Captain America: The First 80 years

Captain America First 80 Years

2021 marks the 80th birthday of Marvel's patriotic Avenger, Captain America. The brainchild of comic legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, he almost became known as Super-American, until Simon nixed it in favor of what has now become a household name, due in no small part to the string of successful movies produced by Marvel Comics.

Captain America: The First 80 Years is a by-the-decade retrospective of the hero's journey, detailing his origins, his evolution and adaptation to the threats of each decade, and his retroactive continuity changes that turned him into a beloved comic book hero. The crew at Titan have gone out of their way to not only tell the story of Captain America, they've nestled it in the story of the comic book industry and American 20th century history as well, so that a full and appreciable context exists.


Batman: The Long Halloween (Part 1) Short on Closure

Batman Long Halloween Pt 1

The latest DC Universe animated epic has been released, this time adapting the Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale graphic novel that took a novice Batman and forced him to forge his detective skills. The connective thread of this adventure was that a killer was taking out people close to mob boss Carmine Falcone, establishing the pattern of commiting the murders on major holidays. The Holiday Killer was a mystery to be solved, and each of the 13 issues that made up the series carried the reader through the year in near real-time, with various Batman villains popping up where appropriate.


Justice Society: World War II Might Be DCAU Getting Back into the Multiverse Business

Justice Society: World War II

The latest offering from the DC Animated Universe is Justice Society: World War II. From everything I can discern, it is not adapted -- even loosely -- from any particular previously published story, although there are definitely elements lifted from other events and transplanted here.


Long Form Storytelling a Positive for Millar, Netflix Jupiter's Legacy

Jupiter's Legacy

If you're a fan of superhero stories, but require a more intricate level of storytelling than the standard fare, Netflix delivers. Mark Millar's Jupiter's Legacy makes its first season drop this week, and gives the reader a world fully-populated with powerful beings, good guys and bad guys, with a traditional flavor of comic book morals juxtaposed against the reactions of a real world backdrop.

Taking a page from the first seasons of Arrow, the series jumps back and forth between where we are today and how we got here -- which entails a span of nearly 100 years.


McCarthy, Spencer Unlikely Superheroes in Netflix B-Movie, Thunder Force

Thunder Force

Lydia and Emily become best friends in grade school by virtue of both being social misfits. Emily was the curve-blowing smart kid, while Lydia was the sleep-in-class and deliver answers cribbed from Peppermint Patty. But when they have a falling out, they lose touch with each other for twenty years, until Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) decides to reach out to Emily (Octavia Spencer) to attend their class reunion. Through a series of childish missteps, Lydia accidentally obtains super powers from an experiment Lydia's tech company was working on.

The setting for Thunder Force is one where cosmic rays bombarded the world decades ago, creating genetic mutations in a small minority of people, giving them super abilities. Unfortunately, all these people turned out to be sociopaths dubbed "miscreants." One of them killed Emily's parents, and she's devoted her entire life to finding a way to grant super powers to someone who could fight the miscreants on their own level.


DC's Generations Forged: Too Big to be Ignored, Too Bad to be Forgiven

Generations Forged #1

DC Comics' Generations Forged is a handsome book. A big book. It's squarebound and demands a ten-dollar premium for the right to own it. And it looks gorgeous, with a Liam Sharp cover. It even looks good on the inside if you flip through the pages to give them a cursory glance. The imagery evokes the greater moments of DC's vast history -- the Crisis, the Zero Hour, and other iconic events.

Stop there. Let yourself believe that's what this book is. Whatever you do, however badly you're tempted, do not read it. And it pains me beyond measure to say this, because it's written by Dan Jurgens, Robert Venditti, and Andy Schmidt, all of whom should know better than to perpetrate the story elements contained in these pages.


CW App offers "Extended Cut" for Superman and Lois

Superman and Lois

While it's not known yet if this will be a weekly occurrence, it's a nice way to keep those streaming numbers up. Offering live viewers an opportunity to get additional content, could keep those hardcore fans watching two nights in a row. SUPERMAN AND LOIS already broke records for the CW when it comes to ratings for Live+3 (which factors in streaming numbers) with over 2.7 million viewers.

