The Fantastic Four – Comic Books First Family

Is the world ready for another Fantastic Four movie?

Here’s how it goes. Back in the 80’s, Marvel was hard up for cash so somebody had the bright idea to sell the movie rights to some of the popular characters. Constantin Studio brought the rights in 1992 and made a very low budget version of Fantastic Four in 1994 but was never released. They did press and appearances with the actors who thought the movie would be released but the studio had no intention of doing so. It was a ruse to maintain the rights. Then in 2004, 20th Century Fox got the movie rights to the Fantastic Four and produced a movie in 2005. A sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, was soon released in 2007. After an eight-year break from the franchise, the studio decided to do a reboot of the Fantastic Four in 2015.

Let’s be clear. None of these adaptions were overall well received by fans or the industry. These movies received hard criticism from all levels. When you think about the high level of Marvel movies from Blade to The Ant Man and the Wasp, you have to see the difference in the Fantastic Four movies. Just not up to par. I personally didn’t think the 2005 movie was that bad but the Rise of the Silver Surfer when Reed was in the disco lost me. The 2015 reboot was nothing but trash and was a shadow of what the FF truly is. In 2009, Disney acquired the rights to Marvel Entertainment. In 2017, Disney acquired the rights to 20th Century Fox Film and Television. So now you see how this all comes together and how we are having this conversation now.

The Fantastic Four #1 debuted with Marvel Comics in 1961. With the success of the Justice League over in their competitor’s line up, Marvel wanted its own team book. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were put to the task. With what was called the “Marvel Method” of creating back then the story of exactly who came up with the concept is a little blurred but both men take equal credit. However, Stan Lee can take credit for adding the infamous tagline “The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine”. What makes the Fantastic Four different from any other team is that it is about a family.

The original team consisted of Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic, who can stretch his body part to unknown limits; Susan Storm Richards, The Invisible Woman, Reed’s wife who can bend light to create force fields and turn invisible; Johnny Storm, The Human Torch, second character to take that name, Sue Storms brother who had the ability to burst into flames and fly; and last but not least, Benjamin Grimm, The Thing, Reed’s best friend who was endowed with superhuman strength at the price of a hideous rock appearance. The original concept, which has changed over the years due to changing times and to keep things current, was that the team embarked on a scientific mission into space to gain an advantage in the cold war.

While in space the ship was bombarded with cosmic rays which transformed the team and gave them fantastic powers. They were to be portrayed as a dysfunctional yet loving family unit. A family with all the problems of a regular family, the bickering, the secrets, the loyalty, everything. As time went on, members of the team would go and return being replaced by others who would join their family. Eventually, Reed and Sue would marry and have children which would solidify the family motif. The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine was a fixture in Marvel comics representing for over 50 years.

Then in 2015 Marvel announced it was canceling the Fantastic Four comic.

Although Marvel had said that they were canceling Fantastic Four to give it a break for a while, others speculated that Marvel wasn’t pleased with what Fox was doing with the movie rights. It was believed that Marvel didn’t want to promote or be associated with what Fox was doing. Who could blame them? Especially after the 2015 fiasco. The 2015 Fantastic Four movie grossed a mere $25,000,000.00 in its first weekend and a worldwide gross of approximately $167,000,000.00. Much lower than the other films. The plot swayed away from the original concept and this FF did not have the same family feel. I personally was thrown off by Johnny and his dad being Black and Sue being adopted. Sue Storm wasn’t even part of the mission that got them the powers but received her powers as an after effect of the mission. It was a mess.

Meanwhile, in comics, the end of the Secret Wars storyline found Reed and Sue going out to explore a new multiverse with their children Franklin and Val. Ben Grimm went in space to travel with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Johnny Storm served as a liaison for the Inhumans. When Marvel revived the classic Marvel Two-In-One with the Thing, he teamed up with Johnny Storm the Human Torch. Their quest would eventually lead to bringing the band back together. August 2018, The Fantastic Four was back on the comic racks. Fans were excited because now that the movie rights were back under Marvel control through Disney there was a new call for a new movie. A movie done right. Fans know that with the winning formula Marvel has so far with its properties they could finally do a movie worthwhile. But are we really ready for another Fantastic Four movie?

Speculation is that we could see another FF movie by 2020 but I think we might need a little more time to get the taste of the last one from our mouths. With the introduction of Captain Marvel and the Skrulls in that movie in 2019, there is definitely a place for the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four origin story has already been done twice with a lackluster response from critics and fans. Including Dr Doom is too predictable.

How can this work?

For the next phase of Marvel, they should start by mentioning Latveria and a college kid genius named Reed Richards. We don’t even need to see them just know that they exist in this universe. Then, by 2020, you can have a Reed Richards show up to advise Captain Marvel, Black Panther, or Scott Lang or even tutor Peter Parker for college prep. You must do an origin story. There’s no getting around that. This time you do it the Marvel way. For your first movie reboot, you go classic: Mole Man. You introduce Victor Von Doom but you don’t do Dr. Doom until the sequel because trust me there will be a sequel. You can even wait and do Dr Doom in the third movie and do the Negative Zone in the sequel. You don’t have to rush it. The main goal should also be to build up to your next big event. Your next Infinity War. That would be Galactus coming to Earth.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe would do the Fantastic Four the way they were meant to be done: as a family of adventurers. They are not superheroes. Jack Kirby said in his version of the Fantastic Four creation that he modeled them after his DC Comics creation Challengers of the Unknown. The same basic concept just the FF have powers. The MCU would know what 20th Century Fox got wrong which is how to portray the characters. Once again, however, this is something that must be built up. You can’t just jump right into another Fantastic Four movie after the other failures, especially the last one, which is still so fresh. Best bet is to give it at least 4 or 5 years. 2022 I think we should be ready and the set up would be primed.

Are we ready for another Fantastic Four movie? In my opinion, not yet.

Give us some feedback and let us know what you think of the opinion stated on this site.

Kenny Walker Jr

Superhero Weaknesses

Sometimes the power of a superhero can be overwhelming. They can be created so powerfully that they seem impossible to defeat. Superman can move mountains; Green Lantern can do anything in his imagination and Thor is literally a God. However, for all their power there are some drawbacks. They do have weaknesses. 

