Screenshot from twitter.
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I haven’t posted anything in the political or social realm on this blog in a while. I became aware that sort of content was costing me readers, both here and probably with my stories. It’s even possible (and likely) that publishers considering my short story submissions have given me a hard pass because they looked me up on twitter and Facebook. I guess the dictionary definition of “inclusive” isn’t being considered.
But then on twitter, I read an article tweeted by Bounding into Comics called Superman’s New Enemy Is Fake News, YouTube’s Yellow Flash Shares His Thoughts.
For those of you who don’t know, Clark Kent and Lois Lane married in the comic books and (amazingly considering Clark is from another planet) had a son. He was named Jonathan after Clark’s (adopted) Dad, which is totally cool. The readers were given a good look at the Kents as parents and wow, what a great set of parents. However, the writers at DC Comics decided they had plans for little Jon and couldn’t wait years for him to grow up the old fashioned way. So they trapped him in another universe and he grew into a teenager just like that.
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It took two days for me to work my way through the two-disc set of Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021). I saw the 2017 version and wasn’t incredibly impressed. I was hoping for more in the “Snyder Cut.”
Given the breadth of this film, I’m commenting on things in no particular order and this review will not be comprehensive.
At slightly over four hours of run time, there’s plenty of room for character development, origin stories, and “mood,” but I think it could have been a shorter, tighter movie.
Promotional image for season 1 of “Doom Patrol”
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Okay, so I just finished watching Season 1 of the Doom Patrol television show. I noticed that seasons 1 and 2 of the show were available as DVDs at my local public library and I thought, “what the heck?”
My Greatest Adventure issue 80.
Actually, as a kid, I really enjoyed the old Doom Patrol comic book. First featured in “My Greatest Adventure” comic title issue 80 (June 1963), it chronicled the saga of three misfits forged into a superhero team by scientist/genius Niles Caulder, also called “The Chief.” The original team was made up of Robotman (Cliff Steele), a race car driver who was in an accident so horrific that only his brain survived. The Chief put that brain in a robot body. Elasti-Girl was originally actress Rita Farr who, filming on location, was exposed to a volcanic gas enabling her to grow to giant size or to shrink into a tiny form. Negative Man was test pilot Larry Trainor who flew his rocket plane into a radiation belt. The plane crashed, and Larry discovered that not only was he permanently radioactive, but for sixty seconds, he could project a negative image of himself that could travel at the speed of light and had amazing abilities. The only trick is that N-Man has to get back inside Larry’s body before the minute is up or Larry dies and N-Man disintegrates.
In looking up the full history of the comic book (see above link), I saw that it had gotten a whole lot stranger than it first started out.
What happened to the Man of Tomorrow? (Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)Getty Images
Just finished reading an interesting article at Forbes called DC Films Still Doesn’t Know What To Do With Superman. Apparently, the relatively recent successes of Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and now Joker haven’t rubbed off on the Man of Steel.
In fact, Dani Di Placido, who wrote the Forbes story said:
But the future of Superman is murky, the studio reportedly unsure how to make the character “relevant to modern audiences.”
Like my previous commentaries on Captain America and particularly my two on Superman, HERE and HERE, he appeals to audiences across time because his values are timeless. How does “timeless” ever become irrelevant?
Promotional image for the 2018 film “Aquaman.”
I happened upon the DVD of Aquaman (2018) at my local library and couldn’t pass it up. The film has gotten rave reviews, and given the DCU‘s relatively poor track record compared to Marvel, I decided they were due for a win.
First of all, I love Jason Momoa as Arthur/Aquaman. Even as a kid, the blond, orange shirted Aquaman of the comic books seemed pretty silly to me, especially when compared to Marvel’s Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner, so Momoa’s interpretation of Aquaman is an incredible improvement and a joy to watch. I also loved Temuera Morrison as Arthur’s Dad Tom and Nicole Kidman as his Mom Atlanna. An additional treat was the appearance of Willem Dafoe as Vulko.
All that said, I thought the movie was “okay”. Oh sure, plenty of action, thrills and chills, but it didn’t really stand out. There are already plenty of films about reluctant, exiled kings and their rise to power against evil. Frankly, Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) did it better, although it’s tough to compare the two characters.
I’ve written about the modern state of mainstream comic books before (DC, Marvel) including how at least some of them aren’t safe for children, and the whole comicsgate vs. social justice comic books drama. Some of this still pops up in my twitter stream, though I don’t respond because, why bother? Still, I do consider the state of the industry as it relates to some of the movies I watch (I caught Deadpool 2 on DVD the other day). And that takes me back to the comic books I used to read, many years…okay, decades ago.