So what important scene was left out of the episode that aired on TV? It certainly wasn't a brief moment between Clark and Lana. Instead it was an important exchange between Sam Lane and Superman.

In just two episodes, we've come to realize that General Lane accepts Superman as an ally (see also: weapon). When Captain Luther fails, yet again, in acquiring kryptonite from a military complex, Superman demands to know what he's looking for. That's when General Lane comes clean about his dirty secret.

He's been stockpiling kryptonite.


Catching Up: The Flash Episode 701, "All's Wells That Ends Wells"

The Flash 701 All's Wells That Ends Wells

The Flash returns to The CW with its seventh season, and -- for the most part -- it's back to firing on all cylinders.

The concept of Barry being on the precipice of using up his remaining Speed Force had drawn on overly long in season six, so it was a relief that the problem finally gets a resolution in this episode, even if it did come at the sacrifice of a major character. Or... did it? We'll get to that in a little bit.


Up and Away: Superman and Lois Episode 101, "Pilot"

Superman and Lois 101

Superman and Lois finally gives Tyler Hoechlin a chance to fully flex his inner Superman. Sure, he's been okay in Supergirl and the other Arrowverse crossovers, but now he's got the whole show to himself -- shared, of course, with his family: wife Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and twin 13-year-old sons Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) and Jordan (Alex Garfin).


Bloom #1 Lays Cosmic Cornerstone for Entire Hero Tomorrow Universe

Bloom 1 Hero Tomorrow

The universe of Hero Tomorrow comics is a small but very cohesive, tightly-knit one. The hero -- Apama -- is an everyman imbued with the animal powers of a creature from myth, and since his emergence the supervillains have sprung up to oppose him -- some odd, all bizarre.

But there is one who is deeply connected to Apama's origins, yet pre-dates his arrival by nearly forty years. Regina, who first appeared in Apama, The Undiscovered Animal #5, gets her origin story with Bloom #1, coming soon to comic shops and currently funding through Kickstarter.

Set in 1969, Bloom begins with Ramsey, an auto mechanic and would-be comic book artist obsessed with the idea of his comic book villain and the arcane glyphs that came to him in a dream state while tripping in the forest -- at a location that will be quite familiar to fans already following the Apama comic.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 204, "Fair Skin, Blue Eyes"

Batwoman 204, Fair Skin Blue Eyes

I've wanted to like Batwoman. Wanted to from the very launch of the series. But the first season steadily tanked midway through, and this second season hasn't done much to right the ship.

The new Batwoman, Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) is personally moved by a missing boy when she sees the location from where he was taken. It turns out Ryan herself had been taken as a young girl at the exact same location -- a comic book shop -- by a woman who called herself The Candy Lady (Linda Kash). She would keep the children in her attic with a bowl of jellybeans, and then take a jellybean each day as a sort of countdown for two months to prove the child didn't matter to anyone -- as nobody would come looking for her.

And the Candy Lady isn't seen as a threat to her potential victims, because she's a nice white woman.


Vampirella: The Dark Powers #2 All About Everything Vampirella Isn't

Vampirella: The Dark Powers #2

The misguided attempt to turn Vampirella into Supervamp continues with this second issue of Vampirella: The Dark Powers. The Dynamite Comics concept of "plural worlds" is the tableau against which Project; Superpowers gathers all its members from various alternate Earths, finding Vampirella on Plural Earth 0666. The majority of the membership isn't comfortable with her being on the team, partly because in their last adventure her methods of attack was responsible for one of their members being put in critical condition. Also, plunging in without knowing the facts about the enemy allowed the enemy to regroup with an even larger threat, adapted to what it has learned of Vampirella's power set.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 202, "Prior Criminal History"

Batwoman 202 Prior Criminal History

Alice (Rachel skarsten) takes the next step in her plan to bring terror to Gotham. As she leans over the dead body of her former cohort, Mouse, we get a flashback to a scene where bats invade her hiding spot so that we can be reminded that 'bats eat rats.' This is important to what Alice is doing now, which is catching a rat and duct-taping it to Mouse's dead chest so that it will attract bats to come take nibbles of Mouse as well.

