Posts Tagged ‘Superman

21
May
14

About ‘Batman v Superman’…

Batman v Superman-Dawn of JusticeEarlier today, Warner Bros finally announced the title of the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, which we all know would co-star Ben Affleck as Batman and do the  legwork for setting up the Justice League movie that will come out a year later. As a lifelong comic book nerd and especially a Superman fan, I of course had an immediate reaction upon hearing the title Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. So rather than go over it time and again, I thought I would say it here, once, for posterity:

The internet is absolutely full of assholes.

I happened to be at work when the title was announced, so I didn’t see it until later in the day, more than enough time for every nugget-brained, mouth-breathing, soulless, spiteful, hateful jackass on the plant to crawl out of the woodwork and start hurling invectives at Warner Bros, at DC Comics, and especially, at each other. Because, you see, knowing the title of a movie is pretty much the same thing as seeing the finished product, as we all learned from Naked Lunch.

A short collection of the kind of comments I found, except with better spelling, because it’s almost the end of the school year and I can’t bear to torture my brain by attempting to accurately emulate the comments of these people:

  • “This sucks.”
  • “This just proves it’s gonna be The Dark Knight Returns. This sucks.”
  • “Gal Gadot is too skinny to be Wonder Woman. This sucks.”
  • “STUPIIIIIIIIIID.”
  • “This just proves it’s not gonna be a Man of Steel sequel. This sucks.”
  • “Something something pretentious, I’m going to go back and watch Tree of Life.”

And so forth.

Now I want to be clear here, I’m not writing anything in defense of the movie. That would be impossible. Because the damn movie has not been made yet. There is literally nothing to defend. Principal photography began, literally, this week. Yet this hasn’t stopped pretty much the entire internet from vomiting out the contents of its gall bladder into the ether.

To be fair, the defenders of the film were, in many cases, just as inarticulate. Phrases such as “not a true fan” were thrown around, which is frankly just as noxious a term as “fake geek girl” to me. If there’s anything less possible to predict than the quality of a movie that has not yet been filmed, it’s the inner devotion of a person to an idea, concept, or fandom. Or to simplify that, just because someone doesn’t feel the same way about a franchise as you do doesn’t make them any less of a fan.

For some time now, I’ve found myself getting more and more irritated with fandom in general, at least its online iteration, because it seems quite clear that the only thing anyone is interested in spewing is negativity. String theory posits that every possible title for this movie was actually selected in some alternate universe or another, because all possibilities are reality somewhere in quantum space. However, I promise you, in every parallel reality it’s mostly the same people bitching and moaning about the title for a movie that — again, I remind you — they have not seen yet. A small sampling of whining jackasses from other planes of existence:

  • World’s Finest? Sounds pretentious.”
  • Superman V Batman? What, Affleck doesn’t get top billing?”
  • Man of Steel 2? What, they couldn’t be more original than that?”
  • “Gal Gadot is too skinny to be Wonder Woman. This sucks.”

So allow me to make this simple. You haven’t seen the movie. So you don’t know. That doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed an opinion. It just means that if you have no intention but to hiss clouds of venomous mist in the direction of anybody who has the audacity to be excited for the movie, I really don’t want to hear a single syllable out of you. It means that if you honestly believe you know all there is to know about this movie just from the title and the tidbits of information released so far, you’re an idiot. It means that if you think somebody else is less of a fan than you are because they don’t like the title, you’re an elitist snob. It means that if you’re actually so stupidly arrogant as to presuppose that there is nothing else to be discussed and your opinion is inviolate and unerring and that nothing will lodge you from your perch, do us all two favors. First, shut up, because you’re not going to contribute anything to the discussion. Second, when the movie comes out, don’t bother to see it, because you’ve already made up your damn mind two years ahead of time and nothing that anybody puts on that screen could possibly change it at this point, so why waste your time?

There. Rant over. Except to say that if I’m talking about you even a little, you need to grow the hell up.

Hmm? What did I actually think of the title? I actually quite like “Dawn of Justice,” but I’m not crazy about the “v” part, as it implies “versus.” A certain degree of conflict is inevitable, I suppose, I just hope it’s not the entire blueprint of the story.

