With DC putting in Manhunter, the Question, Blue Beetle, and the Metal Men in their comics as second features, it’s cool to see other DC Entertainment properties following suit.
According to a release sent from Warner Home Video, in the upcoming DVD Crisis of Two Earths, the main animated feature will be joined by a second animated short, starring the Spectre. Gary Cole from Entourage and Alyssa Milano from Charmed will be voice acting, while the short itself was written by 30 Days of Night creator Steve Niles.
In a lot of ways, this looks like a smart idea. With the episodic structure of comics, there’s a lot of trivia and continuity and reimaginings that bog down characters for new readers. For film and cartoons, however, there’s a clean slate and a wide distribution platform — in other words, you have to distill the character to what makes them work, and cast to the wind much of the idiosyncrasies inherent to a character such as, say, a third-level legacy character such as the Spectre. Adding what’s essentially an intro-level course on the Spectre — for free, no less — is a great move for DC, as it helps diversify their stable of heroes, and helps bring in fans of Jim Corrigan. Every comic is someone’s first — why can’t that be the same for cartoons?