Superman Kryptonite

Let’s tackle the obvious and easiest one first. As we all know Superman was born on another planet which was destroyed. Apparently, shards from the destroyed planet can weaken Superman and even kill him and small meteorites have made their way to Earth to keep the man of steel humble.

Green Lantern yellow

The Guardians power ring choose Hal Jordan to become a Green Lantern because he was fearless and with this ring, he can do whatever his mind can create. Green Lantern can combat any foe that he comes across ….as long as the color yellow is not involved. The power of his ring cannot even touch anything yellow meaning if you paint his whole world yellow, he’s just a guy with a glowing green ring.

Green Lantern (Golden Age) wood

The first Green Lanterns ring has more of a mystic background. There is no space corps involved. However, this Green Lanterns weakness is wood. So, if a tree is falling on you and there’s nobody around to save you if this Green Lantern shows up you are still out of luck.

Wonder Woman bound at the bracelets by man

Ok now, this is a bit sexist and slightly pornographic. Wonder Woman’s power rivals that of Superman and she has stood toe to toe with him. One of the things that makes this possible even though he is stronger is her training as an Amazon warrior. However, if an ordinary man happens to be able to sneak up on her and bound her by her bracelets, she is powerless. Considering the times in which she was created, this was a simple fix in making a woman submissive.

Daredevil loud sound

Daredevil is the man without fear. He is blind with heightened senses. He doesn’t need to be able to see. In fact, his heightened senses are much better than sight making him a very formidable superhero. However, if you overload him with noise then you have a good chance of defeating him. You must overload his high senses. Makes sense.

Flash too much Speed

The fastest man alive has a weakness that is his greatest strength. Running too fast. For as powerful as Flash is if he runs too fast, he can destroy himself.

Thor more than a minute away from his hammer

We’re putting this in even though it no longer applies. But this is too classic to let go. when Thor first appeared, he had a human alter ego named Donald Blake which was a handicapped doctor who used a cane to walk. When said doctor tapped this cane on the ground, he became the demigod, Thor. The cane reverted to its true form of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. Thor had to be connected to his hammer. If the hammer left his side for more than 60 seconds than Thor would revert to Donald Blake. Marvel decided this was a dumb foil and got rid of the concept back in 1984.

Human Torch asbestos

Johnny Storm the Human Torch is a very powerful being. His ability to go supernova and literally be able to destroy everything if he chose is a power to be reckoned with. However, if you happen to have some asbestos on then you can have the fight half won.

Martian Manhunter fire, matches

A lot of people aren’t familiar with the Martian Manhunter. His powers put him in league with Superman and in my opinion, make him even more powerful. He’s got super strength, flight, invulnerability, heat vision, shapeshifting, invisibility, and telepathy. However, if you got some gasoline and light a match to set the whole room on fire than it is literally on. Martians weakness for fire is what helped Batman defeat a room full of Martians in a classic Justice League story.

Firestorm organics

Firestorm the Nuclear Man is very powerful indeed. I mean, come on, he’s the nuclear man. One of his main powers is his ability to transmute objects. So, you try to shoot him with a hail of bullets and he turns them into flowers or cotton balls. He can transmute anything except anything organic. He can not transmute humans or animals in any way.

Shazam & Captain Marvel Jr saying their own names

These two heroes go in together because not only are they related to each other of sorts but they have the same weakness. Shazam used to be called Captain Marvel but because of rights and confusion, he is now called Shazam. However, for Billy Batson to become Shazam he has to say his name for the lightning to strike so if he is in his superhero form and says his name again, he reverts back to Billy Batson. The same applies to Captain Marvel Jr who has to say Captain Marvel to get his powers. In Captain Marvel Jr’s case, this may no longer apply since Shazam has been retconned and Captain Marvel is no longer a thing in the DC universe.

Gladiator self confidence

Gladiator is like a space Superman. You name it he can do it. Strength, speed, slow aging, invulnerability, the whole thing. However, an attack on his ego and give him doubt then you have him right where you want him. For all his grandiose posturing and bravado, if you shake his confidence than the battle is won.

Power Girl raw unprocessed natural material

Power Girl has a slightly confusing background. Originally, she is the Earth 2 cousin of Superman but that has been changed in so many different ways. She is now on an Earth 2 that I care not to go into but that doesn’t change the fact of why she’s on this list. Her weakness is raw unprocessed natural materials. So, man-made bullets she can handle but if you try to drive a wooden stake through her heart like a vampire you are on to something.

Wolverine The Muramasa Blade

Over the years, Wolverine has become annoyingly hard to kill. Don’t get me wrong, Wolverine is a great character but over the years they kept throwing things at him and he would not die. So, what do you do with a character you make too powerful? You create a special sword that can actually kill him. For good.

Adam Strange too long away from Earth

The hero Adam Strange is not so much a hero on earth as he is a hero on the planet Rann. He was drawn there by the zeta beam. However, this is also his weakness. He can not stay away from Earth for more than a year at a time. So even if he’s in the middle of a mission and his year is up, he vanishes back to Earth.

Kenny Walker Jr

The Top 10 Super Friends of Comics

Even superheroes need friends. This week we have put together the top 10 list of super buddies in comics. This is a list of characters who are known to hang together and be friends outside of their adventures together.

10. Juggernaut & Black Tom Cassidy

We are going to start with two super villains because even the bad guys need friends. In a world where most villains do not trust each other and are known for stabbing each other in the back, Black Tom and Kane Marko are known for putting their friendship first before any devilish plot or revenge.

9. Misty Knight & Colleen Wing

The coolest women of the comic book world had to make this list. For years they served as supporting characters in Power Man and Iron Fist known to many as Daughters of the Dragon. Their friendship was the shining moments in the Netflix Iron Fist season 2 series.

8. Wonder Man & The Beast

These two characters created the bromance in comics. With both characters having very different backstories, they came together in the Avengers books. They laughed together, partied together, and most importantly fought together.