See how easy that was? Try doing it like that some time.

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05
Dec
13

A Very Nerdy Christmas

Next year, Erin and I will finally celebrate our first Christmas together. I couldn’t be more excited, and I know she’s already making certain plans in terms of traditions and decorations and the like.

However, over the years I’ve assembled a small but — I think — amusing collection of Christmas ornaments of my own. Many of them have been given to me as gifts, the rest have mostly been the result of Hallmark’s after-Christmas clearance sales. It never seemed sensible to spend a ton of money on decorations until I had someone to decorate with. So while I’m sure next year the two of us will bring together all her ornaments and all my ornaments and probably a bunch of new ornaments, today I thought I’d share with you guys my collection as it stands today, such as it is.

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

First up is my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. While not technically an ornament, it’s one of my most prized Christmas decorations and also will serve as the model for most of the upcoming pictures. Erin gave me this tree a few years ago and I love it. I actually wound up getting a second tree to place in my classroom at school, knowing that this tree was far too precious to risk in a room full of high school students.

“Oh come on, Blake,” you’re saying. “They’re in eleventh grade. Surely they can be trusted to be in proximity to a decoration with just a single ornament without worrying about them breaking it.”

Heh. It’s cute that you think that.

Doctor Who TARDIS

Doctor Who: The TARDIS

Next up is my TARDIS decoration. You may or may not know (except if you know anything about me at all, in which case you absolutely know) that I’m a bit of a Doctor Who fan. This particular glass ornament was given to me by my buddy and frequent Showcase co-host, Kenny. Thanks, pal! I know that Erin will want to be certain it gets a place of honor next Christmas.

Donald Duck Wakeup Hallmark

Donald’s Wake-Up Cup

I love Disney and I love Christmas, so it’s not surprising that many of my decorations are Disney characters. Of course, as I’ve done most of my shopping in the clearance sales, my selection is particularly eclectic. I’d grab whatever looked like it was worth the money, and the deeper the discount the lower that threshold would become. For example, here’s Donald Duck, having just rolled out of bed, drinking a cup of coffee. Probably because I got it for pennies.

Mickey Mouse Ears

Mickey Mouse Ears

From the “My parents went to Disney World and all I got was this…” line. A few years ago, my parents took a trip to Disney World and brought this personalized set of mini-Mouse Ears to me. (That’s “Mini” as in “small,” not “Minnie” as in “Mickey’s girlfriend.”) They brought an identical pair of ears for Erin. Hers are currently dangling from the rear view mirror in her car.

Scrooge McDuck from "Mickey's Christmas Carol"

Scrooge McDuck from “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”

Another Hallmark Keepsake ornament, this one depicts my favorite Disney Character — Scrooge McDuck — as he appeared in the classic 1983 animated feature Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Hey, speaking of A Christmas Carol, have you guys been following my Reel to Reel movie blog? All this month, leading up to Christmas I’m reviewing and analyzing different versions of Charles Dickens’s classic novel. All of your favorites are there — Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, Mr. Magoo… go on, check it out.

Disney Vinylmation 2012

Disney Vinylmation 2012

My brother and sister are big fans of Disney’s Vinylmation figures — a series of toys all set in the same Mickey Mouse-shaped mold and decorated in an infinite number of ways. I’ve got a lot of them too, but I’ve been a bit more selective in my Vinylmation purchases than them. This one came out last year — it’s a regular Vinylmation figure with an ornament loop on the head. This one depicts Donald Duck trapped in a snow globe, presumably the work of a genie or his nephews or something.

Vinylmation Hot Chocolate

Vinylmation Hot Chocolate

Another Vinylmation figure-slash-ornament, this one depicts a chocolate bar in the shape of Mickey Mouse. As you can tell, whoever got this bar in his stocking eats his Mickey chocolate the same way everybody eats their Easter rabbits — he bites the ears first. This figure also smells like hot chocolate. Well… the box says it’s hot chocolate. There’s a definite cocoa flavor to the aroma, but I don’t know if I’d go that far.

Perry Christmas from Phineas and Ferb

Perry Christmas from Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb is without question, the best cartoon for kids in decades. I dare you to find anything that’s even remotely as entertaining. You need to go back to the 90s heyday of Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain. These kids rock.

