Scary Shorties: Superman, The Mummy Strikes (1943)

Boils and ghouls, your attention please! Kinky Ho-rror presents an all-old cartoon program, featuring a thrilling adventure of an amazing and incredible personality. Faster than a speeding demon! More powerful than a loco maniac! Able to leap tall tombs at a single bound! Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bat! It’s a witch! No, it’s…
That’s right, boils and ghouls! We’re presenting a classic outing of the Man of Steel in glorious Technicolor! Of course, with our minds in the grave, we picked a short that’s a little on the fright side…
The Mummy Strikes (1943) is the fourteenth of seventeen Fleischer Studios/Famous Studios Superman shorts, but it almost feels like a condensed Universal horror film. There’s a dead Egyptologist. an assistant accused of murder, a terrible curse, and two very unfriendly mummies. The two mummies are actually rather unnerving for a superhero short. It may be rather silly to admit, but this scene still gives me the willies…
I mean, it ain’t Boris Karloff driving a man insane in The Mummy (1932), but that’s still one heck of a resurrection!
This short isn’t as heavy on the superheroics as the other 16 shorts, but it’s got ominous atmosphere in spades. It’s creepy, it’s thrilling, and it has the Big Blue Boy Scout  roughing up some ancient abominations. I’d say there are worse things to get WRAPPED up in on a Saturday Morning!
Hey, if you think that’s a groaner, this short ends on the most wonderfully ho-rrible pun imaginable. It’s a play on a line from Blues in the Night, and I can’t imagine a better way to end a mummy story!
For thrills, chills, mummies, heroes, and puns, click on the moving picture box below:

Have a Super Saturday, Kinky Ho-mies!! 🙂 xoxo

Opinion Piece: Justice League Trailer Breakdown & Wonder Woman Thoughts

(Submitted by the stately Prince Adam…Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Kinky Ho-mie. 🙂 xoxo)

March 25th marked the one year anniversary of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. To commemorate this fact, Warner Brothers dropped the first legitimate trailer for the first ever live action Justice League film. Before I discuss that, there’s another important DC Films project releasing on June 2. That film is the long awaited, long overdue Wonder Woman film. For my money this is the first bonafide female led superhero film. No I don’t count the Catwoman or Elektra films, as they were utter horse shit and complete bastardizations of their characters. Unlike those farces, Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot looks incredible.  I love that the film is a straight up origin tale. Some fans may be getting tired of origin films but Wonder Woman has never had one and thus, I think it is necessary.  From the trailers, specifically the most recent one, I love the contrast of the pristine, seemingly untouched beauty of Themyscira, compared with the smoke filled war torn London England. The home of the Amazon’s is a parallel for heaven, while man’s world looks like hell.  Diana’s journey from childhood princess to warrior/superhero is reminiscent of Bruce Wayne’s journey from orphan to vigilante in Batman Begins.  My favorite scenes of the trailer are the training on Paradise Island and Wonder Woman emerging from the trenches onto the battlefield, deflecting bullets with her bracelets. That’s symbolic because Wonder Woman is emerging from the trenches into a no man’s land while the men fall behind her. This film is culturally and socially important because Wonder Woman is stepping out of the shadows and standing front and center, in a film genre, that for far too long, has been dominated by men.  I think the movie is going to be a big hit at the box-office. However, there is a smear campaign going on against the film in the blog sphere.  It started way back when Gal Gadot was first cast.  They said she was not muscular enough and that her boobs were too small.  Then she appeared in BvS and fans loved Gal as Wonder Woman. So now that the fans are onboard, the clickbait websites need a different kind of hate to spew, so they make up headlines about Wonder Woman’s armpits being bleached, and joke about the JL Wonder Woman poster looking as though she’s pissing fire.  My message to fans of Wonder Woman and DC Films; when Wonder Woman hits theaters, buy tickets to see the film.  If you can, pre-order them. Buy Wonder Woman related products and apparel from the film. Let’s show these haters that we want more Wonder Woman, we want more DC Films and we want more female led superhero films.

June 2nd isn’t the only time you’ll see Wonder Woman on screen in 2017.  She’ll join Batman and form the Justice League on November 17th.  The first trailer for the film has just been released and I love it. It is a fantastic teaser. I know it’s long to be classified as a teaser, but they’re typically all that long now.  As a teaser, it gave us the right amount of nuts and bolts of story for still being 8 months out.  An alien threat has come to earth, and Batman and Wonder Woman are recruiting a team of meta humans to stand against them.  We then get character moments highlighting how “super” each one of them is.  Aquaman got the best few solo shots of the trailer.  First, parting the sea by smashing the butt of his trident to the ground.  I mean, even Moses would be jealous of that shit! There’s also the scene where he throws his trident, impaling two pardemons.  Ezra Miller’s take on The Flash looked cool as well. This iteration seems to run through the speed force every time he uses his speed, which is a novel approach that differentiates from the television incarnation. I love how happy he is to be doing the superhero thing and being part of this team.   For the most part, I liked the look of Cyborg.  My favorite frame of his was when he was in flight. You can tell the visual effects on him aren’t finished but given that we’re 8 months out, I’m not concerned.   We know how BADASS Batman and Wonder Woman are already, but Zack Snyder reminds us by showing Batman using the Gatling gun on the Batmobile to take out parademons. I’m honestly shocked to have seen this because after years of WB being under the Chris Nolan worldview, the thought of Batman fighting aliens seemed like a nonstarter. Also, Wonder Woman’s apparent signature slow motion leg sweep/kick is present and accounted for.  The humor in the trailer works, it doesn’t seem forced at all. Barry asks Bruce what his super-power is, to which Bruce says; I’m rich.  There’s also a scene of Batman being joined by Aquaman on the roof of the GCPD, where Aquaman says; “Dressed like a bat. I dig it.  Also, this scene gives us our first look at J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. God bless Zack Snyder for giving us vintage Jim Gordon, complete with big white mustache, fedora and trench coat. The brief moments of character interactions we got between the heroes reminded me so much of the Justice League animated series. In fact, my favourite scene is the “line up shot”, featuring every Justice League member with the sun glistening behind them.  This was a clear homage to the intro of the animate series that gave me goosebumps.

What I love about the last Wonder Woman trailer and first Justice League trailer, is that they showed us a lot, while revealing very little.  With Wonder Woman, we have yet to see Ares and for Justice League, we’ve yet to see Superman’s return or Steppenwolf.  To be honest, I hope we don’t see them until we’re all sitting in the theater watching the films. No need to blow your proverbial Ares and Superman loads too quickly Warner Brothers.  I was extremely happy and satisfied with both Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad.  However, Wonder Woman and Justice League prove the best is yet to come for DC Films,

#SuperheroSunday Comic Book Review: Superman: Birthright

(Submitted by fellow Superman Superfan, Mr. Dr. Prince Adam…Super-Hugs, Super Ho-mie, and Happy #SuperheroSunday, Superfiends!! 😉 xoxo)

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Superman Birthright is another re-telling of the Man of Steel’s origins.  Ultimately, it is a modernization of a classic tale, a melding of old and new. Unlike Superman: Earth One, this was meant to be DC’s official incontinuity Superman origin story  The tale begins on the planet Krypton, where chief scientist Jor – El, is testing a prototype rockets potential journey into space via computer.  Jor – El’s wife Lara enters the room with baby Kal – El in her arms.  Jor – El recounts to the Council of Elders that the planet Krypton is doomed.  The only way to ensure the safety of their son and preservation of their race, is to rocket him into space to another planet. Jor – El is insecure of this, as he is yet to find a civilization as advanced as Krypton.  Lara reassures him it’s the right thing to do.  As the planet begins to tremor, the boy is placed in the rocket and Jor – El programs earth’s co-ordinates into the ship.  Earth’s yellow sun will give Kal – El abilities far beyond those of mortal men.  As the planet explodes and the ship departs, Kal – El’s parents wonder what will become of him.  In the ship accompanying Kal – El are a hand held holographic projector embedded with all of Krypton’s history and a quilt bearing the symbol and colours of the House of El.  While I prefer Earth being pre chosen as the destination for Kal – E, this version is just as good because the last minute finding of earth serves as hope for Jor – El and Lara for their son’s survival. Just as their son will serve as a symbol of hope for humanity.

