Wednesday, May 25, 2011

They are all 10's!

I have always liked strong, independent female characters. Whether in film or TV, OR in comics. I have never cared much for those eye candy, damsel in distress types as they tend to make for stereotyped role models. While Hollywood has sadly gone backward in this area, both TV and comics are replete with powerful, EMPOWERED female characters. From Scully to Buffy…from Starbuck to Nikita, the roster of strong women continues to grow. With that in mind I thought I would offer up a few words each about my personal favorite female comic book characters. In no particular order, here are my top ten.

Power Girl –Not only is she at superman levels with her powers, she is also a natural leader (JSA All-Stars). Karen is gutsy, decisive and smart. She is someone you believe that other very powerful men and women would willingly follow into battle.

On top of saving the world on a regular basis, PG is also the head of her very own company and has friends who DON’T necessarily dress up in spandex. As we all know Karen Starr tends to “stand out” in a crowd and the way she deals with the way the men around her are distracted by her *ahem* assets is funny, charming and surprisingly real in tone. I get a huge kick out of PG because she does come off as a “real” person with all the foibles and pratfalls we are all subject to.

Of all the characters on this list PG would the most fun on talk radio!

Sue Storm – Of all the female characters on this list, I think sue has come the farthest. As originally constructed, the “Invisible Girl” had a pretty wimpy power, spent her time as a) a hostage and b) mooning over Reed. Well Sue of today sure isn’t your daddy’s Invisible Girl. Today she is clearly the most powerful member of the FF AND co-leader along with Reed Richards. Sue has some serious Force Field Mojo that gives pause to all but the most powerful opponents.
On top of THAT Suzie is also wife, mother and mentor to quite the brood. From her two gifted children to DRAGON MAN, Sue Storm is the rock that holds the group together. Reed may be the brains but Sue is the heart and soul of the FF. A remarkable person.

Of all the characters in this list, PG is the one you’d like to go to a comedy club with!

Batwoman – Kate Kane is just plain TOUGH. Physically…mentally. She could give the big bat himself a pretty fair fight. Her personal code of ethics forbade her lying about her sexual orientation even though it effectively ended her military career. She went through some tough times after that but came out on top. She overcame. Together with her dad acting sort like her personal version of Oracle, Batwoman gets the job done efficiently and professionally.

Of all the characters on this list Kate is the one you want to teach you tactics and military theory.

Supergirl – How would you like to slap a big red “S” on your chest and try to live up to the mantle of Superman himself? How hard would THAT be? Now try doing it as a teenaged girl! A teenaged girl from out of town….WAY out of town.

Now I have been a Supergirl fan since the 1960’s so I am not even going to pretend to be unbiased here. But this version of the Girl of Steel shows a wonderful mix of courage and vulnerability. Kara regularly faces challenges that would give her legendary cousin pause. She does this even though she is not sure she will ever live up to Superman’s example. She overcomes even when she’s afraid. Now THAT’S courage.

Of all the characters on this list Kara is probably the most likely to listen attentively to your problems.

Witchblade – Sara Pezzini is Dirty Harry only TOUGHER. Plus HOT. And that’s not even counting her connection to one of the most powerful forces in the universe. She was seriously bad ass BEFORE that. Sara is regarded as one of the best cops on the force, even though her perps more often than not come in various states of disrepair. Pez is completely no nonsense and that INCLUDES her relationship with her (semi?) sentient weapon. As near as anyone can tell Sara is the first keeper of the blade to share even equal control over the relationship. In my opinion her most admirable character trait is her sense of duty. She has often wanted to relinquish the Witchblade and all the weirdness that goes along with it. But she sticks because she knows there is a job to be done and that she is the best person to do it.

Doesn’t matter if she’s happy with it. It’s her job and she does it.

Of all the characters in this list, Pez is probably the one you’d most want to have a beer with.

The Magdalena – I am about the current Magdalena (Patience) here. I LOVE this character. Here we have a direct descendant of Christ himself and the latest in a long line of divinely empowered holy warriors who DOES NOT TRUST THE VATICAN! And with good reason. They see her merely as a weapon while Patience wants a life AND a reason for what she does. She is not content to merely take orders from the church. Patience wants to know WHY she is being aimed at her foes. She sees herself as a person and a warrior, NOT a tool. Talk about conflict. I mean she trusts Vampirella more than the Vatican!

Of all the characters on this list patience is the one I want to get my back in a barroom brawl!

Wonder Woman – Diana inspires. She inspires just by the example she sets every day. Like Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman is so much more than just her powers and skills. She’s one of THE BIG THREE. Other heroes want to live up to her example. At her very best Diana is both Warrior and Diplomat. She is an emissary of peace…just sometimes with a sword.

In comic book history and popular culture Wonder Woman is the very embodiment of female empowerment. Just ask Denny O’Neill what happened when he tried to depower Diana!

He took away Wonder Woman's powers, exiled her from the Amazon community, and set her off,sans costume, into international intrigues with her blind mentor, the dubiously-named I Ching. These changes did not sit well with Wonder Woman's older fans, such as Gloria Steinem.

Of all the characters on this list Diana is the one I’d most likely become tongue tied with!