Also, this was the last picture I took. I thought I was finished, I put my Charlie Brown tree in its place of honor (which is rather high up and out of reach of cats and three-year-old nieces), and when I realized I missed this one I just said the hell with it and took the picture on the table.

Dooby dooby doo-wah, A! GENT! P!

Dooby dooby doo-wah, A! GENT! P!

Courtesy of Target, here’s Phineas and Ferb’s best pal Perry the Platypus in his other identity: Agent P of the OWCA (Organization Without a Cool Acronym). I like to imagine here that he’s just stumbled into an insidious yuletide trap set by his arch-nemesis, Dr. Doofinshmirtz. Don’t worry, guys, Doof isn’t really that big a threat. And he actually doesn’t hate Christmas anyway, he has a burning indifference.

Prep and Landing Hallmark

Prep and Landing: Wayne and Lanny

A few years ago Disney introduced these guys, Wayne and Lanny, members of Santa Claus’s special Prep and Landing task force. These are the elves that scout ahead of Santa Claus to make sure the house is ready, the children are nestled all snug in their beds, and not a creature is stirring. If you have a Merry Christmas morning, it’s because Wayne and Lanny did their job right so that Santa could come behind them and do his.

Muppets Kermit Target

Kermit the Very Shiny Frog

This one is a Target find rather than Hallmark. Erin picked it up for me last Thanksgiving when we were shopping. This was either a few days before or a few days after I asked her to marry me, I don’t remember which, and it doesn’t matter. It’s special anyway. And yes, that’s a reflection of me and my phone in Kermit’s face. You try hiding your reflection when taking a picture of a shiny glass amphibian. It’s not that easy.

Peanuts-Erins Snoopy

Snoopy and Woodstock go for a drive

Snoopy and Woodstock here were a gift from Erin. She found it for me at work and included it in a stocking full of candy and little gifts last year. The girl knows me all too well, doesn’t she?

Peanuts on Ice

Peanuts on Ice

This is actually four separate ornaments put together. The “Peanuts on Ice” figures from Hallmark each have a magnet in the base, allowing you to connect them. I’m not sure how many there were in the series, but I know how many I got. Four. I got four.

You’ll notice that Sally, Charlie Brown’s sister, has no magnet and therefore is not connected to the rest of the Peanuts gang. I like to imagine that Linus, sick and tired of her years of sexual harassment, disabled the magnet in her base in the hopes that she would slide away and suffer a tragic mishap in the ice. Wow, that took a dark turn.

The Flash

The Flash

Another Hallmark ornament, here we have Barry Allen, the Flash. (How do I know it’s Barry Allen and not Wally West? Because Wally’s belt always came to a point in the front, only Barry wore the straight belt for his entire career in the Pre-Crisis era. Yes, I’m THAT kind of nerd.) Barry here, if I’m not mistaken, is actually the oldest ornament in my collection. I’m pretty sure I’ve had him since high school, and I don’t even remember when I got him.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern

Hal Jordan. Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814. Current leader of the Green Lantern Corps. Another Hallmark keepsake ornament. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Golden Age Superman

Golden Age Superman

I’ve got a few different Superman ornaments. Try not to be surprised.

This Hallmark ornament is actually two in one. In the front we have the Golden Age Superman, the way he first appeared in 1938. In the background is the second ornament, the cover of Action Comics #1, in which he made his first appearance. Actually, now that I look at it, the figure isn’t exactly right for that comic. His “S”-symbol, at that point, was actually just a yellow shield with the letter drawn in it, not the stylized version it would later become, and his boots hadn’t yet evolved to what we see here either. Wow, now I’m furious at the inaccuracy of my ornament. Christmas is RUINED.

Modern Superman

Modern Superman

This more modern Superman is a one-piece ornament, with the Man of Steel bursting out of the cover of a comic book. And this actually is a comic book, you can open that sucker up and read it. There aren’t any credits, but I think the short re-telling of his origin story was drawn by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, a classic DC Comics artist who contributed a lot of art for various DC merchandise over the years. I told you, I’m that kind of nerd.