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The story then jumps forward 25 years.  Clark Kent is in Africa working as a freelance reporter.  He meets a man named Kobe Azuru, who is an activist against tribalism.  Kobe advises Clark to embrace his heritage.  One day while covering a story on Kobe, assassins make an attempt on his life.  Clark intervenes and saves his life.  Here we are first introduced to Clark’s super strength and heat vision.  The heat vision looks like the special effect on Smallville.  It seems to intensify depending on his mood.  I like this aspect because it adds realism to the ability and differentiates heat vision from laser beams ala Cyclops.  There is a majestic looking sequence in the book, where Clark flies over a herd of Zebra’s in the African plains. As we know, this scene was transplanted into Man of Steel and was equally as beautiful.  This origin story gives Clark a new power, “soul vision”.  Clark is able to see the soul or aura around any living being.  In an email to his Earth mother, Martha Kent, Clark says that the aura is a multitude of colours and when a living creature dies everything goes dark.  This is why Clark is a vegetarian in this version of the story.  Many fans took exception with this, but I don’t because it makes sense in the context of this story and adds to Superman’s resolve against killing. Eventually, Kobe is killed in an assassination despite Clark’s efforts to prevent it, prompting Clark to return home to Smallville.

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The Kent’s, Clark’s adoptive parents are younger than previous iterations.  In both age and actions, they mimic their Smallville counterparts.  Both have a hand in helping Clark shape his dual identity.  The main reason for doing this is so Clark can maximize his full potential.  He can help people and feel connected to humanity.  After deciding to adopt the look of his birthplace, Martha uses the quilt that was in the space shuttle to create a costume.  Then the family begins crafting the “mild –mannered reporter” disguise.  They put Clark in clothes that are slightly big on him to hide his physique.  They advise him to slouch, so he won’t stand out in a crowd and train him to speak in a higher pitch, changing his voice from when he’s in costume.  Even after all this, his eyes still stand out so the decision is made for Clark to wear his father’s glasses.  While they don’t change the colour, “the way the light refracts through the lens it cuts the colour.”  Clark departs for Metropolis.  This story gives Jonathan and Martha Kent a larger role in the creation of Clark’s dual identities rather than Martha just acting as his seamstress.  The Kent’s are now an integral part of their son’s past, present and future.  I also enjoyed the explanation of every aspect of the disguise, especially the glasses and how they can actually slightly alter his appearance.  It is the most in-depth and realistically plausible explanation in any medium.

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When the story hits Metropolis, the reader is instantly put in a post 9/11 world.  A cab driver informs Clark that the armed copters overhead are anti-terrorist measures performing a test run.  Putting this Superman origin in a world fearful of terrorism is smart because not only does it make the story more relatable, it allows the character to stay relevant in society.  This is why the character has lasted so long and will continue because he changes with society.  Everyone at the Daily Planet is status quo.  Perry White is a driven editor who wants the best from his staff and paper.  Lois Lane is the ever-feisty female reporter.  She is respected by her peers and fights for the “little guy.”  Clark first encounters Lois protecting Jimmy Olsen from a public humiliation from the Planet’s publisher.  Clark sees this and is enamoured with her.  I love the fact that Clark falls for Lois because of her personality, above and beyond her looks.  During his interview with Perry White, Clark has perfected the bumbling, mild-mannered routine.  He is jittery, soft-spoken and constantly looking at his shoes.  The disguise almost costs him the job, until he makes a passionate argument as to why he deserves it.  An anti-terrorist copter crashes through the window of Perry’s office, just as Clark pushes him out of the way.  The confusion in the office allows Clark to leap out the window unnoticed and change into Superman.  Whether on the printed page or on screen, the “shirt rip” that reveals the “S” insignia is always intense.  All the copters have malfunctioned and Superman proceeds to dismantle and stop them.  In an attempt to follow the story, Lois and Jimmy board the Daily Planet helicopter.  A problem with the throttle causes Lois to hit one of the anti-terrorist copters.  As the helicopter falls from the sky, Jimmy falls out while Lois is trapped inside.  In an action packed two-page spread paying homage to Superman: The Movie, we see Superman holding the helicopter with Lois inside in one hand, while catching Jimmy with the other.  After averting the disaster, Superman uses his super hearing and telescopic vision to discover that Lex Luthor sabotaged the anti-terrorist weapons.  When he confronts Lex, Superman speaks as if the two individuals know each other.  Lex seems confused by the implication.  When the media arrives Lex puts on a show, calling the attacks horrible and thanks Superman for his efforts.  Disgusted, Superman flies away.  The reader is left wondering what Superman and Lex’s past connection is, and why Lex doesn’t remember it.  The people of Metropolis seem to adore Superman after his first appearance. Lois also wins praise for her article on the Man of Steel and Clark secures himself a job based on his expose on Luthor’s connection to the attacks.

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The books focus shifts to Lex Luthor.  Not only is he a businessman, he is also a scientist.  This is a melding of Lex’s pre-crisis and post-crises origins.  This serves to satisfy all fans, while making Lex a better rounded complex character.  Lex’s company, LexCorp, also funds a scientific observatory devoted to the discovery of extra-terrestrial life.  All research is based on a discovery Lex made when he was a child.  This fascination adds another layer to the relationship of Superman and Lex Luthor.  Superman is the validation of Lex’s findings but cannot be used to achieve Lex’s motivations, which frustrates Lex.  Thus, when he reveals his data on Superman’s powers and birth planet to Lois and Clark, he puts a negative spin on it.  It is also revealed that Lex possesses a green stone engraved with Superman’s insignia.  Back at the Daily Planet, Clark is forced to write an article chronicling Lex’s findings and wonders what impact it will have on the public’s perception of Superman.  Later, when Superman stops a train from derailing and asks if there is a doctor available to help the injured driver, bystanders cower in fear of Superman.  Lex’s plan appears to be working.  An explosion on a Metropolis bridge forces Superman back into action.  As Superman is holding the cables, Lex sets off another explosion to make it seem like Superman is tearing the bridge apart.  Superman tries to save a civilian but he is weakened by radiation from a green meteorite.  To escape its effects, Superman jumps into the water under the bridge.  The public’s trust of Superman deteriorates even further due to these seemingly coward-like actions of leaving the scene in the midst of danger.

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Clark returns to Smallville to re-group and recalls his first experience with the meteorite, which ties into his past with Lex Luthor.  It turns out that Clark and Lex went to high school together because Lex was held back after doodling schematics for an invention on an aptitude test.  Lex is a mere 3 years older than Clark.  I like this take better than Smallville’s version because the T.V. version of his father being in town on business seems too coincidental and contrived.  Clark and Lex befriend each other due to their mutual belief in extra-terrestrial life and their sense of isolation from the rest of society.  One day, Lex shows Clark the wormhole device he invented that can communicate with past alien civilizations.  Lex reveals the power source of the machine, the green meteorite. Exposure begins to make Clark ill and he cowers in pain.  Lex misinterprets the reaction as fear and throws Clark out of the laboratory.  Just as Lex makes contact with the Kryptonian civilization, the power source overloads causing an explosion.  Not only is Lex’s research gone, his hair has been burned off his scalp, and his father is killed.  Fast forward to present day, Lex has once again made contact with the Kryptonians, and uses the images to fabricate reports of an alien attack on earth led by Superman.  Author Mark Waid understands that Lex is a threat to Superman because of his conniving mind.  He is an adversary Superman must outsmart constantly, and due to Superman’s own moral code cannot be eliminated by physical means. In addition to Mark Waid borrowing from Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum, Zack Snyder and Geoff Johns have admitted to referencing this Lex for BvS. This is obvious in his look and his machinations to discredit Superman to the people of Metropolis.