Catwoman – You can never tell whether or not Selina is a hero or a villain. She IS the best thief in the DCU though. What makes her so appealing to me is how free she is. Selina follows no rules but her own. She goes where she will, does what she wants and loves at her own discretion. Catwoman is also extremely loyal to her friends and those she cares about. She is SO loyal that even though she knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman she has never betrayed that secret.

Of all the characters on this list I would most want Catwoman with me in a fox hole.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Funny, sardonic, super powered, independent AND well dressed? Buffy may just be the coolest hero EVER. Now I won’t talk about Buffy the movie or TV character. Just the comic book hero. What a journey she’s been on! Season Nine has seen her at the head of a Slayer Army, experimenting with her sexuality AND crashing through a mountain whilst having sex with a super powered Angel. Oh and her sister was a centaur and also a Giant. Makes me tired just thinking about it! On a more serious note, Buffy is perhaps as nurturing as Sue Storm. The Scubbies are not just her allies and friends. She sees them as family. When Buffy commits to someone, it’s forever. She even love Faith like a sister, though she’d never admit it.

Of all the characters on this list I would be most likely to invite Buffy to Thanksgiving Dinner.

Oracle – Started out as Batgirl. Shotgunned by the Joker and put in a wheelchair for life and THEN became truly dangerous to criminals as Oracle, hacker supreme. Every time Oracle appears on the comic book page she shows us what true courage is. She is an example of the indomitable spirit that all people are capable of. Plus she is also UBER hot! Barbara single handedly held no Man’s Land together in the early days after the big Quake. She also demonstrates that intellect is a far greater weapon than muscle.

Of all the characters on this list Barbara is the one I would want to coach my little league team!

So that’s my personal top ten. I wanted to squeeze Batgirl in here as I find Stephanie brown one of the most delightful characters in comics but she JUST missed the cut. Make her a solid 10A!

And that’s 30!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This N' That - Post Smallville Edition!

Now for something totally random....

In 1942, a company called Tim Publications, Inc. used to print small, 6" x 9" booklets in black with a single color as promotions to help sell their line of children’s clothing. These booklets were issued monthly, and the stores created clubs for the kids.

The club you belonged to was age specific with Superman-Tim being dedicated to the younger set.

The first issue of Superman-Tim was published in 1942 and ran through 1950.

The Superman-Tim comic had three purposes: First, to sell items in the Superman-Tim clothing line, second, to build moral character and teach social responsibility, and third, to create hours of fun for grade-school boys.

The Superman-Tim comics didn't feature traditional stories. They were od an activity book along the lines of the widely distributed “highlights” magazine for elementary school students.

Over time Superman-Tim began to feature short stories outside the mainstream Superman universe. These stories generally had a lesson for young children
involving Superman and Tim having adventures together. These 16-page stories were all produced by the Siegel/Shuster Studios.

A combination of low print runs and spotty distribution make these books VERY rare. In addition the book’s contents usually consisted of single-page features intended to be torn out of the comic and either solved or assembled so most copies were actually destroyed.

Superman-Tim comics in VG or better condition are highly-prized collector’s items and go for hundreds, even thousands of dollars.


Witchblade is FIFTEEN years old! Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are celebrating the 15th anniversary of Witchblade with an oversized stand-alone issue by Witchblade team Ron Marz and Stjepan Sejic.
Witchblade #144, is available NOW.

Get ready for Superman to enter the beyond Universe!
The Man of Steel stars in a spin-off from the Batman Beyond comic. Superman Beyond #0 will bring Kal-El back into action to stop an immensely powerful foe, even as his own Kryptonian powers begin to fade.

Smallville may be gone but the DVD’s live on. This fall the entire 10 year run of Smallville will be available in one big package! I am all OVER this one!

(Source: Warner Home Video)
After 10 incredible seasons, Smallville: The Complete Series will arrive on DVD this fall. This ultimate collector’s set for the ultimate fan features over 192 hours of content – including all 218 episodes, over five hours of newly added special features such as an unaired, never-before-seen Superboy pilot from 1961, a 90-minute series retrospective with all new interviews, the 2010 final Comic-Con panel and more!

In addition, exclusive printed materials include a Daily Planet newspaper, written by DC Comics, that highlights the important storylines developed during the 10-year run of the show and an episode guide with never-before-seen production art (storyboards/sketches) and behind-the-scenes photos. Smallville: The Complete Series is presented in highly collectable new packaging consisting of two lay-flat picture books that hold 62 discs.

“It’s been an unbelievable 10 season run for Smallville, still one of the most popular series on television and one of our best-selling titles on DVD,” said Rosemary Markson, WHV Vice President, TV and Special Interest Marketing. “The fan base for the franchise is not only huge, but loyal and they’re going to love this ultimate collector’s edition.”

Soaring toward the end of its 10th and final season, this modern retelling of a hero’s legendary origins blends realism, action, heart and humor as Clark Kent completes his epic journey by claiming his birthright as the world’s ultimate hero – Superman.

I wonder if we’ll see a BluRay version!


Speaking of BluRay here are some details about the forthcoming STAR WARS collection(s). All I can say is WOW!

