Category Archives: Superheroes

Superheroes: From Page to Life

Avengers, assemble!  Superheroes have exploded off the comic book pages in recent years, and their popularity is showing no signs of slowing down.  Superhero stories have always resonated with their readers, so it’s no surprise that they have crossed mediums.  It seems no matter where you look, there’s some sort of superhero media – whether it be comic books, movies, video games, or something else altogether.

While superheroes may have started out as larger than life people in comic books, they didn’t stay there for long.  Transcending time, race, and age, they are easy to read about, and while they may be super powered, they’re easy to identify with.  They embody the same qualities that we like to see in ourselves – heroism, kindness, and always doing what is right – so it’s no wonder that they have stuck around as long as they have.  Their stories and their lessons will always be relevant.

Comic books were only the beginning when it comes to superheroes.  Marvel released movie series based on Spider-Man and the X-Men, but their vision didn’t stop there.  Beginning in 2008, Marvel started its cinematic universe: a series of interconnected films, featuring different superheroes, each of which adds a chapter to one massive story.  The first movie in the cinematic universe starred Iron-Man.  From there, they’ve released movies featuring the Incredible Hulk, the Avengers, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more, with more planned for the future.  DC has also released their own set of movies – Batman, Superman, and Suicide Squad, and they also have plans to release more films.  With the release of films comes merchandising, ranging from children’s toys and posters to costumes, and everything in between.  Video games, including popular online games, are also growing in number at a surprising rate.  Superheroes are no longer just comic book stories, or even movies.  They’re a lifestyle.

The popularity of these characters doesn’t just stop at merchandise aimed at younger audiences.  For the older crowd that loves to gamble, superhero slot machines are some of the most popular slot machines on the market.  Nothing can beat winning big at the slots while watching clips of your favorite superhero movies, or watching the Hulk tear through the reels.  It’s a strangely satisfactory combination of two completely different worlds.  Their popularity is even bigger in the online casino world – it’s hard to sit down at your computer to gamble without running into at least one superhero slot machine.  If you have a favorite character, whether it be one of the X-Men, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Thor, the Incredible Hulk, or any of the other countless superheroes, chances are that you’ll be able to find a slot that suits you. See for example the online slots page at casin.com. It offers Spiderman, Hulk, X Men and even Thor slots.

Superheroes may have started off in the pages of comic books, but they didn’t stay there for long.  From comic books to movies and merchandise, from online video games to online slot machines, they are everywhere.  One thing is for certain: there’s never been a better time to be a superhero fan than right now.

BATMAN v SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE 

For the past few months we’ve been bombarded with various online and offline marketing teasing us of the impending arrival of the next highly anticipated chapter in both the Batman and Superman franchises. Next month finally sees the release of Zack Snyder’s ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ which will do its best to merge together two hugely popular franchises from DC comics.

batman v superman

There’s much to look forward to in this new superhero face-off as much as there is for things to potentially be concerned about. So far we’ve been showered with various posters, teasers, interviews, trailers and featurettes all promising exciting things along the way, including our first glimpses of Oscar winner Ben Affleck donning the iconic cowl. Indeed, the superhero theme has inspired all types of additional fan art from stained glass window style posters to colourful online casino slots. Casino slots in particular, such as the Thor style slot at allslotcasino.com, have proven popular with the gaming community highlighting the cross-platform influence of such iconic characters.

Last summer we saw the release of a new teaser trailer for the movie as well as some accompanying US one-sheets. One of which included a cleverly torn shot of Batman that had ripped out the famous Superman logo and vice versa. It gave us a taste of tone as well as an early peek at the new Batman costume itself. But it was the 2-minute-long teaser trailer that really got tongues wagging and helped raise excitement levels. The teaser was dark and moody and focused heavily on the role of Superman, this apparent ‘false god’, and the changing attitudes of us mere mortals towards him as a potential dangerous ‘alien’ and almost likening him to some powerful dictator. Step up Bruce Wayne, who along with his wonderful toys, looks on to rid Metropolis of the Man of Steel.

batman v superman-2

Skip forward a few months and along with another couple of teasers which merged a bit of what we had already seen with some new footage came the fourth trailer, a brand new 90 second one from Warner Bros, giving us more of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and of course our two title stars. The new trailer gives us a much better look at the action on show, the battles, the explosions, the moral arguments for why these two are even bothering to go up against each other in the first place and a whole lot more.

‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ arrives in theatres on the 25th March and is set to be followed up with ‘The Justice League’ parts one and two in 2017 and 2019 respectively. And what with Ben Affleck’s Batman looking to make an appearance in this Augusts’ release of ‘Suicide Squad’ it’s certainly going to be another busy superhero-based year in cinema.

Superheroes and The Law (Can Superman Run For President of the USA)?

 

Superheroes and the Law

Can Superman run for president of the United States? Can the makers of the genetically modified spider that bit Peter Parker sue him for patent violations? Is the Superhuman Registration Act constitutional?