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As the story progresses, Superman saves Lois once again, this time from mob gunfire.  As he flies her to safety at sunrise, she tells him she trusts him and wants to help clear his name.  This is one reason why Superman loves Lois; she is one of the few reporters who is concerned with reporting the truth, rather than selling a paper.  Superman decides to confront Luthor.  Here, due to his extremely large ego, Lex reveals to Superman information about his origins.  He tells him about Krypton and its explosion and dubs the green meteorite that is lethal to Superman, “Kryptonite”.  Lex enjoys the perverse pleasure of not only informing Superman that he is alone in the universe, but also revealing his plan to discredit and eliminate Superman.  Superman vows to stop him and flies off.  While Clark later reads a rival paper, which indicates the public fear Superman, one of Lex’s “Kryptonian” warships attacks.  

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Here’s where the story gets a little sour.  The warship is a giant robotic spider.  No, don’t get your eyes checked, you read that correctly.  Does it sound familiar?  Either Mark Waid was inebriated when he wrote this, or Jon Peters was an unaccredited story consultant.  This is one of the reasons I can’t give this book a perfect grade.  Why did Waid use a spider?  He is so knowledgeable in Superman lore, yet he chose to take one of the most dreaded plot devices from an unused Superman script and insert it into the book.  My suggestion, take Maalox or Pepto Bismol before reading this chapter of the story.  Anyway, Superman confronts the war craft, but Lex found a way to disperse Kryptonian radiation into the air.  Weakened and being chased by the police, Superman has lost hope and decides to return home.  As Superman watches from the sky, his symbol is being burned into the ground as a brand. Upset, he decides to stay and defend Metropolis.  Before he does so, he confides in Lois about Lex’s plot and the effects Kryptonite has on him.  He tells her that it is the key to Luthor’s whole charade and asks Lois for her help to expose Lex.  Superman rejoins the war zone severely weakened by Kryptonite.  Still, he goes toe to toe with Van-Gar, the “Kryptonian” leader.  At the same time, he manages to reveal to Metropolis that the “invasion” is a hoax. Nearby, Lois manages to pull the kryptonite out of the control panel at LexCorp and as a result, half of Van-Gar’s army disappears.  As the citizens witness Superman’s heroism, they pick up make shift weaponry and stand in front of him, ready to defend their city.  I’m glad this was included, because it shows that Superman is a symbol of hope and inspiration, not because of his amazing abilities but because of his actions in doing good and helping others first and foremost.

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Back at Lexcorp, Lex captures Lois after finding her with the kryptonite.  Lex tries to “get rid “of Lois by pushing her out the window.  However, after defeating Van-Gar Superman catches Lois just before she hits the ground.  Following a battle with Lex at Lexcorp, Superman begins seeing “video” from Krypton.  Superman is essentially watching his past, seeing Jor – El and Lara place him in the ship and rocket him to Earth.  Prior to the end of the transmission Superman somehow breaks through the time barrier sending his parents a message.  Kal – El tells his parents he is fine and made it to earth.  Back at the Daily Planet, Lois and Clark share their first front-page story.  Clark teases Lois about her feelings for Superman, which she denies while doodling Superman’s insignia on a blank sheet of paper.  The book ends with one of the most poignant scenes in a comic book.  As the planet Krypton is falling apart, Jor – El and Lara receive their son’s message.  Their son is alive and living a prosperous life.  They will live on forever through him.  They share one final embrace. This scene started my penchant of crying while reading it the first time.

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Superman: Birthright is an immensely satisfying Superman story.  It has all the action, sci-fi, humor, and romance you expect from a good Superman tale.  Mark Waid knows Superman lore well.  The only thing missing from said lore in this story was the Fortress of Solitude, which could have been included instead of that ridiculous robotic spider, but I digress.  Leinil Yu’s art is realistic and vibrant.  It’s as if Yu tapped into the minds of Superman fans, and mapped out the artwork from there.  Each character has a distinctly different look, a skill few modern comics artists have.  Superman: Birthright is a solid beginning to an ongoing enduring saga.

Ho-stess’s PS- Speaking of Superman… 😉 #hehe #GOAT!!!!!!!! #SuperheroSunday for really reals!! 😉 xoxo

brady201


    

#SuperheroSaturday Comic Book Review: Smallville Season 11 #10-12

(Submitted by our Heroic Ho-mie, Mr. Dr. Prince Adam, Esquire…Thank you, kindest of Super Sirs!! 😉 xoxo)

“The story arc kicking off the SEASON PREMIERE EVENT concludes! CHLOE and OLIVER make a shocking discovery as they come face-to-face with the sole survivor of the crash. More machine than man, an out-of-control HENSHAW must be stopped – this looks like a job for SUPERMAN!” (DC Comics)

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The season premiere is finally over and despite it dragging in places, the final act was definitely worth the wait. Up to this point I had been enjoying this season premiere, even though part of me felt that it wasn’t going to end up as good as some of the ones on t.v.  Thanks to these last issues, this premiere ranks among some of the best of the series. The main reason, this issues is jam-packed with heart.  I’ve never really gravitated towards the Cyborg Superman of the mainstream continuity.  Maybe it’s because he hasn’t had a worthwhile story since Reign of the Superman. Or maybe it’s because aesthetically he looks like the lovechild of the Superman and Terminator film franchises.  Whatever it is, he hasn’t clicked with me. This versio,n however, absolutely clicked with me.  I can feel his emotions.  I understand his anger towards Lex Luthor and Superman for his current situation.  I sympathize with his frustration, at not being able to express his emotions. The writer has really managed to humanize this man turned machine effectively.

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The dialogue written for Superman is fantastic in this issue.  When he tells Henshaw that he can’t save everyone, the fact that the thought keeps him up at night, but he keep trying to make that a reality; that’s powerful stuff.  Words like that have me believing that Bryan Q. Miller completely gets Superman, Smallville version or otherwise. Lex Luthor using the shuttle explosion as a means to  “paint” Superman with radiation, so that satellites can track his every movement leaves Superman paralyzed.  Not in a physical sense, but mentally and emotionally.  Superman can’t continue his “normal” life with Lois because otherwise, Lex and God knows who else, would know that Clark Kent is Superman. The exchange with Lois and Clark at the end of issue twelve, while Superman listens from above earth’s orbit, had me on the verge of tears. I won’t spoil the surprise of who the mystery traveler is, but their identity, place of origin, and words of warning, were a complete shocker for me.

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I really liked the different visual aesthetic to Hank Henshaw a.k.a Cyborg Superman.  This may be hypocritical of me, but while i dislike mainstream Cyborg Superman for looking like a Superman infused Terminator knockoff, I like this version for its similar look to the robots of the film I Robot. There’s a fantastic exterior shot of the Metropolis skyline, from The Daily Planet’s point of view.  I absolutely love this book’s versions of Superman hovering above the earth.  It’s a reminder of how small this larger than life superhero is, in comparison to the world he protects.  My one problem with the art is consistency.  Earlier on in the premiere, there were times that Clark/Superman looked like Tom Welling.  Other times he looked like a pre-teen Superboy.  This fluctuation seemed to disappear for a while but it’s back in these 3 issues quite a bit, and it irks me.

At the end of a 12 issue season premiere, I’m comfortable in saying this season 11 premier ranks as one of my favourite premieres of the series. It has action, emotion, character development, and an ending that leaves you waiting for the next episode.