(Source: Lucasfilm)

Bring home the adventure and share Star Wars with your whole family – when Star Wars: The Complete Saga comes to Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment! To be released beginning on September 12 internationally and on September 16 in North America, the nine-disc collection brings the wonder of the entire Saga direct to your living room, where you can revisit all of your favorite Star Wars moments – in gorgeous high definition and with pristine, 6.1 DTS Surround Sound. Dive deeper into the universe with an unprecedented 40+ hours of special features, highlighted by never-before-seen content sourced from the Lucasfilm archives.

The comprehensive collection also features numerous deleted, extended and alternate scenes, new documentaries and a cross-section of the countless Star Wars spoofs that have appeared in pop culture over the past three decades. Marking the first time ever that the full Saga is available in one complete collection, Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-Ray also features a coveted peek into the making of the Saga with vintage documentaries, audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes moments, interviews, prop and costume turnarounds, retrospectives and more.


Entertainment Weekly reports that NBC has passed on picking up David E. Kelley’s Wonder Woman.
Reasons for their refusal are unknown, although speculation is that it was a combination of mixed reviews of the pilot during the test screenings, the fury online over the new costume, and just general reluctance to give an action-based show with a female lead a chance.


Which forces me to point out once again that…..

The Tick is STILL $%#@#$% Cancelled!!!! Is there no justice for the greatest (and most clueless) hero ever known???!!!


That’s 30!


Thursday, May 5, 2011



Some would argue this is the best day of the year in the world of comics. We couldn't agree more. Put simply, if you've never experienced a Free Comic Book Day before, NOW IS THE TIME! The date - Saturday, May 7th. What is it? Are they really free? YES! Every publisher puts out a free comic or two for this very special day once a year. All you have to do is come in and pick out what you want! We'll also be joined by some artists and writers in the comic book industry to do sketches and talk comics so make sure you stop by! More info on our guests to be announced soon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Truth… Justice…All That Jazz!

You knew I was going to weigh in on this one, right?

Last week, Action #900 hit the stands. A milestone not only for Superman but for the entire comic book industry. It is a 96 page spectacular that features several stories. One in particular touched off no small amount of controversy, not to mention news stories.

The story that caused all the ruckus is “The Incident”, written by David S. Goyer. In the story , The Man Of Steel takes part in a non-violent protest in Iran, which mirrors closely events happening in the real world. People all over the Middle East are crying out for their essential rights to Truth, Justice and Freedom. In solidarity Superman plants himself like a tree, not moving or speaking but letting his presence serve as a personal statement.

What could be more AMERICAN than that?

Of course when Superman returns to the US he is confronted by a presidential aide who lets our guy have it with both barrels:

“So what purpose did your showboating serve? Your actions have created an international incident. The Iranian government is accusing you of acting on the President’s behalf. They’re calling your interference an act of war.”

Superman agrees that his act WAS foolish, which is why he is going to inform the UN that he is renouncing his American Citizenship. He is tired of having his actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy.

In short The Man Of Tomorrow believes that “Truth, Justice, and The American Way, it’s not enough anymore”

Superman wants to be a hero and a symbol to ALL the people of the earth. He wants to do everything to bring freedom to people who are lacking it.

What could be more American than THAT?

So a bunch of news reporters who probably never read the story , tab Superman as a “traitor”.

First of all, Superman is not a person. Superman is a JOB. Clark Kent is the real person and HE is not renouncing anything, so Tea Party members can relax and go back to polishing their framed Joe McCarthy photographs.

As to Superman he simply has recognized what ANY thinking person in the 21st century should know. We are a GLOBAL community.

The phrase “Truth, Justice and the American Way” was made famous by the introduction of the Adventures Of Superman with George Reeves. A show I grew up loving, but also a show produced at the HEIGHT of the Cold War. It was a time when jingoism ran rampant through our country, A time when we blacklisted people who we only SUSPECTED had communist leanings.

Those days are gone. It is 2011 now, and the character reflects the sensibilities of THIS generation, not necessarily mine.

Superman wants to serve that global community AND protect his country from political blowback. Those are not the acts of a traitor. They are the acts of a patriot.

This sort of thing is hardly unprecedented in comics. We have seen the Justice League Of America become Justice League International and just plain Justice League.

Back in the 1970’s Steve Rogers renounced the mantle of Captain America and became Nomad because he found that serving the American Idea and serving any single administration were not necessarily the same thing. He only picked up the Shield again once he was able to make it clear that he was serving the American WAY as opposed to a political reality.

Superman…Clark is a quintessentially AMERICAN individual. Like many immigrants he has embraced the American Idea even more fervently than a native born person. He understands that freedom, justice, individual rights, all at the CORE of the American Idea must extend to ALL people or they mean nothing. At the heart of this concept is President Lincoln’s observation that as long as ONE person is denied freedom, no one is really free.

What could be more American than LINCOLN?

So calm down!

Whatever label he chooses to wear…Human, Kryptonian, World Citizen of The World

…Superman will always fight for



And YES,

The American Way

(And can we get a Superman Cap team up? Just for me??!...please?)

That’s 30!