7. Harlequin & Poison Ivy

These gal pals are the feminine side of the underworld. They have teamed up for various criminal endeavors and became friends. The depths of their friendship were last explored in the current Heroes in Crisis storyline where Poison Ivy is believed to have been a victim of the carnage that sets off the event.

6. Blue Beatle & Booster Gold

The blue and gold. This duo provided much humor and heroics with the Justice League. Whether it be trying to use their superhero status to pick up women or for a get rich quick scheme, these characters are one of the main reasons you read Justice League and Justice League International in the 90s.

5. Power Man & Iron Fist

Luke Cage and Danny Rand are two heroes who come through for each other no matter what. Whether they are Heroes for Hire or Avengers they continue to have each other’s back. Unfortunately, this relationship was not played out to its fullest on the Netflix series.

4. Green Lantern & Green Arrow

Who is your friend? That dude that travels the highways and byways of the land with you to get you back in touch with your humanity. That’s exactly what Green Arrow did for Green Lantern. They traveled America to experience real-world problems and the showed how each character responded differently.

3. The Human Torch & Spiderman

At a time when Marvel was young, it had young heroes. Two of the youngest were Peter Parker and Johnny Storm. It would only stand to reason that’s these two would become best friends. Their friendship would even have Spiderman replace Human Torch in the Fantastic Four when everyone believed he was dead.

2. Captain America & The Falcon

There were so many heroes we could have paired Cap up with. Winter Soldier/ Bucky. Iron Man. However, since they shared a book together this seemed like the obvious choice. Sam Wilson is such a friend to Steve Rogers that he took up his mantle as Captain America when asked.

1. Batman & Superman

Number one is the super friends that they make movies about. Even if it’s not a good movie. Superman and Batman are the oldest set of friends on this list. They have been on a multitude of adventures together and lead the Justice League. They have trusted each other like brothers and fought each other like enemies. Their names are synonymous with each other.

Let us know what you think of our list and what super friends you would add.

Kenny Walker Jr

12 Marvel and DC characters that we need to see in a movie

We live in a time where it is commonplace to turn a comic book hero into live action. Whether on the silver screen or on your home TV, we seldom have to imagine what our favorite comic book hero would look like if they came to life. Technology in the industry has made even the most complex character able to come alive. But not every character has gotten star treatment as there are tons of characters that have been looked over. Here is our list of DC and Marvel comic book heroes that we feel deserve to be made live action.

1. Elongated Man & Sue Dibny

When I started to write this article, these are the first characters that came to mind. I know we get a taste of Elongated Man on the CW’s Flash but this is different. Before she was killed in Identity Crisis and he was killed in 52, this was the magical DC super couple that made people believe that a hero could love. This could be a rom-com that saves the DC cinematic universe from the darkness they feel they need to be relevant. I know these are B listers that the fans barely know but that’s even more reason that there is little chance this would be messed up. Did you know that the artist used Danny Kaye as a basis to draw Ralph Dibny and Dawn Wells from Gilligans Island to draw Sue Dibny? True story.

2. Legion of Superheroes

Come on, who wouldn’t want to see the story of the future heroes brought to live action. Legion flight rings would be enough for me to say yes. Again, some of these characters have already been on a few CW shows but this would be a much bigger take. Think Star Trek but with every member of the crew having some sort of super power. They could even tie this into the Justice League movie and use the Darkness Saga storyline which features the Legion going up against Darkseid.

3. Freedom Fighters

Freedom Fighters takes place on an Earth where the Nazi won World War II. Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Doll Man, The Ray, Phantom Lady, and the Human Bomb are the leaders of a resistance force set to bring down the Nazi regime. If you marry the movie Red Dawn with the TV show V and gave all the main characters super powers this is the demon love child you would get. I would go see that.

4. All-Star Squadron

All Star Squadron was a DC comic that took place during World War II. In their stories, writers would use actual events that took place in history but would add the fictional characters in the mix as if they were a part of real history. This would not only be good on the big screen but as an ongoing TV show.

5. Wonder Man

Wonder Man, AKA Simon Williams, is the ionically charged superhero in the Marvel Universe that lives in Hollywood as an actor/stuntman when he is not out saving the world with the Avengers. Although he is thought of as a B list hero, he is one of the more powerful heroes in the Avenger books. Yes, he does happen to have a convoluted origin that can be dummied down but to his credit, his brother, the Grim Reaper, would make the perfect villain that the story would need. What would make this interesting is that you can tell a whole struggling actor story and his desire to be a superhero collide to make his life difficult.

6. Multiple Man

Jaime Maddox, the Multiple Man, has already been featured in an X-Man movie. This showing did not give him justice. If you follow the true comic book version of the use of his powers and not make him a guy that can duplicate himself for a fight then you would have an interesting plot. Imagine a guy who can duplicate himself and send his duplicates out into the world to learn different things. Then they come back to the original and get re-absorbed and give the original the knowledge they have learned. You send a duplicate out to learn religion, another duplicate out to learn martial arts and another duplicate out to learn medicine then a few years later they come back to get re-absorbed and you retain their knowledge. You could potentially be the smartest person in the world. Then you can add the conflict of a duplicate not wanting to be re-absorbed or a duplicate turning to evil and now you have quite an interesting movie.

7. Blue Beetle & Booster Gold

Blue Beatle, Ted Kord, and Booster Gold, Michael Carter, were the best part of the Justice League in the late 80’s to early 90’s. Their exploits as heroes who would sometimes screw things up were legendary. But they were true heroes who got the job done. Yes, they were funny but when times got tough they were the ones you could count on. These guys made this list because I think this is the kind of movie the DC Cinematic Universe needs to get them away from the idea that they have to have dark serious movies.

8. Alpha Flight

Alpha Flight is like the Canadian version of the Avengers. Plain and simple but that would be the appeal to this coming to the big screen. What makes this team so dynamic is that it has so many variations of powers. Alpha Flight has mutants, mystics, scientist, alien creatures and mythical creatures that make up this team. You could use the strong ties to Wolverine if you want but you really don’t have to go there. This is a concept that can stand on its own.