 

#SuperheroSunday Comic Book Review- Injustice: Gods Among Us Volume 1, #1-3

(Submitted by Prince Adam…Thanks, Heroic Ho-miebot!! 😉 xoxo)

“The Man of Steel’s at a happy point in his life–he’s got some good news to share with Batman. But tragic times are just around the corner, as one of Batman’s deadliest foes is in Metropolis on a surprise visit! When someone close to Superman disappears–apparently a kidnapping victim–the Man of Steel summons his fellow Justice League members to help him search. But why can’t Superman find this person himself? And will their efforts be in time? Superman battles one of his most deadly foes while an innocent life is in danger. Tragic events are about to unfold that will change the course of history for the heroes of the DC Universe. It all kicks into high gear here!” (DC Comics)

injustice2Comic book based video games have for the most part been absolutely horrible, with the exception of the Batman: Arkham series. Likewise, comic book tie-ins for said games have been nothing more than a cash crab. So, it is with absolute pleasure that I declare this prequel comic to the video game of the same name, absolutely fantastic! This is a darker take on the DC Universe than normal but with good reason. This book definitely has a mix of Kingdom Come and Red Son to it, with writer Tom Taylor putting his own unique twist on the proceedings. Taylor takes Superman from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, emotionally speaking. One issue Superman discovers his wife Lois Lane is pregnant, but by issue three both Lois and his baby have died by Superman’s hand. Well, the Joker, Harley Quinn and Scarecrow had a big part to play, but talk about hitting rock bottom. The dialogue that accompanied Superman’s realization at what happened had me in tears. Tom Taylor handles the Lois/Clark, Batman/Superman, and Joker/Harley interactions perfectly. It’s as if he’s been a part of these characters lives for years.

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The art by Jheremy Raapack and Mike Miller is just as strong as the writing. Both artists effectively pull off the emotional roller coaster Superman and the other characters are going through. These two artist really have a good handle on the armored costumes the heroes are wearing. They’re far more armored than what we’ve seen in the New 52. In the screenshots for the game some costumes look as though there’s too much going on there. However, the two artists have these costumes growing on me. There are some great images in this book including, Batman and Superman hovering above the night sky in Metropolis, Superman confronting and then flying “Doomsday” into space. Then there’s the very ominous cover that makes you want to turn the page, digitally or physically!

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I know it’s early in the read for me, but this is the best Elseworld’s tale I’ve read in years! Furthermore, it’s one of the best “Digital First” books DC Comics is putting out right now, which speaks to why the title is still going. I’ve been getting these ever since they first came out, yet somehow always forgot to read them. With the announcement of a sequel game and subsequent trailers, I got the nudge I needed. Now I can’t wait to read more and see where this goes.

#SuperheroSaturday: Superman Returns To End The Donner-Verse!

(Submitted by Prince Adam…Thank you, Batman’s Bitch!! 😉 #TEAMSUPES4EVA!! xoxo)

Anyone who knows me, knows that for the longest time I’ve had a rather intense dislike for Bryan Singer’s 2006 film Superman Returns. With this being the 10 year anniversary of the release of the film, I’ve been thinking a lot about Superman Returns. Up until now I’ve regarded Superman Returns as a film with some really good moments, however for me overall it was a series of colossal misfires. I maintain that trying to relaunch the Superman film franchise in the continuity of the Richard Donner films of the late 70’s and early 80’s was a mistake. Even worse, was the plot point of giving Superman a child at the outset of this relaunched franchise. What if Superman Returns isn’t looked at as the revitalization of Superman on film, but rather the finale of the “Donner verse”? Despite Warner Brothers hoping that Superman Returns would relaunch the franchise, and despite Bryan Singer being unwilling to classify this film as an outright sequel, make no mistake, Superman Returns is essentially the finale of a Superman trilogy in the vein of what Richard Donner started in Superman: The Movie (1978), and partially continued in Superman II (1980).

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When thought of in this context some of the glaring problems I had with Superman Returns make sense. First, why would Superman leave Earth, in the hopes of finding Krypton, when he knows it’s long gone? Well, what does Superman really know about Krypton? In the first Superman film, a holographic projection of his father Jor-El tells him the planet exploded. Then in Superman II, the criminals of Krypton, who were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, escaped and wreaked havoc on Earth. Then, five years prior to Superman Returns, astronomers reportedly found Krypton. Now, given that Superman got all his information about Krypton from essentially a recording, and given that Superman didn’t know that the Phantom Zone was a separate entity from Krypton, I believe Superman would second guess the destruction of Krypton, and if there was a slight chance that his home planet wasn’t destroyed he’d go see for himself, because maybe that means he’s not Krypton’s last son….he’s not alone!
Jason White… a.k.a. the kid….a.k.a. Superman’s offspring. Many fans, including myself, weren’t fond of this monumental addition to the Superman film franchise. I feel most of the problem arose with how the situation was handled. The relaunch of the film series is not the appropriate place to introduce the love child of Superman and Lois Lane. Yet, viewing Superman Returns as the finale of the Donner-inspired universe, it seems more appropriate. The reveal of Jason’s paternity puts Superman Returns definitively as a sequel to Superman II, the Richard Lester cut, as that is where coitus between Superman and his lady-love occurs. This also explains Lois Lane’s shock and surprise when it becomes apparent that Jason is Kal-El’s child. She doesn’t remember her sexual escapade with Superman in the Fortress, on that conveniently placed bed back in the 1980 film because he wiped her memory of it with a super kiss (that’s as ridiculous as it sounds). It would also explain her ambivalence to the fact that Clark Kent is Superman!

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I really never had issues with Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman. It’s become clear he was cast to play Christopher Reeve’s version of the character, which was already pre-established. I think he brought a good balance of confidence/warmth to Superman. His take on the bumbling Clark Kent was more subdued than Christopher Reeve, something which I actually preferred. He was very facially emotive and effective. I just wish he would’ve had more than seven lines of dialogue in the film. (See DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to see how good Brandon is as The Atom.) Kate Bosworth actually did a decent job of portraying Lois’ jaded predisposition in this film. I also thought she played the tenacious go getting investigative reporter angle quite effectively. Far more effective than Margot Kidder with that aspect, in my opinion. The negative where Kate Bosworth is concerned, is her age. At 24 when she began filming, she looked far too young to be an award-winning journalist and a mother to a 5-year-old son. This showed, and pulled me out of the movie at times. Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor was the biggest misfire from performance, all the way through to the way the character was written. It’s a shame really, because on paper Kevin Spacey should make a perfect Lex Luthor. While things have changed for Superman and Lois, Lex Luthor remains the same, obsessed with ridiculous land schemes that never work. The writers had the perfect opportunity to move Lex into the corrupted wealthy business man mode, while not hindering the previous Donner-verse after he swindles Gertrude out of her fortune. But that doesn’t happen. Of course, Spacey was carrying on from Gene Hackman but severely struggled to find an appropriate balance between a ruthless criminal hardened by 5 years of prison, with the slight camp of Gene Hackman. This leads to a performance that feels stoic at times and over the top at other times. Sam Huntington is above adequate as Jimmy Olsen, but severely underused, while Frank Langella is miscast as Perry White.