Superman Luxor

Lenox China Superman

I think I’ve shown this one off before but I don’t mind doing it again. This Lenox China Superman figure has the trademarks of that elegant line of decorations — the white glass is used in his cape, and the Lenox gold lines the figure in several places. This, too, is a gift from Erin, which should be obvious because those Lenox ornaments are pretty expensive for a guy that, until now, got most of his Christmas decorations from Hallmark’s 20% off table.

Dwight Schrute: Talking Bobblehead

Dwight Schrute: Talking Bobblehead

From The Office, ladies and gentlemen, I give you Assistant to the Regional Manager Dwight Schrute. This ornament is actually based on the Valentine’s Day episode in which his girlfriend gave him a bobblehead doll of himself. The ornament is a working bobblehead, plus, it talks when you push that little button in the front. I briefly considered shooting a short video demonstrating these features, but then I realized that would require way more of a commitment than I was ready to put into this little article.

Elise's Ornament

Elise’s Ornament

Now we’re getting into the ornaments that have an actual emotional connection for me. This one, for example, was a gift from Erin’s niece Elise last Christmas. Hey — I guess that means she’s going to be my niece too. Cool.

For Erin's teacher

For Erin’s teacher

Another Erin find. This “For My Teacher” apple came to her at work and she brought it home to me. Go ahead: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaw…”

Engagement Encounter: Be Joyful

Engagement Encounter: Be Joyful

And finally, probably the most meaningful ornament on the list is this little Cross. Last summer, Erin and I attended an engagement encounter at a monastery in Pittsburgh. We wanted a keepsake of the weekend, and decided on this Christmas ornament. The message, I think, was just right.

03
Aug
13

Blake’s weekly roundup

So this week, I finished the most recent draft of my next novel, The Pyrite War. Hopefully, there’ll be a lot more information about that very soon. But what else did I do this week?

22
Jul
13

All New Showcase Episode 292: San Diego Comic-Con 2013

AllNewShowcase2This week, Blake decides it’s high time the Showcase got a new coat of paint, a slightly amended format, and a much snazzier archive page. Welcome to the first episode of the All New Showcase! In this episode, Blake explains the reasons for the change before sitting down with Kenny and Erin to talk about all the news from this year’s San Diego Comic-Con International. Witchblade Vs. the Darkness, the Simpsons meeting the Griffins and the Planet Express crew, Riverdale swaming with zombies, JMS taking on the Twilight Zone, new series for Harley Quinn, the return of Nightcrawler, Avengers 2 gets a title and Man of Steel 2 gets a guest-star! This and much, much more in the first All New Showcase! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

And what’s cool this week? For Kenny, it’s Pacific Rim, for Erin it’s the works of the late Richard Matheson, and for Blake it’s The Argonauts!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

All New Showcase #292: San Diego 2013

Superman-Batman

16
Jun
13

2 in 1 Showcase At the Movies Episode #35: Man of Steel

showcase logo smallThe boys have been waiting years for this moment — a new Superman movie. How does Man of Steel stack up to the films of the past? The guys also discuss the newest comic in the pantheon, Superman Unchained, and talk a little about some of their favorite Superman stories of all time. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase At the Movies #35: Man of Steel

28
Apr
13

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 288: Free Comic Book Day 2013 Preview

showcase logo smallNext week is Free Comic Book Day 2013, and once again, Blake and Erin are here to walk you through the books being offered. What are this year’s can’t-miss titles? What are books you’ve never heard of that may be worth your time? And what special treat has Blake cooked up for you guys? Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 288: Free Comic Book Day Preview 2013

22
Apr
13

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 287: Summer Movie Preview 2013

showcase logo smallThe temperatures are rising and it’s almost time to seek refuge in a nice, air-conditioned movie theater. This week, Blake and Erin walk you through all the big releases of Summer 2013 — what we’re excited about, what we couldn’t care less about, and a heck of a lot in-between. In the picks, Erin is getting into the BBC’s Sherlock, and Blake’s favorite new comic of 2012 Danger Club, returns from hiatus. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

2 in 1 Showcase Episode 287: Summer Movie Preview 2013




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