9. Shang-Chi

Let’s be honest, Shang Chi is a character created in the 70’s to cash in on the whole Bruce Lee thing. He’s an Asian guy who is arguably the best martial arts fighter in the Marvel universe who happens to have an evil father. This character made the list because if done right with the right actor you could have one of the best martial arts movies made. Again, being honest, the martial arts displayed by Finn Jones as Iron Fist was extremely lacking because you cast a guy who knew nothing about martial arts. This would be Marvel’s chance to give their fans the martial arts kick ass film they deserve.

10. Milestone Line

In 1993, a group of Afro-American artist and writers founded Milestone Media because they felt minority characters were not represented well in the American comic industry. Distributed by DC Comics, they created a universe of minority characters that would become a legendary breakthrough in comics. The most popular character would be Static. But there were also great characters such as Icon and Rocket, Hardware, and the Blood Syndicate. All good characters that could hold a whole movie universe to last at least a good 10 years. Of course, most people want to see a live-action Static but I personally would love to see them take a crack at bringing the Blood Syndicate to life.

11. Blue Marvel

Adam Brashear, Blue Marvel, is not a known character at all. He is relatively new to comics created only about 10 years ago in 2008. His story is an interesting one though. Getting his powers in the 1950’s and fighting crime completely covered because he was a Black man. Although during his heyday in the 50’s and 60’s he was the worlds number one hero he hid his true identity because he knew the world would not accept him if they knew he was a Black man. True to form, in a battle his clothes were torn to reveal to the world he was indeed a man of color he was forced to resign from superhero life and attempt to live out the rest of his life as a private citizen. Then circumstance brings him out of retirement in today’s world. Because of the nature of his powers he has not aged much at all. He fights crime without his mask. With the popularity of Black Panther and the climate for the world regarding people of color, this is the right time to make a movie about a positive Black hero.

12. Moon Knight

I added this on because Moon Knight, AKA Marc Specter, is what everyone wants to see. You know why this character would work? Because he is basically Marvels answer to Batman but with split personalities. If Marvel does not want to put this fan favorite on the big screen than they should at least prepare a series on a streaming service.

That’s our list. Leave comments and let us know if you agree or disagree with our list.

Kenny Walker Jr

HE SAID WHAT? THE 20 TOP SUPERHERO CATCHPHRASES

Behind every great superhero is a great catchphrase. By definition, a catchphrase is a well-known sentence or phrase that is associated with a particular famous person or character. Catchphrases are used in advertising such as Tony the Tiger proclaiming about Frosted Flakes “they’re great!”. Catchphrases are used by celebrities or notable figures such as The Rock claiming “Can you smell what the Rock is cookin’?”. So, it would stand to reason that catchphrases are used in comic books. Superhero characters are often given catchphrases for marketing and to make them more memorable.

The following is our top 20 superhero catchphrases

20. Phrase: Here I come to save the day

Said by: Mighty Mouse

The mouse with a might would sing this little diddy out as he would come to the rescue. This one sticks in your mind so much that I dare anyone to say that they have never uttered this when coming to the aid of their kid or friend.

19. Phrase: Titans Together

Said by: Titans / Teen Titans

The battle cry of both the Teen Titans and the older Titans. Usually said by their leader, Nightwing, but anyone can do the cry. It’s a good indication that a full-on ass whooping is about to begin.

18. Phrase: Avengers Assemble

Said by: Captain America – any Avengers leader

Another super team battle cry and probably the most famous comic book battle cry there is for a super team. Captain America is the known character for yelling the battle cry but if he’s not there someone else can say it. And yes, again it means someone is in for an ass whooping.

17. Phrase: Cowabunga

Said by: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

These fun-loving, skateboarding, ninja fighting sewer turtles had a weird personality trait that made them act like east coast New Yorkers yet talk like west coast surfers. In the first live-action movie this was even said by Master Splinter as the final line.

16. Phrase: It’s Morphing Time

Said by: Power Rangers

The battle cry that means it’s time to suit up. Followed by a big display that still confuses me on how the change really looks if you’re actually looking at the Power Rangers. Through the many various teams of Rangers, this is the one constant.

15. Phrase: Oh, my stars and garters

Said by: Beast

The bouncing Beast of the X-Men is known for this quip. The Beast was not only the brawn of the original team but the brains.

14. Phrase: Mein Gott

Said by: Nightcrawler

The demon looking teleporter of the original All New X-Men is known for using his native German tongue in battle.

13. Phrase: Imperius Rex

Said by: Namor the Submariner

Coming out of the ocean screaming Imperius Rex is the trademark cry of Namor the Submariner, whether he was mad at the surface world and out for vengeance or fighting to save the world.

12. Phrase: Shazam

Said by: Captain Marvel/Shazam

The magic words that change Billy Batson from a kid to the mightiest mortal on Earth. Just speak the name of the old wizard and inherit great power.

11. Phrase: Sweet Christmas

Said by: Luke Cage/Power Man

When Luke Cage is surprised, shocked or pissed off you can bet this is the first thing that comes out of his mouth. This happens at least once every issue of any book he is in.

10. Phrase: Merciful Minerva

Said by: Wonder Woman

The exclamation made by Wonder Woman whenever something major happens.

9. Phrase: Holy _______ Batman

Said by: Robin

The blank can be filled with almost anything that the cape crusaders are dealing with. Robin is famous for blurting out these Holy phrases on any occasion which translated to good TV for the 1960’s show.

8. Phrase: Flame On

Said by: Human Torch

This is Johnny Storm’s battle cry mixed in with his uniform change. Bursting into flames as he goes into battle with his Fantastic Four family.

7. Phrase: It’s Clobberin’ Time

Said by: The Thing

Another member of the Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm the Thing, yells this out to lets you know he’s about to hit you. Surprisingly this usually works for him because for some reason villains stay still to get hit.

6. Phrase: Up, up and away

Said by: Superman

This particular catchphrase ranks so high on our list because it may be the first catchphrase to become a household catchphrase. What kid did not wrap a blanket or sheet around his shoulders and jump off a bed to fly like Superman?

5. Phrase: In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power – Green Lantern’s light

Said by: Green Lantern

As he charges his ring, Hal Jordon chants this oath as an affirmation of his duties as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Not sure if the ring charges if he doesn’t do the oath, though.