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Things that really stand out as positives in this movie, The plane sequence….which is at the time of this writing, the best Superman rescue sequence committed to film, for me at least. The sequence where he separates New Krypton out of Earth and lifts it into space was awe-inspiring. At first glance it seems highly implausible, given that the land mass is riddled with kryptonite, and Superman himself has remnants of a kryptonite shiv in his side. However, at this point Superman knows that doing this will kill him, so he flies up to the sun for one last shot of Vitamin D, boosts his powers to full capacity one last time, ready to endure a final sacrifice to secure humanity’s safety. Superman’s flight with Lois delivered one of the most emotional lines of dialogue ever in a Superman movie! Superman’s listening post scene above Earth, perfectly transplanted an Alex Ross image to the screen. The cinematography and set design was beautifully detailed. The Daily Planet and Fortress of Solitude look fantastic. For the first several viewings, the colour palate of the film felt off. Of course, it had to change because decades had passed from the first two films. Recently as I watched my 8 Disc Superman Blu-Ray collection, I was watching some of the Fleischer Superman cartoons. And there it was….Superman Returns looks and feels like a live action Fleischer cartoon! While I’m not sure it works entirely given the films continuity, it’s unique seeing that era of Superman depicted in some small way in live action. I also enjoyed John Ottman’s musical score of the film, which has a great blend of John Williams original themes, mixed with brand new themes that emotionally invest the viewer in the film.
Looking further into my dislikes of this film, I have to go back to Lex Luthor’s master plan…..because it’s repetitive and downright ridiculous. Several times Lex Luthor mentions how the Kryptonian crystal technology can create advanced weaponry. Here’s an idea, why not use that technology to create weaponry or even a version of Kryptonian Armor to combat Superman yourself, since you’re clearly hell-bent on getting revenge on him? The film would’ve greatly benefited by showing the audience and elaborating on where Superman was, and why he left Earth. Leaving that Return to Krypton sequence in the film and using comic book panels to explain the events of the first to films, would’ve been a great idea. I mean sure, diehard Superman fans know what happens, but there’s a whole new generation of movie goers who haven’t seen the previous Superman films, shocking as that may seem. Given what I said previously, calling Superman a dead-beat or absentee father isn’t fair, but having a scene where Superman lurks outside Lois Lane’s home, watching her, her fiancée, and her son is borderline stalking, and felt completely inappropriate and out of character! People always talk about deleted scenes; well I wish I could delete that scene from the movie!

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For me, Superman Returns fails as a reboot of the Superman film series. Instead of side stepping the issue and saying the film was “in the spirit of the Donner films,” Bryan Singer should have flat-out admitted this film was a bona-fide sequel to Superman II. Instead of a half-hearted marketing campaign of music and Marlon Brando voice over, the studio could’ve heavily marketed the film as the conclusion of the original Superman film saga. Maybe they could’ve used quick clips of the first two films in trailers and TV spots. Imagine The Dark Knight Rises marketing campaign, but using Superman, Superman II, & Superman Returns instead. I think that would have made Superman Returns more of an event film, capturing the attention of new and old fans alike. Still, when looked at as the finale to a Donner-Verse trilogy, Superman Returns is a flawed but heart-felt love letter to a series of films that captivated several generations of Superman fans. It also brings that version of the characters story full circle; “You will be different, sometimes you’ll feel like an outcast, but you’ll never be alone. You will make my strength your own. You will see my life through your eyes, as your life will be seen through mine. The son becomes the father and the father becomes the son.” Superman is literally walking in his father’s shoes. Through no fault of his own he was separated from his son, who is being raised by an earth couple. Similarly, Superman can only guide and watch his son from a far. While it’s not the Superman film I wanted, it was far more respectful to Christopher Reeve and his legacy, then Superman III & Superman IV: The Quest for Peace ever were. (“Amen.” -D.P.)

News Bleed: The Monsters Forever Edition.

Usually I like to save the bummer news til the end of these posts, but we’ve been so bombarded with craptastical crap lately that I figured I’d get the sad stuff out of the way first. That way we can just start looking fwd to frighteningly fun stuff! 🙂 Here we go…

Michu Meszaros (AlfBig Top Pee -Wee) has passed away. 🙁  BBC

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Janet Waldo (aka Judy Jetson) has also passed away. 🙁 NY Times

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Lois Duncan has also passed away. 🙁  New Republic

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(Only slightly relevant, but it’s forever my ultimate 4th of July movie, so it totally stays. ;))

And, last but not least, one of my favorite Tumblr pals, Monsterman has also passed away. 🙁 His blog was/is amazing, and all Monster Lovers should definitely check it out…Mosterously big hugs to his fam and fans, who are all missing him very much. #MonstersForever xoxoxo

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Grrr…So much sadness!!! Let’s move on to the frivolous fun stuff now, ok??

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Yeah, yeah…HAPPY STUFF!!!!! 😉

Watch (almost ;)) 5 minutes of the upcoming, badass, cannot-wait-for-it Friday the 13th game!! (I helped this sucka out on Kickstarter, btw, so my pic or something is going to be in it somewhere…#SOBLESSED!!!!!!!! :)) Friday 13th Franchise

G.L.O.W., which I was unhealthily obsessed with when I was ten or so, IS CUMMING BACK!!!!!!!!!! All glory to Netflixxx!!!! 🙂 PW Torch

(Vine was my fave, fyi. :))

Our loooooooooong wait for a film adaptation of The Killing Joke is finally (almost ;)) over!! 🙂 Nerdist

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Wonder Woman turns 75, is still totally milf-y. 😉 Comic Book Resources

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(And I so bought these babies to celebrate…Huzzah for Retail Therapy!!! ;))

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Weird…They spelled “Tom Welling” wrong. 😉 GQ

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Have a beautiful, un-sad weekend, Kinky Ho-mies. Here’s one more #FridayFlashback to set things off to a slaying start!! 😉 xoxo

(They so should’ve used this in the movie…It’s glorious!!! :))

Comic Book Review: Comic Book Review: Smallville Season 11 #4-6

(Back to Back Comic Reviews from Prince Adam today, because he TOTALLY needed to get out of Batman’s arse for five minutes and show the REAL Superhero ’round here some respect…’Bout time, SuperSucka!! 😉 xoxo)

“While Superman investigates what caused the solar flares, Lex is trying to figure out why he’s seeing his sister Tess everywhere. But neither of these things is going stop Lex’s announcement of the launch of a dangerous mission to orbit with former astronaut Hank Henshaw at the wheel. On launch day, tension is running high. Lex is confident things will go as planned, but when the shuttle explodes in midair, only one person can save the day. Superman comes to the rescue, but even he can’t save everyone. This might be one of the toughest decisions either Hank or Superman has ever had to make.” (DC Comics)

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This comic is an incredibly fast read, so doing reviews in this way works better for me. Where the last issues focused on our heroes, issues four through six key in on Lex Luthor; his mindset after going all “Sixth Sense” on us, and his nefarious plans. He plans to launch his “Guardian Defense Platform” into orbit. All this is an effort to protect humanity from future alien threats. Of course, we all know that’s double speak for taking down Superman. To take the platform into orbit, Lex has hired Hank Henshaw as his pilot. Despite the fact that he works for Lex, the writer does a wonderful job of asserting Henshaw as a decent and honorable guy. This will make his inevitable fall from grace that much more impactful.

Clark Kent and Lois Lane did quite a bit of reporting in these issues. That was one of my favourite aspects of these three books. I find it is neglected far too often in the Superman comics. In fact, the last time their reporting was handled correctly was in the TV. series “Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.” Lex Luthor as the villain can be over-played at times, but he’s at his best when the heroes know he’s committed a crime but don’t have enough proof to do anything about it. That’s expertly explored in issue 5, during the confrontation between Lex and Oliver. Other things worth mentioning; the connection between S.T.A.R. Labs and Dr. Swann was a nice nod to Christopher Reeve’s time on the show. Also, Bryan Q. Miller has finally given a purpose to Superman’s belt. All I’ll say is move over Apple, Blackberry, and Android!

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The art was great in these three issues. The placement of the flashback scenes from the series and the colour tones used, really added more weight and importance to the scenes they were used in. My favourite page from all three issues is Superman flying upwards to save the distressed shuttle, while a massive fire trail behind him. Also we have a new cover, this time featuring the bald S.O.B. we all love to hate. Much like the first cover, it is a true to life depiction of Michael Rosenbaum who played Lex Luthor. (“YAY!!!!” -D.P.)

