d love to see the DC movies become as big as the Marvel movies have become. Joker has certainly proved that can be done and at a fraction of the budget. I would though, love to see a universe along the lines of the MCU. Love them or hate them, you can’t deny their success. So yeah, not much I want haha.
Finally, for fun – The Big Fight: Christopher Reeve Superman vs Henry Cavill Superman, who wins?
Seriously? I’m asking myself this question? Oh well, I think it’s clear to all who have hopefully read what has come before that I love Christopher Reeve as Superman. In a fight could he take Cavill? Of course he could. While Cavill may come across as a tougher Superman, Cavill has more up top for me. Take their finishing off of General Zod for example. In MoS, Cavill’s Superman uses nothing but brute force to snap his neck. Effective obviously. Then look a Reeve’s Superman in Superman 2. No brute force required, it was all about what he had up top in that clever head of his, outsmarting his opponent. Therefore, Reeve wins because he has the smarts to outdo Cavill.
Thank you for reading. Hopefully this is something that you have enjoyed. My apologies if not and apologies if this went on a little. If you would like to take part then please leave a comment below or contact us through our social media pages. Who wants to be first next year?
Finally, I would like to wish the DC World team and all our readers a very Merry Christmas and all the very best for 2020. Confessions of a DC Geek will return…