4. Phrase: I’m the best there is at what I do

Said by: Wolverine

The toughest mutant in comics is good at one thing and that’s popping his claws and fighting to the death. Wolverine is the best at getting his hands dirty when no one else can.

3. Phrase: Hulk Smash

Said by: Hulk

There have been different versions of the Hulk but the most known Hulk is the one that speaks in broken sentences and talks in first person. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” almost made the list but this one is more classic.

2. Phrase: Wonder Twins powers activate

Said by: The Wonder Twins

This catchphrase ranked so high on the list out of nostalgia. Originating on the Saturday morning cartoon, the Wonder Twins would bump fist to turn one into an animal and the other into a form of water. They knew exactly what to turn into to complement each other’s transformation to get the job done.

1. Phrase: With great power comes great responsibility

Said by: Spiderman and Uncle Ben

With great power comes great responsibility tops the list as number one because this is what makes Spiderman the hero he is. This is his mantra. The wise words of his Uncle Ben resonated with young Peter, especially after his uncle’s brutal death at the hands of a robber that Peter could have stopped with his powers but let go. This is the phrase that drives Peter to be Spiderman and use his powers to help others and fight for justice. This is what makes Peter put on a costume and put his life in danger to help total strangers. This is the ultimate catchphrase.

That’s our list. Leave a comment and let us know if you agree with our list. Let us know what you would add or take out. With that, we will sign out with a catchphrase from the legendary Stan Lee: Excelsior!

Kenny Walker Jr

TOP 10 REASONS BATMAN IS THE MOST FEARED CHARACTER IN COMICS

Batman is one of the most feared characters in the DC Universe. No, I’m sorry, I meant Batman is one of the most feared characters in comics. Period. How did Batman get this reputation you ask? It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t always so.

When Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, in 1939 he was a dark vigilante that preyed on Gotham’s worst criminals. He was a serious no-nonsense character who carried a gun and he killed his adversaries if needed. In the 1950’s comic sales started to slip, and many comics characters suffered, however, Batman still remained. He became more of a sci-fi character with wacky sci-fi adventures. Which started to veer away from the seriousness of the original idea of the Batman character. In the 1960’s with the campiness of the Batman T.V. show increased sales of the comic book. In turn, the comic became campy which steered even more away from the original concept. After the show was canceled, DC comics decided to try to take Batman back to his roots and make him the Dark Knight once again.

Since then Batman became the coolest, badass, most kick-ass character in comics. A man both respected and feared by all. The following are the top 10 reasons in comics that have made that possible.

Dennis O’Neil and Neil Adams took over as writer and artist.

In 1969, O’Neil and Adams took over as the writer and artist of Batman their main objective was to move the character past the campy stereotype. Back to the basis that was created by Kane and Finger. Even though this did not boost sales the way that was expected what did happen was the true legend of the Dark Knight started to build.

Defeating Bane

In 1993 Bane had a plan to defeat The Bat. The storyline was called Knightfall. Bane’s plan was kind of practical. To throw every villain he could at Batman and wear him down. Then when he was worn out and at his lowest trying to figure out what was really going on Bane came through and beat the crap out of him and broke his back. This was classic. Batman briefly retired. But when his ill picked replacement went batshit crazy (pun included), Batman came back from a broken back and not only put Azrael Batman in check but also defeated Bane. Proving you can’t keep a good Bat down.

The Dark Knight Return

Frank Miller’s classic. Basically, this is one of the greatest mini-series. This is a Batman in the future who is old, and battle worn. He is back, and he is still the wrong man to piss off. He lays a final defeat on his greatest foe, The Joker, and proves that he can still go one on one with the man of steel, Superman.

Batman defeats a Green Lantern with one punch

So, after the mini-series Legends which tries to establish heroes after Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC decided to start another Justice League in 1986. This version of Justice League added humor to the superhero comic with Batman often playing the serious father figure straight man. He had instant respect from everyone on the team because of his legend and them knowing what he could do. Everyone except Green Lantern Guy Gardner who would disrespect and taunt Batman for the first few issues of the series. When he would confront the Batman the rest of the team kept telling Guy Gardener to watch himself, but he wouldn’t listen. This resulted in Batman laying him out with one punch after Gardener challenged him to one on one after taking off his ring. Blue Beatle couldn’t stop laughing and Black Canary was very upset she missed it by a second.

Superman calls Batman the most dangerous man in the world

In 1997 there was yet another reboot of the Justice League called JLA. The first story arch was called New World Order and the team consisted of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Green Lantern. An alien super team called the Hyperclan came to Earth and posed as heroes but as predicted they weren’t. They came to dominate. So, the Justice League decided to stop them and lost. They defeated the entire League except for Martian Manhunter who disguised himself and infiltrated the group and Batman who they thought they blew up in the Batplane. So, the not dead Batman sneaks in the lower levels of the Hyperclans base and starts to take them down one by one. He knew their secret. They were really White Martians. They gave themselves away because none of them came near the Batplane that was on fire to check for a dead body. As he takes the first set of Martians down with gasoline and a match he leaves a note behind telling them he knows who they really are. The leader of the Hyperclan is confused and baffled to learn that Batman lived through the Batplane explosion and is taking down these powerful beings because he is just a normal human with no powers and that’s when Superman chained down and weakened with Kryptonite reminds him that “he is the most dangerous man in the world”.

Batman defeats the Justice League

Batman likes to be prepared for every situation. Although he didn’t really execute the way the entire Justice League was defeated he did plan it in JLA: Tower of Babel. Batman had a manifest on how to defeat every member of the Justice League which was stolen by his arch nemesis Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s used this information to defeat the Justice League and as you know they did overcome. Batman’s reason for having such a manifest was just in case any one of them went bad, including himself. The real outcome was the other heroes looking at Batman and thinking “Wait, this guy actually thought of ways to defeat every one of us and who knows who else he’s got files on …. this cat is seriously dangerous”

Batman’s resurrection

So Darkseid is again causing static. Batman decides to end this once and for all and creates a gun to kill a god. So Batman does what only he can do. Darkseid is not surprised or holds quarter as he respects Batman as being that one hero that would do what needs to be done with stakes this high. He does shoot Darkseid but not before Darkseid shoots his Omega beams and seemingly kills the Dark Knight. Apparently, what the beam did was banish Batman in time. Though several reincarnations and a little help from Tim Drake Robin the Dark Knight beat time and death and make his way back to the present. Who does that?