I’ve read some things about the upcoming Captain Marvel movie, which seems interesting, and maps to the original Ms. Marvel comic book of the 1970s, based on a non-superpowered Carol Danvers who appeared in 1968 in this comic book:
Here, Captain Marvel was an alien spy, obeying the commands of his Kree overlords in a spaceship orbiting the Earth, but eventually, he used his space suit’s powers to help human beings, bringing his loyalty into question. Not long afterward, he got a make over and turned into this:
A public service announcement published in a DC comic book in the early 1960s
I’ve heard of this thing called Comicsgate, and after doing a bit of reading, discovered it’s pretty much the same sort of critter that launched the efforts of the Sad Puppies a few years back.
Allegation: The mainstream comic book industry (DC, Marvel) is overrun by Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) forcing their very narrow agenda down the throats of all comic book readers, no matter how totally unrealistic it is, so we independent comic book creators will fight back by creating more classic heroes of our own.
You can find out more about this perspective by following Jon Del Arroz’s twitter feed, particularly THIS and THAT.
Counter-allegation: Conservative, white, racist trolls want to destroy all participation of strong women heroes, people of color, LGBTQ+ writers, artists, and characters, and all other marginalized and vulnerable populations in comic books so comics are totally owned by white people, and we have to stop them.
You can read about Bill Sienkiewicz rebuttal at “The Mary Sue” (a fairly biased publication) as well as on his twitter feed HERE.
Richard Shotwell/Invision, via Associated
Actress Ruby Rose has deleted her social media presence after facing a backlash for being cast as “Batwoman” — not from the right, angry that the self-described lesbian character will be played as written, but from the left, who declared Rose “not gay enough” to play the female superhero.
I found this quote in an article written by Emily Zanotti for The Daily Wire called Ruby Rose Quits Twitter After Leftist Critics Declare She’s Not Gay ENOUGH To Play Batwoman.
Since The Daily Wire is a conservative publication, and since social and political leftists seem to believe that any conservative news is “fake news,” I fact checked it (yeah, I do that), and according to the left leaning New York Times as well as Entertainment Weekly, it’s true.
What that heck (substitute a four letter word that starts with “F” [Edited to be less graphic])?
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The explosion at the house he rented in Cascade would keep the cops off his back long enough for him to hike up Palisade Rim Trail. He told the locals he wanted to study the Ute petroglyphs when there weren’t any tourists around. It was an easy trail and just about anyone who wanted to see them could. That was the beauty of it all. No one suspected the secret.
Wasn’t dawn yet and damned cold but he made it. Large number of petroglyphs probably meant this was a frequent camping area. The real reason the Utes visited here often didn’t survive into the modern age. He’d failed this time. The Sun Lords weren’t in this version of reality. Richard Hunter activated the time gate using the Moreira device and stepped back into 1959 to try again. He and the Forgotten Heroes had to find them before they conquered the multiverse.
I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google maps location and image and use them to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.
Today the Pegman takes us to Palisade Rim/Ute Petroglyph Trail, Colorado. I had a tough time with this one. Seems like a nice place to visit, but where’s the action?
The trailhead is just a few miles away from Cascade, Colorado but while the area has a few interesting stories, none of them grabbed me. I tried looking up current news articles for Cascade, but the closest thing I found was a house explosion in Colorado Springs.
I looked up the trail itself and found a couple of reviews including one from GJHikes.com and another from Colorado West Outdoors. Finally, I tried to find out how old the petroglyphs were.
I had some sort of time travel story in mind and at first, I was just going to use one of the character names from the original Rip Hunter, Time Master comic book which first appeared in issue 20 of Showcase in May 1959. Then while reading the history of the character, I decided to adopt some of the elements from the mid-1980s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” story arc.
The “Moreira” device is named for Ruben Moreira, the original “Rip Hunter” artist in 1959.
I know it’s ridiculous but it’s the best I could come up with, especially when I haven’t had breakfast yet (as I write this).
Since I read the trail ends at a high cliff, my only other idea was a suicide, but that seemed pretty grim.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
Now that the television series Supergirl has moved to the CW from CBS, giving it a second chance at life and a second season, I thought I’d dust off my review of the series pilot, which I wrote last year for another blog.
I hadn’t originally intended on watching the pilot episode of Supergirl starring Melissa Benoist in the title role, but it was online, it was free, so I figured, what the heck. I didn’t expect to like it all that much, but I was curious how CBS was going to adapt decades of Superman and Supergirl canon. My reaction is mixed.
I’ve read a few of the other reviews of the pilot, both before and after I saw the episode, and they range from “good but not perfect” to “triumph for everyone wanting a strong female hero for a change”. You can see examples at Yahoo News, IGN, The Mary Sue, and The Los Angeles Times.