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(Gratuitous Rosenbaum-usage because #RAWWWWWWWWWWR. :))

This series is much more satisfying when read in bunches, then waiting week to week, or month to month. The one constant for me with Smallville Season 11, is that every issue seems to be better than the last. That’s incredibly rare with ongoing comic books. I’d go so far to say that Smallville Season 11 was the best ongoing Superman related comic book when it was being published on an ongoing basis. Here’s hoping DC Comics revives the book.

Ho-stess’s PS– A few more Rosen-shots for goo-d measure… #Automanipulator 😉

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(Sorry, Mr. R…I just wanted to share!! 😉 xoxo)

#MMM: The Man of Steel (2013) Edition.

After all the haters-gonna-hate I’ve been hearing this weekend over BvS (WTH, people?? It’s awesome!! Official review coming soon… ;)), I figured our Big Blue Boy Scout could use a little love. First, let’s take a look back at the OG intro to our current Clark Kent (review submitted by Prince Adam…thank you, sir :)), then scroll on down for the #MMM part of this Man (of Steel ;)) Meat Monday post…#TEAMSUPESALLDAYEVERYDAY!!! 🙂 xoxo

“A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.” (Warner Brothers)

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If you only know Superman from the movies, check your pre-conceived notions at the door and get ready for a Superman you’ve never seen before! If you’re a new or long time reader of the comic book, get ready for a Superman movie that cherry picks from various Superman stories, delivers the action you’ve seen on the page and always dreamed of seeing in live action, but also makes some changes to the mythos that actually work for the better. This film differentiates itself from past incarnations by focusing more so on the alien nature of Superman, more than any other incarnation brought to the screen….big or small! Sure, the alien angle has been seen in fits and spurts on Smallvillle and Superman: The Animated Series, and to a lesser extent Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, but it’s expanded a great deal for this film. To do this, the film makers drew on several Superman stories including, Man of Steel (1986), Birthright, and Earth One. There were also nods to For Tomorrow, All-Star Superman, and For All Seasons. All this, gives us a Kal-El who is torn between two worlds, two fathers, someone who is trying to find his place in the world, someone who’s presence makes humanity call our beliefs into question, and someone who ultimately chooses to become the protector and inspiration of hope for Earth. This film is as much a superhero origin tale as it is a first contact/alien invasion story. With that in mind, the Zack Snyder film takes the majority of its cues from Earth One and Birthright, with Zod being one of the major differences from those stories. Speaking of Zod, as a hard-core Superman fan I’ve seen and read many stories where Kryptonian’s attack, want to enslave, or transform Earth into Krypton. However, I’ve never seen it done quite like this, on this grand of a scale.

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I’m going to touch on some of the aspects of the film I loved. Where do I start? Well how about like the film…on Krypton! I loved absolutely every aspect of everything on Krypton! I wish the film would’ve spent more time there, hell I’d watch a prequel movie about Krypton and its civilization. Everything from the technology, to the wardrobe, to the weaponry. It created this regal and ancient, yet advanced civilization. I especially enjoyed the liquid metal effect used for some of the technology. Seeing the Kryptonian landscape and the indigenous wild life made this advanced alien world more breathtaking and brought it to life like never before. At the end of these sequences, you want to spend more time on Krypton, and feel a sense of loss when the planet explodes I liked the fact that this film took the non linear approach to tell the story post the Krypton scenes. I enjoyed that most of these moments were quieter moments, that helped us to connect to our main characters, so that once all the action and fighting got thrown at us it had meaning and we cared. With Smallville having been on the air for 10 years, we’ve arguably seen just about everything there is to see with Clark growing up. It was wise of the filmmakers then, to only show us the bits that were pertinent to the characters development. All this while putting a new spin on those situations. I really liked the bus saving sequence; in fact I wish they would’ve visually shown more of that particular moment. Specifically, from Clark’s perspective while saving the bus and its occupants. This would’ve given more grandeur to the moment. The reworked look of x-ray vision was unique. It leaves you taken a back, scared, and flustered at first, much like it left young Clark in that moment. My only complaint here is the pacing of the flashbacks. They all felt a little too quick. I feel they would’ve been more effective had each one been slightly longer, and possibly more separated from one another. Let’s move on to the action and fight scenes. I’ll start with often overused, but in this case necessary cliché’s, absolutely breathtaking and spectacular. The Smallville Battle, and what I’m referring to as Mayhem in Metropolis, epitomized what as Superman fans, we’ve seen in the comic books, and the Justice League animated series finally realized on screen in live action. The fights depict a speed and ferocity when the Kryptonian’s do battle, which would be expected of people with that much power, especially those bred to be warriors. There’s a moment between Superman and Faora early on in the Smallville battle that feels like a classic scene from the old Western films. The third act is like a mix of Independence Day and The Matrix, but amplified. For my money, the action scenes and special effects are some of the best we’ve seen to date in the superhero film genre.

With the strong cast assembled for Man of Steel, I expected good performances from all involved, and I was not disappointed. From the word go, Henry Cavill had the look to play Superman. Then you see him in costume, and that belief is reaffirmed. After seeing the film, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Henry Cavill, from an acting standpoint, was a perfect choice to play the modern-day version of Clark Kent/Kal-El/Superman! Cavill gives us an emotionally conflicted Kal, who shelters himself from the human race out of necessity, in part because of fear and constant persecution from humans. Also however, because if he asserted himself he could potentially hurt those who persecuted him, or reveal himself to the world via his rescues. This is all on display in the oil rig, and bar scene respectively. After counseling from the spirit of his birth father, the lost outsider becomes more at ease with his role as a bridge between his two worlds. Once the character steps out from the scout ship donning the most famous uniform in comic book history, Cavill gets to play a whole new side of the character. As Superman, Henry is more confident and assertive, yet still a bit raw as a superhero. You see this assertive confidence in his interaction with the military, while his rawness as a superhero is evident in his battles with the Kryptonian’s. Here he’s more reactionary, instead of controlling where and how the battle takes place. The farm boy Clark Kent comes through whenever Henry Cavill is interacting with Diane Lane’s Martha Kent, as well as with Amy Adams’ Lois Lane. In these moments we see a Clark Kent who is more open, trusting, conveys a sense of warmth and even cracks a smile and laughs. This movie didn’t give us an opportunity to see how Henry Cavill will handle the secret identity “Clark Kent” but he’s managed to check off all the boxes for the rest of the characters personality with fine form. At times Henry is very emotive with his facial expressions, without saying a word. These moments include the pain, agony, and sadness over Jonathan’s death and the final outcome with Zod. Then we see pure joy from his first flight, punctuated with a big smile. All three instances are effective and very powerful. Thanks to Henry’s facial expression, visual effects and camera angles, for the first time ever in a Superman film, I got the sense of what it must feel like when Superman flies. For once I felt like an active participant, not a casual spectator. It was fantastic, and reaffirmed that if I could, I’d choose Superman’s power of flight over any other.

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Amy Adams as Lois Lane….Finally, we have a big screen Lois Lane that doesn’t come off as a colossal idiot or a poor excuse for a reporter! Lois Lane, as played by Amy Adams, is a go-getter, tough as nails, a damn good investigative reporter, and integral to the resolution of the plot. Granted, part of the credit for this Lois has to go to Snyder and Goyer, but it wouldn’t have been the same without an actress of this caliber. Amy balanced the feistiness of Lois when dealing with co-workers like Steve Lomabard, and a level of compassion with Clark/Superman perfectly. The development of the Superman/Lois relationship may have moved a little quickly, but I believed it, because there was a trust that began and kept building from the first moment Superman saved her, and kept growing throughout the film. From Clark’s point of view, Lois is the first human being, aside from his adoptive parents, to show him an ounce of respect or trust. Even when he turned himself over to the authorities she was there every step of the way. So for me, that impassioned kiss was earned and completely justified for both parties. Amy and Henry sold the beginnings of this relationship quite well. I think it’s fantastic that Lois Lane knows Clark is Superman. Going forward she can be even more integral to the plot by helping Clark cover up and hone his secret identity, instead of being relegated to a by the numbers damsel in distress/love interest.