No Man’s Land

This story is actually very basic. This 1999 storyline has Gotham separated from the rest of the world by an earthquake. Bruce Wayne leaves Gotham to use his influence to get help from the government to save Gotham. Meanwhile, the villains and the few heroes left have divided up the land. Bruce Wayne comes back to Gotham and Batman emerges a few months later to rally the good guys and save Gotham.

Forms The Outsiders

In 1983 Batman decides to quit the satellite-based Justice League because he’s a mysterious detective that lives in the shadows. Plus, to him, the League wasn’t worried about the little guys anymore but big global threats. That was not what Batman wanted to be a part of so in 1985 debuted Batman and the Outsiders. This team consisted of more down to earth heroes such as Black Lightning, Katana, Metamorpho, Geo-Force, Halo, and Looker. Yup, Batman is badass enough to quit the team with the most powerful heroes in the world to form his own kickass team that works as a well-tuned unit. It was kind of like when David Ruffin left the Temptations in the 60’s except this move worked out for Batman.

Holds his own and even defeats Marvel characters

Everyone always talks about who would bin in a Marvel vs DC fight. Well, there was a few times that happened. In DC Special #27 Batman battles the Hulk. In what some comic book fans call BS, Batman uses gas and a gut kick to defeat the Incredible Hulk. Yes, simply breathing in gas felled the Hulk. Then there was the time in another Marvel DC collaboration Batman uses a nerve punch in the right place to knock out The Scorpion. Another outing of Marvel vs DC where fans voted for the outcome of the battles found Batman defeating Captain America in a sewer. Fans wherein an uproar because Batman is just a human while Captain America has the super soldier serum and I need to remind you that Batman is a man who trains himself to fight people with powers and figures out their weakness. The second time they met in the 2003 JLA/ Avengers team up. This time they square off to a tie but still – normal human vs super soldier serum because that’s how badass Batman is.

Please feel free to comment on our list and tell us what you think. Is Batman the most feared character in comics or is he just hype? Do you know more stories to support this theory? Let us know.

Kenny Walker Jr

ARE WE STILL FANS OR DO WE JUST WANT TO SEE THE CAPES?

There was a time when comic book shows in multimedia were far and in between. Comic nerds and superhero fans were starving for entertainment other than what was on the pages at their local comic store. There might be one TV show with a guy in a mask one season and another with a lady with a lasso a few years later but that’s all you got. Then you may get one major motion picture with a guy in a cape and two decades later get another movie about a superhero vampire but that was your limit. Yup the pickings were slim.

When comic book heroes started showing up in serials in the 1930s. Flash Gordon, Shazam, Batman and Superman all came to life for about 15 minutes leaving you with a cliffhanger until the next episode. Another popular medium, radio, where every week you can hear the adventures of Buck Rogers and Dick Tracey. With a TV in the 1950s, your home was visited by The Lone Ranger and Superman. As decades past you had a very campy Batman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, and yes, we had a Hulk. To satisfy our lack of live action we had some of the best classic cartoons. From Marvel superheroes in the 1960s to the Superfriends of the 1970s to G.I. Joe in the 1980s to the X-Men of the 1990s our Saturday mornings and after school schedules was set.

Then something happened. The late 1990s Sony Spiderman movies became a hit. Over in TV land, Smallville, a show about Superman’s beginnings ran for 10 seasons. Then Batman Begins and so starts the Christopher Nolan trilogy. Marvel launches the MCU with Iron Man and from there the industry blew up. Superheroes are everywhere.

There are currently about 16 comic books inspired live-action shows on TV with four more starting next month in June. There are at least 8 comic book inspired movies due out in 2018. These numbers do not include the countless cartoons and kid shows based on comic books and superheroes in general.

The question we now need to ask ourselves is: Has the industry oversaturated the fanboys and girls with the comic book world?

The recent cancellation of Marvel TV’s Inhumans it may signal that this superhero boom may be over. Although Marvel put a decent push for Inhumans by releasing the pilot in IMAX it did not go over well with the fans. It was perceived as too campy compared to the MCU that fans have been used to getting. On top of that, the fate of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D seems to be a little uncertain. Yes, the CW seems to be going strong with their line up of superhero and comic book shows every night which all have basically been renewed for next year but of all the shows Arrow which was the flagship show that started it all is at the bottom of the ratings. Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War have topped the box office this year with millions but our payoff for Infinity War is a year away. Will the fans wait that long, or will the attention move elsewhere?

In some respect, you can say that it feels like the industry makers are taking our love for superheroes too far and not giving us the quality that we are used to. Just stick a cape on it and the people will buy it. There’s no need for quality, compelling storyline or character development when you know there will be ticket sales and viewers based on the superhero content. Netflix’s Jessica Jones might have been that show to display this. Overall this Marvel Netflix outing was not up to par with previous shows almost like it was rushed to get the product out to the fans. DC is coming out with its own streaming service called DC Universe in 2018. Set previews of its upcoming show, Titans, has not been sitting well with fans. Already there’s debate about whether this first live action Titans will live up to its comic book predecessor.

The remainder of 2018 promises some awesome things in movie, TV, and streaming. It’s up to us the audience to determine if we are still fans. It’s up to us to determine if we just want to see our favorite characters on the screen regardless of the content. The superhero genre is still booming but whether it’s waning a bit remains to be seen. There are some great plans for comic book superheroes on the big and small screens even past 2020 but the question is will this genre stand the test of time.

Kenny Walker Jr

Mental Illness is the Villain

After generations of suffering in silence, mental health awareness is now at the forefront of culture. In the world of super heroes and super villains, mental illness is an all too common underlying theme. The casual fans are familiar with the PTSD Batman faced after watching his parents killed but may not know he suffered this same fate after Joker killed Jason Todd, and Jason Todd’s subsequent battle with PTSD as he became The Red Hood.