Cut to two months ago, and a pre-Batwoman Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie) being rescued from a Halloween night mugging by Batwoman (in shadow, so it's not a Ruby Rose cameo). We then see Ryan interview for a security job and being turned down for it because she pled guilty to 18 months in Blackgate. This is all to establish more of Ryan's backstory to provide motivations for why she would want to take over the role of Batwoman and what she might do with the title.


Doom Patrol Second Season Overdoses on Bizarre

With the second season of Doom Patrol, I was hoping to see the team come together in... well, in any fashion. We learned who they were as individuals in the first season, so now it was time to start actually using these abilities and getting the independent members to work as part of a team.


Female Fury: Batwoman Episode 201, "What Happened to Kate Kane?"

When Ruby Rose decided to leave the role of the lead character on the CW's BATWOMAN, it put the writers into a bit of a tailspin. The easy thing to do would have been to recast the character with a different actress. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that the proper thing to do would have been to recast the role, because now you have to invent a whole new reason for why Kate's gone, who takes over being Batwoman, and next thing you know there'll be more actresses in the suit than have flown a Tardis.


Batman: Soul of the Dragon Casts Dark Knight into Grindhouse Kung-Fu Epic

Batman: Soul of the Dragon

A great deal of the Batman animated movies (and the live action ones, for that matter) have focused on the technological advantages Batman has and how he uses them to fight crime: the car, the armor, the gadgetry. "Where does he get those wonderful toy," indeed.

With BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON, the producers take Batman and make him a character -- and not even the central character -- of an animated grindhouse kung-fu flick.


Marvel's First Black Movie Superhero Gets 4K Blu-ray Release

Blade 4K

Before Marvel had a "cinematic universe" into which it could debut Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Wesley Snipes was staking out his claim as a Marvel hero -- literally -- as the half-human, half-vampire Blade. He would go on to portray the character three times before the MCU even took its first baby steps with IRON MAN.

Blade's origin is succintly told. His mother was attacked by a vampire while she was pregnant with him. While being treated for the attack at a hospital, her son was born, possessing the traits of vampirism -- but the ability to walk in the daylight like a human. Found as a teenager by Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Blade was taught how to curb his preternatural thirst and seek out the ones who murdered his mother -- the many (many!) vampires living among us.


Ways to Enjoy the Superhero Trend

Amazon's The Boys

If there’s one thing in this last decade that nearly everyone’s taken part in, it’s the enjoyment of superhero-related content. It isn’t the first time the superhero trend has made its way into the mainstream in history, but this time it’s certainly had the biggest impact. It seems that these days no matter where we turn we see an iconic hero character proudly showing off their emblem, but for newbies that aren’t too familiar with the genre, knowing where to start can be a bit daunting. If you’re looking to ride along with the superhero trend, here are a few things to get you started.

Casino Games


Zachary Levi Attacked For Reminding Some Humans That Other People are Humans Too

Zachary Levi post-election Tweet

Sometimes when an actor finishes a film, he or she retains a prop of some kind, a souvenir or memento they can look to in the future for a conversation piece.

Zachary Levi seems to have come away from his stint on SHAZAM with the coolest and most valuable vestige ever: The Wisdom of Solomon. (The superhero character more commonly known as Captain Marvel gains his powers by shouting out an acronym, which gains him the combined powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.)

During the trying and tiring time of the last few days, as votes were being tabulated with deliberation and states were switching colors more slowly than leaves in autumn, Levi interected a thought onto Twitter -- a place designed ostensibly just for that purpose but, ironically, in abject opposition to the ideal on most days.


The Flash 100 Greatest Moments Best 80th Anniversary Celebration of the Character

Flash 100 Greatest Moments

Of my forty-five plus years of reading comic books, my list of favorite characters has never really grown beyond two. The first to make my list was Batman. I've always told myself it was because he was just a normal guy who proved you could do anything with the proper training, mindset, and a billion dollars laying around, but truthfully it was because the television show kept me glued on my little four-year-old butt every time it came on.

The second was The Flash. The iconic yet simple costume, the thinking that went into the multiple applications of what was essentially a single super ability, and the Flash Facts that instilled a curiosity for science.

Robert Greenberger once again takes on the unenviable task of distilling eight decades of adventures into a concentrated list of 100 greatest memories, a task made even more daunting when taking into consideration the fact that there have been a handful of people to wear the mantle of the scarlet speedster.


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