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Looking at both of Kal-El’s parental units in the film, one thing is clear; the emphasis is on the fathers, while the mothers get shafted in terms of screen time and story. Russell Crowe was absolutely brilliant as Jor-El. He really had a strong presence in this film. Crowe’s authoritative discourse with the council, gave Jor-El that sense of importance in Kryptonian society that we’ve read about in the source material all these years. I liked that Jor-El was capable of handling himself in a fight. It’s an aspect we’ve never seen on film before. Jor-El didn’t seem to shed a tear as he sent his son into space, but you could sense his pain and sadness through Russell Crowe’s eye’s, mannerisms and movements. I applaud the filmmaker’s choice of having Russell Crowe’s Jor-El physically present in scenes with his adult son. This made the scenes more tangible and the actor’s performance more credible and immersive. Aylet Zurer was severely underused as Lara Lor-Van. Despite this, her limited time on-screen yields an extremely emotional performance. The way she evokes her fears and sadness about losing their son forever, puts the audience in the same head space as the character. Having to imagine sending a young loved one away, knowing you’ll never see them again brought tears to my eyes. Next up are Clark’s earthly parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent, played wonderfully by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. While I wouldn’t say these two actors were under used, I would’ve like to see the scenes they were in, lengthened just a bit. I know some people had issues with the way these actors portrayed the roles. Some said that Kevin Costner’s take on Jonathan made him seem like a jerk. I disagree. I just believe that Costner was more steadfast and decisive in Clark keeping his secret hidden, because he feared his son would be taken away from him. Sure the execution is slightly different, but his motivations are in league with other iterations of the character, namely the Smallville version. Kevin Costner’s scenes were the emotional heartbeat of this film. Two scenes in particular struck me. The scene where he tells Clark about his true heritage, and the death scene. In the first scene, there’s a genuine crack in Costner’s voice that solidifies the love this man has for his son. His death scene emphasized the lengths a man would go to in protecting his son. The look on Costner’s face as the tornado got to him, caused another tear or two to roll down my fac. Diane Lane’s moments with her on-screen son, both young and adult, were filled with emotion and a palpable love that really sold the mother son dynamic. The scenes where she comforts young Clark as he struggles to come to grips with his emerging x-ray vision, and the scene where she relates her fears of losing her son to his heritage are examples of Diane Lane’s skill and talent. Her performance made the scene where Superman beats the crap out of Zod for threatening his mother so much more rewarding. As a son who loves his mother, coupled with Diane Lane’s performance, I could relate to Superman most, through his relationship with his mother. Costner and Lane have tied Michael Caine for the amount of times they’ve made me cry in a superhero movie. Well done.

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The main villain of the piece of course is General Zod, brought to life this time around by Michael Shannon. Some people have compared Shannon’s performance as Zod to that of Heath Ledger as the Joker. I think that is unfair and inaccurate. Nor do I think Michael Shannon is the only actor fit to play General Zod. Having said that, Michael Shannon gives viewers a militaristic leader worthy of the title General. The character is focused and dedicated on one cause….the betterment and protection of Krypton, its way of life, and its citizens. The courses of events throughout the film see Zod erupt in fits of incredible intensity, rage and anger. Due to Michael Shannon’s performance, Zod never degenerates into a megalomaniac or cartoonish one-dimensional villain. Instead, there were times when I got sucked into his performance that I could understand his perspective and sympathies with him. Those feelings get shot to hell of course, when you realize that his endgame results in the genocide of the human race, but still. Highlights from his performance are the Krypton scenes, with Jor-El and the council, as well as his final exchanges of dialogue with Henry Cavill’s Superman. As far as villain’s go, Antje Traue stole the show as Faora. She was a villain, and there’s no two ways about it. She was aggressive, vicious, and when she killed, it didn’t phase her one bit. She actually seemed to enjoy exerting her power over others at certain points throughout the film. Faora, even though she was second in command to Zod, felt very much his equal. Credit goes to actress Antje Traue, for her spine-tingling and convincing performance that epitomized evil. One last performance that deserves mentioning is Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet editor Perry White. As is typically the case in Superman films, I felt the actor and character were both underused in the film. Yet, Fishburne was able to convey his sternness and journalistic integrity, without his performance coming off as an overdone caricature, as has been the case in previous adaptations. With his involvement in the final act, we get to see something rarely reserved for the comic books, the caring and compassion he has for his employees. As a fan, I really appreciated his scenes with Jenny for highlighting how far Perry will go for his bullpen.

There will be those who flat-out don’t like this film. You know what, that’s expected and completely fine. However, there are some criticism’s of this film, that I strongly disagree with and want to share my thoughts on. One complaint I’ve read is that there’s too much destruction in this film. Ok fine, but have you read the Superman comic books or watched any other superhero movies? Here are some examples that spring to mind featuring ample destruction; The Death of Superman, Birthright, Earth One, New Krypton. Here are some movie examples: The Avengers, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight Rises, Iron-Man 3, The Incredible Hulk, all three Transformers films and the list goes on. Destruction in a superhero comic book or film is par for the course. To go along with this complaint, is that Superman caused a fair amount of that destruction. The way I saw it, Zod, his cronies, and the world engine initiated a majority of the destruction. Superman, in a reactionary sense may have contributed to the property damage, but again, this has happened before…see previously mentioned comic books and animated series such as Justice League for examples. While I’m on the subject of property damage, some fans contend that the film should’ve had a scene where Superman helped repair the damage. Really? Did The Avengers help repair the damage to New York? No…they ate Shawarma! Did Batman repair damage to Gotham sustained in The Dark Knight Trilogy? No…unless you count rebuilding Wayne Manor? And if so, since he rebuilt his own house, does that make him selfish? In the case of comic books, I remember an issue where a member of Metropolis’ Special Crimes Unit bemoaned about the fact that these super powered beings get into these fights and leave them to clean up the mess. Clearly, this isn’t an isolated incident only appearing in this film.

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I’ve also heard the complaint that Superman “didn’t care about humanity” because he let innocent people die instead of getting them out of Metropolis. Ah yes…Superman didn’t care about humanity. If that’s true, why did he hand himself over to the authorities, to be handed over to Zod? Oh yeah, to spare them from Zod’s wrath. Even though, through the course of his life with the exception of the Kent’s and Lois, most humans he encountered treated him like s#^+. I call BS (no, not Bryan Singer) on the “him not caring about humanity” claim. Also, even if he evacuated all of Metropolis, that wouldn’t have stopped Zod from carrying out his plan. The World Engine….was targeting….wait for it…THE WORLD! Superman took the sensible, logical course of action, disabling the device. While doing this, people died, yes, but Superman saved humanity as a whole, saving far more lives than the lives that would’ve been lost had he evacuated all of Metropolis. As for making random rescues throughout the film…he did, but that’s another criticism I’ve seen thrown around. Pete Ross, the random soldier falling from the sky, Col. Hardy, and Lois all come to mind.