Casual fans see Two-Face as a prime candidate for Dissociative Identity Disorder but may not catch the Coin Flip is a compulsion from the character’s Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Thanks to the Iron man films, Iron Man faced anxiety and alcoholism, though on a much smaller scale than the groundbreaking 1979 Demon in a Bottle story arc tackling his alcoholism. Dual diagnoses are all too common in real life, and the same goes for these comic multi-verses.

An entire thesis could be presented with every single one of these characters and their respective diagnoses, so this will be a generalized overview. Many people living with mental illness are often dual diagnosed. The most well-known being addiction and depression. Characters like The Comedian from Watchmen and Arsenal from DC turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. However, in many cases, there are multiple mental disorders such as Bi-Polar and Schizophrenic, called Schizo-Effective.

Another combination is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety. All of which are all too commonly compounded by Depression sprinkled on top. Or in some cases like Deadpool, the Joker, and this humble author, have an amalgam of mental disorders. As mentioned before, Iron Man was a great portrayal of dual diagnosis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jarvis informed Tony he was having a panic attack, as well as Depression, and PTSD, after the apocalyptic vision Scarlet Witch showed him during Age of Ultron.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is all too common amongst superhero origin stories. Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones brought her battle with PTSD to the small screen.  DC has recently released the title Heroes in Crisis, with the underlying theme of the trauma superheroes must overcome. Thor in Avengers: Endgame, is a great example of a depressive episode resulting from PTSD, but not suffering from Depression. He experienced a trauma, so he became extremely apathetic, and seemingly an alcohol suggested by his new dad bod.

He was very sad, as he rightfully should have been, but without more than one episode, he would not have been classified as having Depression. His character in Endgame could also resemble symptoms of PTSD originating from The Snap or The Blip. DC’s Rebirth introduced a new Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. The green lanterns are powered by WILL, but as a superhero with anxiety, she sometimes lacks the will to even get out of bed. DC does a great job of portraying real-life anxiety in the mind of this superhero.

She helps the Justice League stop a sea monster, then catches a submarine by manifesting her powers as a Green Lantern. Despite the external battle being over, she is still battling her biggest demon, her anxiety. She tells herself she can’t hold the submarine, that she doesn’t belong amongst these other heroes, that she is not strong enough. Then it happens again and it leads to her getting knocked down by a weak villain, subsequently leading to a confrontation with another Green Lantern, Simon, Jessica goes home, constantly reliving  all the doubts, and does not get out of bed to meet Simon for breakfast as was their routine.

The story ends with fellow Simon, in her kitchen making her pancakes to show she doesn’t have to fight this alone either. Daredevil is another Marvel character dealing with depression, and unbeknownst to casual fans, his mother left his father and him due to suffering postpartum depression. Writers have even tackled Agoraphobia, or the fear of leaving one’s home. During World War Hulk, Robert Reynolds, known as Sentry, could stop Hulk as he has the power of 10000 exploding suns. Sentry also has a “dark side” called the Void. Choosing to use the term “Void” representing the void he feels as part of his crippling agoraphobia.

One common complaint, the writers’ use his agoraphobia as a plot point to continue the story. This tactic receives criticism as lazy writing and lends to Sentry being a disliked character. But for the sake of mental illness, it does portray agoraphobia and give it a brief spotlight. Domestic abuse has also been a theme presented to comic book fans. The most notorious being the relationship between Harley Quinn and the Joker. But the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym was also abusive to his wife, the Wasp, which subsequently lead to her leaving him. 

There are a few fan favorite characters addressing Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Marvel fans have been voicing their desire for the presence of Moon Knight in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Moon Knight is a cult favorite among Marvel fans. He has three identities, Jake Lockley, Marc Spector, and Stephen Grant. Legion is another character dealing with DID, but in a much different manner. Each of Legion’s identities each come with different superpowers. Legion is said to have thousands of personalities within him

With mental health awareness on the rise, so are characters specifically meant to represent mental illness. Frank Gaskill and Ryan Kelly are both doctors, specializing in the Autism Spectrum. With their knowledge they created Max Gamer. Max Gamer, also the name of the comic run, has Asperger’s syndrome, now referred to as Autism Spectrum Disorder. The creators do not portray his ASD negatively, in fact, they use the “symptoms” of ASD as his superpowers.

All these characters have battled villains to save the world, while battling the villainous mental illness within. While they may be superheroes that pop culture idolizes, never forget, in the real world, it takes super human strength to overcome these potentially crippling disorders.

Mike Hoff

Marvel Exhibit: Journey through the Marvel Universe

Upon entering the Franklin Institute’s Marvel Superheroes exhibit, eyes gaze upon an old newspaper stand lined with Marvel comics, all artwork, then proceed to watch a five-minute Marvel introduction video. This video mentions Martin Goodman, known as the founder of Marvel Comics, started off in pulp magazines before creating Marvel Comics #1.

The first issue featured The Human Torch, an android, not from Fantastic Four, pit against Namor, the Sub Mariner. The introduction video also includes tidbits such as Captain America nearly selling a million copies. The comic controversy of the 1950s, and of course, the origin story of Marvel’s greatest legend, Stan Lee.

This video surmises much of what follows in the exhibit, and these same points are mentioned in an interactive screen during the next phase of the exhibit. Longtime comic fans will already know much of the information presented throughout this exhibit, but there are still many reasons for these comic book fans to still attend, and for all to enjoy.

There are panels from The Phantom, said to be the first costumed superhero debuting in 1936. Also, panels of Flash Gordon, one of the most popular heroes from the early years of comics, which debuted in 1934. It is one thing to know the history of Marvel Comics #1, but at the Marvel exhibit, comic fans get to glance at an actual issue of Marvel Comics #1.

The first issue of Amazing Spiderman is also on display, along with Black Panther’s first appearance and first issue. The costumes from the Black Panther film were showcased along with the other Superhero suits and helmets from the rest of the characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the most interesting sections was the Comic Book controversy containing articles about the Comic Book Trial.

Comic fans learn comic books were being banned and burned as the superheroes would often be included with the crime genre, thus attracting the wrath of angry parents. This led to the Comic Code. A list of “Do’s” and “Don’t’s” for comic companies to follow in order to be published. This almost killed the comic industry, until Stan Lee created Fantastic Four, and the rest is history.

