What should Roy Harper’s super-hero name be?

29 03 2010

Batty for Batman Beyond

23 03 2010

This summer DC is releasing a miniseries set in the universe of Batman Beyond, and I for one am PUMPED! And I’m not the only one. Many fans have fond memories of this animated series, and for good reason, because it kicked overweight ass! Not only will this be the first new Batman Beyond centered story told in a very long time, but this is also the first Batman Beyond comic book series that wasn’t piggy-backing off of the cartoon. This honestly puts a bit of pressure on the writer, Adam Beechen, to produce something that’s fan servicing but also new reader friendly. Adam, if you’re reading this (which I know you’re not), I’m going to give you a few do’s and don’t about writing a Batman Beyond story.

Who needs a cape when you've got rocket boots and wings?

DON’T make it about Bruce Wayne. Batman Beyond is Terry McGinnis’ story. Bruce is a vital character, but is not our protagonist. Yes I know the series is coming out the same time as Grant Morrison’s “The Return of Bruce Wayne.” That’s nice. If we wanna read about Bruce we’ll buy that book also, but if we’re talk’n about Beyond then we’re talk’n about Terry.

DON’T overdue the classic Batman characters. The preview reads “someone is killing off original Batman villains and Terry has to find out whom.” Not a bad plot line. I think it will be kind of funny to see someone hunting down a bunch of 80 something year old ex-cons who are all probably in wheelchairs from the backbone abuse Mr. Wayne gave them. That said, Bruce Timm and the other creators of Batman Beyond made a point NOT to include several classic Batman characters. Once again, this is Terry’s story. That means he needs his own villains and own cast. We don’t need to see a photo album with Alfred in.

DO wrap up some of the loose ends, just not know. While this goes against what I just said, there are a few holes in the Batman Beyond animated series that fans would like filled. Examples are when does Terry reveal his identity to Dana and what happened to Nightwing? We want these answers, but not yet. If this mini-series sells well then it’s a safe bet DC will produce more. We fans have waited patiently for some of these answers, but these stories need to be told properly.

DO set the series in the original Batman Beyond Universe, and make it canon. DON’T try and merge it with the Earth-one DCU. Between the DC 1 million event and Damian Wayne we’ve already got enough visions of Batman’s Universe. Making the Beyond universe a separate one offers more creative freedom.

Adam, my friend, I’m sure you’ll do a great job! I’m really looking forward to this mini-series. And if you don’t do a good job, expect several angry message board posts on the DC website.

The Thing is a New Avenger!

8 03 2010

A Fantastic Avenger

8 03 2010

In Marvel’s current marketing campaign for their Avenger titles they have been releasing images of future cast members and the titles in which they will appear. One surprising addition to the new Avengers line-up is the addition of “The Thing.” Perhaps one of Marvel’s most popular heroes, the Thing is best known for his role in the Fantastic Four. Now it appears he will be fighting side by side with Wolverine and Spider-man in “The New Avengers,”  and I say it’s about damn time!

While several heroes have been temporary members of the Fantastic four, none of the consistent Fantastic Four members have really been considered active members of the Avengers.  Mr. Fantastic and The Thing have joined the Avengers line-ups for brief moments, but these where honestly closer to team-ups then active memberships. Considering how iconic of a team they are, you’d imagine that Marvel would WANT to see these guys in more books month to month. Quiet the opposite actually.

In several interviews, creators from Marvel Comics have stated how challenging it was to convince some of their peers to add Spider-man and Wolverine to the line-ups. One can only assume that the success these characters have brought has influenced the addition of the lovable Thing.

I still think it’s way past time we saw the Fantastic Four official members of the Avengers. For one thing the Avengers are supposed to be “Earth’s Mightiest heroes.”  We can look at this two ways, from a “inside comic world” view point and in a “readers” view point.

From an “inside comic world” view point, why the hell wouldn’t you want Reed Richards, the world’s smartest man, on your team? The Invisible woman creates many of the most powerful barriers on the planet. Are you seriously telling me she wouldn’t be useful to have around? And don’t give me that “Already on a team” crap! Nearly all of Marvel’s heroes are in New York, they all have flying jets and teleporters, and you can rotate monitor duty.

From a reader view point, I want to read the Thing team up with Wolverine cause, well, I think they’re both freak’n cool! When I was a young lad I had this thing call an allowance. I could only buy 5 dollars worth of products in a week. So I couldn’t buy an Avengers book to read about Iron Man and then an X-men book to read about Wolverine. But I could afford a Justice League comic book to read about Superman, Batman, and the Flash. For young readers, team books are the bargan price. Hell, with the economy the way it is, team books are honestly the best way to go in order to follow adventures of your favorite characters. The more iconic cast members in one title the better for my wallet!

Ben Grim (aka the Thing) is also a really fun character to see in team-ups! He’s honestly just fun to read and I’m sure he’s fun to write. How great will it be to see him working with Luke Cage, Spider-man, and Wolverine each month?!  Especially with Brian Bendis’ writing style!

Superhero Healthcare reform

5 03 2010

There has been a lot of talk and concern about healthcare reform. The media has shed light on the influence that a change in healthcare will have on most social groups. Most, but not all. Middle class Americans, Black Americans, Single parents, and more have all had a chance to speak out about health care. But what about the super powered Americans? How would a universal healthcare plan affect the Super Hero community?

For heroes such as Static Shock, a universal healthcare plan would be very beneficial for their needs. Static is part of a super powered community that does not have a lot of money, nor do they have any sort of healing powers. When you’re getting fireballed once a week, those medical bills add up quickly. Waiting tables at Ihop can’t pay for the kinda medical care you need after a throw down with Sinestro.

Many non-profit superhero teams would also benefit. Look at the x-men. Not only do they protect mankind but they run a school as well. When you’re teaching teenagers how to teleport, people are going to get hurt. And while the X-men have had mutants with healing powers in their rosters, these guys tend to get killed a lot (which is kind of ironic). Without the worries of medical bills, the Xavier institute would finally be able to apply more dangerous training obstacles for their students, like heat seeking missiles! Isn’t that wonderfulJ!

Will the superhero community have access the the same quality of test tubes and cloning equipment after healthcare reform?

But then there is the other side of the fence. What about heroes like Batman and Green Arrow. These guys get their ribs broken on a weekly basis. And since they don’t have super powers they need medical attention quick.  What would Commissioner Gordon do if Batman couldn’t answer his signal because he was waiting in line at the doctor’s office?

Then there are the many heroes who have special needs. Luke Cage has indestructible skin, Cyborg is half robot, Plasticman is made out of….well….plastic. How would a universal healthcare plan assist all of these special needs?

While Washington may have put the concerns of many Americans inside their debates, I’m a tad insulted no one has thought about the needs of Superheroes. Especially Obama. As I recall Spider-man and Savage Dragon helped him out during his campaign. Now that I think about it, perhaps there are some super-powered backdoor deals going down in Washington……..

Do you read “The Walking Dead”?

2 03 2010