On to the big one….Superman kills Zod in the third act, by snapping his neck. Here’s my take on the situation itself. I was fine with it, for several reasons. He had no other choice. The Phantom Zone was gone, he had pleaded with Zod to stop, to which Zod said never. Either Superman would have to cover Zod’s eyes for God knows how long, or turn him over to the authorities, where he would’ve escaped. Or he could’ve let him continue on his killing spree, specifically, watching him burn a family to death with heat vision. Since none of these were an option, Superman did the only thing he could in that moment. The other reason I was okay with Superman killing Zod, was because of Superman’s reaction afterwards. He fell to his knees and began to weep. Clearly, he was torn up by the choice he had to make, and didn’t want to have to take that course of action, as evidenced with him pleading with Zod to stop. Surely, many will point out that Superman has a rule against killing in the comic books. This is true, but that rule was born out of the fact that he had killed three Kryptonian’s from the Pocket Universe, was so distraught over it, and vowed never to do it again. Of course, he would later break that vow in his fight to the death with Doomsday, out of absolute necessity of course. Some who are against the scene may cry foul because the beloved Christopher Reeve version has never killed before. That’s all well and good, but are we sure about that? In Superman II he throws and or, watches three powerless Kryptonians fall into a bottomless void presumably killing them. Yeah I know, in the Donner Cut of II the Kryptonians were arrested, but that version was never intended to be seen, ergo I don’t count it. In Superman IV, Kal-El throws Nuclear Man into a power plant there by killing him. My point is, it’s been done before, so I wasn’t offended by it, nor did I find it completely out of character. Ultimately, Zack Snyder said that much like the comics, they are going to use this moment to establish Superman’s no killing policy going forward. I for one look forward to how that will play itself out. By the time this is posted, I’ll have watched Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so I’ll know exactly what happens next.

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The wait for Man of Steel was a long two and a half years. After seeing it twice in theaters, it was without a doubt worth the wait! The film has the character journey and sci-fi action. As a film goer, this Superman tale feels completely fresh. As a comic book reader, this take on the character calls to mind the Superman on the page from 1986 to today. For me, this film is the perfect blend of fresh yet familiar. Man of Steel has managed to recapture in me the same sense of awe and wonder from when I first discovered Superman as a 10-year-old boy. The Superman film franchise is up, up, and away again, and if the filmmakers play their cards right, the Man of Steel will be soaring on film for years to come.

Ho-stess’s Addition: #MMMmmmmmmmman  of Steel (aka Henry Cavill) appreciation pics…You’re welcome. 😉 xoxoxo

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(Seems legit… ;))

Comic Book Review – Smallville Season 11 #1-3

Happy New Comic Book Day, friends! 🙂 Here’s a review of my personal favorite Superman doing his thang by the equally heroic (or at least very close ;)). Mr. Dr. Prince Adam, Esquire…Thanks, ho-mie!! I can’t even believe how close we are now to Superman and Wonder Woman Beat the Shit Out of Batman!!!! 🙂 xoxo

“What happens after Clark puts on the costume? Can he keep his super-secret quiet? Pere Perez illustrates Bryan Q. Miller’s story in the first chapter of this ongoing series.” (DC Comics)

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Comic Book Review – Smallville Season 11 #1-3 (by Adam)

As I read through the issue, I felt instantly at home in the “Smallville Universe.” For me, it was like no time at all had passed since the last episode. Despite my warm and fuzzy disposition, the issue takes place six months after the finale. This issue is like Cheers: It’s a place you want to go to because everyone knows your name, you know theirs, and everything’s pretty much the same as when you left it. That’s good for this first issue because this book is an extension of the T.V. series. Beyond that, though, virtually nothing happens in this issue. We have Oliver/Chloe waiting on the roof of the Watchtower for Clark to fly by. Similarly, Lex looks out the window of his office as Superman flies by. We get a glimpse of Lois but she’s sleeping. It’s not until near the end of the book that Superman appears, saving a Russian space station from cabin de-pressurizing and a loss of gravity. It’s not that this first issue was bad; it wasn’t. Having been through ten season premieres of Smallville, I expected more. Smallville premieres have been known for their excitement and the sense of direction they provide for the coming season. This issue is severely lacking those qualities. In the second issue, we have material that feels much more like a Smallville episode. The focus in this chapter is on the character interactions and relationships, which is something the television show excelled at. The prominent characters featured are Lois/Clark, Lex/General Sam Lane, and Lex/Clark. The interaction between Lois and Clark was pitch perfect. The banter back and forth was vintage Smallville. In that exchange, we also get an explanation for Clark’s costume change, which makes complete sense. Also, through this conversation we learn that the world doesn’t know Superman is an alien, a fact which suits Clark Kent just fine. Good writing can weave significant plot points into seemingly meaningless banter. The Lex Luthor segments of the issue steals the show. His xenophobia and lust for power became a driving force for him in his final few seasons and the arrival of Superman has only intensified these feelings. So much so, that LexCorp will be leading the charge of putting weapons in space to combat the potential alien threat. As a result of Lex’s “condition” in the finale, he is aware that he and Clark were friends but retains no memories of the friendship. This allows Lex’s interaction with Clark to be dismissive. He can’t believe that he could have ever been friends with someone like Clark. This reaction definitely speaks to Lex’s superiority complex, but is a refreshing change from the on again/off again friendship that was over-played on the show. I won’t ruin the ending, but I sure as hell wasn’t expecting an appearance from that person from Lex’s past! The television show had a knack for translating other DC superheroes so well. The shows portrayal of Oliver Queen/Green Arrow made me a fan of the character, thus seeking him out in the printed form. Green Arrow is heavily featured in this issue of the Smallville digital comic. Along with the Emerald Archer comes his cocky confidence and wit that was made famous by Justin Hartley. There’s just something entertaining about watching Green Arrow almost beat 11-1 odds with his array of trick arrows, before Superman appears to thwart a surprise attack. I enjoyed the friendly verbal sparring between Oliver and Clark once they had thwarted evil. Equally enjoyable was Chloe and Lois comparing notes about life in a relationship with a superhero. It’s good to know that marriage hasn’t changed Chloe. She and Oliver were supposed to be headed to Star City, yet Chloe is too committed to her duties at Watchtower, specifically helping Clark decipher that disturbance in space from issue one.

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For the most part, I enjoyed the artwork of Pere Perez. Chloe and Oliver are pretty spot on renditions of their television counterparts. The classic Smallville scene of Lex looking out his office window couldn’t look any better if it was in live action. The only missteps were with the rendition of Superman. There are many pages where he looks like a 12-15 year old boy rather than a Superman. I realize that for the first seven seasons of the show, Tom Welling looked like a perpetual teenager who had never shaved. However, season’s 8-10 you could really see that Welling had grown up. Clark looks a little off, especially in his scenes with Lois. He’s got that high-school hairdo, which he stopped sporting by season 7. Having said that, Pere Perez has a good handle on the “Daily Planet” Clark Kent look. Speaking of Lois, she looked okay, but I felt something was missing. This is no fault of the artist, as trying to draw the stunning Erica Durance isn’t easy. Maybe Jim Lee and Alex Ross stand a chance, but that’s about it. Once again Lex looks awesome. Also, the surprise appearance was rendered very closely to their T.V. counterpart. Superman has changed his costume. Can you blame him? I wouldn’t want to wear the Superman Returns one either! This costume definitely is in line with the other heroes of the show. It has the Smallville aesthetic. To me, it looks like a hybrid of the New 52 costume and the Man of Steel costume. I think it works. I absolutely love the cover for this issue. Superman is the spitting image of Tom Welling (as it should be for this book), and the image is visually captivating and explosive. Superman flying straight towards you, busting through the Smallville title card… Perfect!

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So far this Season 11 premiere has been more dialogue/character driven with small bits of action woven in. However, I suspect the action beats will start to pick up, with the revelation that someone or something is headed to earth as a result of the event in space. I will continue to read this comic book. I’ve watched this series for ten years, and I’m eager to see the Smallville version of the “Superman Years”.