Another major attraction was the inside scoop behind creating comics revealed at this Marvel Superheroes exhibit. Located in the Spiderman section, there is an interactive screen depicting the process of comic creation. From lettering to coloring to editing, fans are privy to insights to how their heroes come to life. There was an interactive screen for comic fans to arrange panels and a Spiderman issue presented panel by panel from penciling to inking to lettering to coloring.

One of these interactive screens had a chart portraying the differences between creating comics traditionally compared to the modern digital age. Depicting the differences between the standard 4 color of print, CMYK, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and black; to the thousands and thousands of colors now available to comic artists. Another part depicted how four different inkers could have four different shades of white, thus providing fans a glimpse into the uniqueness of each issue.

The exhibit started with the characters from the Avengers, then moved onto the street level heroes of Marvel’s Netflix series such as Daredevil, Iron Fist Luke Cage. Jessica Jones, The Punisher, as well as Ghostrider to the space heroes such as Guardians of the Galaxy and mystic heroes like Doctor Strange. Also included were sections about the character progressions of Nick Fury, and She-Hulk, as well as Captain Marvel, including a web of all the characters connected to the Supreme Intelligence.

There were only a few negative aspects of the Franklin Institute’s Marvel Exhibit. First, the lighting made photography hit and miss with a cell phone. Some sections were too dark, or too reflective, but this is just a small detail. The main issue was the lack of villain displays and information. Granted it is called Marvel’s Superheroes exhibit, without villains, these heroes wouldn’t exist. Overall, this exhibit is worth the entry fee whether on a solo adventure or a team journey.

Mike Hoff

TOP 10 PATRIOTIC SUPERHEROES

In celebration of Independence Day, Obsidian Nomad presents our top 10 patriotic superheroes. These are the heroes that best represent America. A lot of the common denominators in these heroes are relationships to World War II and some kind of fluke accident or secret serum. Nevertheless, these are the heroes we most think of when we think of America.

Check out our list and let us know who you would add or take away.

Stargirl – Courtney Whitmore

First appearance (as Courtney Whitmore) Star and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 1999 As Stargirl JSA: All Stars #4 2003

Courtney Whitmore is the stepdaughter of the Pat Dugan original sidekick hero of the Star-Spangled Kid, Stripesy. Courtney found the Kid’s old cosmic belt in the garage and originally calls herself the Star-Spangled Kid to annoy her stepfather. Later, as a member of the JSA, she meets the original Starman and receives his cosmic rod and changes her name to Star Girl.

Battlestar – Lemar Hoskins

First appearance Captain America #323 1986

Lemar Hoskins was given a version of the super soldier formula and was selected by the government to be a Bucky for the new Captain America when Steve Rogers had quit. He changed his name to Battlestar after another Black man reminded him that calling himself Bucky was derogatory because that was a term for slaves.

US Agent – John Walker

First appearance (as Super Patriot) Captain America #323 1986 – (As Captain America) Captain America #333 1987 – (As US Agent) Captain America #354

John Walker was given a version of the super soldier formula and originally became the Super Patriot as a nemesis to Captain America. When Steve Rogers was no longer Captain America, the government picked Walker to be the replacement. When Rogers resumes the mantle of Captain America, Walker becomes the US Agent.

Star Spangled Kid – Sylvester Pemberton

First appearance Star Spangled Comics #1 1941

Sylvester Pemberton was a kid superhero during World War II with an adult sidekick, Stripesy. Both heroes were lost in time with the rest of the superhero group, Seven Soldiers of Victory, and rescued in modern day by the Justice League and the Justice Society. In modern time and still young, Sylvester joined the Justice Society and used the then injured Starman’s cosmic rod. He remodeled it into a belt and changed his name to Skyman.

Patriot – Eli Bradley

First appearance – Young Avengers #1 2005

Eli Brandley is the grandson of the African American Captain America, Isaiah Bradley. Isaiah was part of an experiment the government had after the super soldier serum was lost after it turned Steve Rogers into the first Captain America. Eli, wanted to follow in his grandfathers’ footsteps, convinced the other heroes that he had powers by using an illegal drug to augment himself. When he was injured in a battle trying to save Captain America, he was given a blood transfusion by his grandfather which gave him real powers to fight as Patriot.

Miss America – Madeline Joyce

First appearance Marvel Mystery Comics #43 1943

Madeline Joyce was an heiress who tampered with a machine a scientist had created that he claimed gave him superpowers. While tampering with the machine it was hit with lightning and she gained powers. She used those powers to fight crime during World War II. She also fought alongside Captain America, Bucky, the original Human Torch, Toro, the Sub Mariner and the Whizzer in the All Winners Squad.

Liberty Bell – Libby Lawrence

First appearance Boy Commandos #1 1942

Libby Lawrence receives a bell-shaped medal that was shaped from a piece of the original Liberty Bell. When the actual Liberty Bell is rung it enhances her powers and she uses it to fight crime during World War II. She eventually becomes a member and chairperson of the All-Star Squadron and marries Johnny Chambers who is the superhero Johnny Quick. They have a daughter Jessie Quick who becomes the second Liberty Bell.

Uncle Sam

First appearance National Comics #1 1940

Uncle Sam is a mystical entity that is described as the “Spirit of America”. He leads the Freedom Fighters who exist on a world where the Nazis won World War II.

The Shield – Joe Higgins

First appearance Pep Comics #1 1940

Joe Higgins, the original Shield, was a chemist and the son of an army lieutenant that was working on a secret formula for super strength during World War II. When his father was killed by the Germans trying to get the formula, Joe finished his fathers work and used the formula to fight the Germans.

Captain America – Steve Rogers

First appearance Captain America Comics #1 1941

Steve Rogers receives the super soldier serum and becomes Captain America during World War II to fight the Nazis. During a battle with the Baron Zemo towards the end of the war, he is presumed dead but is really frozen in ice after falling in arctic waters trying to stop a bomb aimed for America. He is revived by the Avengers in the modern day and continues to fight crime and represent America.

Kenny Walker Jr