My wife works in the legal field (trained as a Paralegal), and she stumbled on this geeky but legal related book and just knew that other geeks like me would be interested.

In THE LAW OF SUPERHEROES, lawyers, co-bloggers (at Law and the Multiverse), and self-proclaimed comic book nerds James Daily and Ryan Davidson attempt to answer these questions – and many more. Wherever the law and comic book stories intersect (and the points are both numerous and varied!), Daily and Davidson are there, armed with a library’s worth of case law, a comprehensive knowledge of comic book lore, and an easy, engaging sense of humor. The result is an accessible, enjoyable look at US law as explained using examples culled from comic books.

This Amazon review has a great summary, click on through to The Law of Superheroes:

The book is split into thirteen chapters, each of which covers a different area of US law:

1 – Constitutional Law: e.g., Does the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment grant mutants civil rights? Could the state ever force a superhuman to relinquish his or her superpowers?

2 – Criminal Law: If you murder a superhero who’s later resurrected, is it still murder? Is the Joker legally insane?

3 – Evidence: Could the court ever allow testimony given by a masked superhero? Can the services of psychics be used to verify a witness’s testimony?

4 – Criminal Procedure: Would evidence gathered by Batman be admissible in criminal court? Could a superhero be held liable for false arrest?

5 – Tort Law and Insurance: Does the nonconsensual use of telepathy constitute a violation of privacy? Who’s legally responsible for the massive property damages sustained in the comic book universes?

6 – Contracts: Could Batman really contract the services of thugs to rescue civilians, as he does in No Man’s Land? Are contracts with the Devil enforceable?

7 – Business Law: Which business designation would best fit a superhero team, e.g., for tax and liability purposes? Does the Americans with Disabilities Act afford mutants any protection?

8 – Administrative Law: Would Superman owe taxes on pieces of coal that he crushed into diamonds? How would flying superheroes deal with the FAA?

9 – Intellectual Property: Does Peter Parker own the copyright to photos he takes for the Daily Bugle? Do the surviving members of The Beatles have a copyright claim on music created by their counterparts in an alternate universe?

10 – Travel and Immigration: Could Superman really renounce his US citizenship? Would international restriction on travel apply to superhumans who travel by teleportation devices (i.e., since they aren’t technically crossing borders)?

11 – International Law: What are the territorial markers of Atlantis? Do US courts have any jurisdiction over crimes committed on other planets?

12 – Immortality, Alter Egos, and Resurrection: Would the compound interest on their investments provide a living wage to immortals? Can immortal beings collect Social Security in perpetuity?

13 – Non-Human Intelligences: As a non-human, would Superman have any rights at all? Can the Endangered Species Act be used to protect intelligent super-nonhumans?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found the early,”sexier” chapters on Constitutional and criminal law more entertaining than those on business and administrative law. That said, the authors still manage to make the tax code seem somewhat interesting.

Dr. Horrible Sequel Is In The Works!

Dr. HORRIBLE

My favorite supervillian, Dr. Horrible, is making a return after 5 years!

Entertainment Weekly caught up with the creator and director of the webseries, Joss Whedon, and asked him what’s the latest update on making progress to a long awaited sequel. Here’s a snippet of his reply, head on over to EW to read the full story:

“We know we have spoken publicly about a sequel in the near distance and our passion to create it, and I promise we have not been insincere. Horrible is still one of our favorite creations by humans who were also us. We have many songs written and the plot outlined, but needless to say, we’ve been busy…” –read the rest @ EW’s blog.

via – Nerdist

Is Batman Gay?

image

Grant Morrison is a writer for Action Comics, he’s also spent a bit of time revamping the Batman comics. So he’s delved into the psyche of the flying rodent superhero and can tell us a thing or two about him. In a recent Playboy interview, Grant confirms some of what has been rumored for many years when he says the character is “very, very gay”.

As Grant tells Playboy:

"He’s very plutonian in the sense that he’s wealthy and also in the sense that he’s sexually deviant. Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay."

Some of the comic purists may claim this is heresy, I would refer them to ComicBookMovie’s defense of Grant’s claim of Batman’s gayness.

Frankly, I don’t care if Batman is gay, though I do like the storylines revolving around Batman and Cat Woman and that would be a shame if the sexual tension between the two is a sham.

New Sherlock Holmes Trailer

I’ve always loved the Sherlock Holmes stories whether in book, radio theater or cinema form. I can hardly wait for the next chapter in the great detective’s life later this year. And according to IMDB, this is the first Sherlock Holmes movie to reach US cinema in 20 years! It’s about time! 🙂 Here’s the details on this one:

Release Date: December 25, 2009
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Rachel McAdams, Jude Law, Mark Strong, Kelly Reilly
Plot: Detective Sherlock Holmes (Downey Jr.) and his stalwart partner Watson (Law) engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England.

Eartha Kitt (Catwoman) – RIP

Cat Woman - Eartha Kitt 1 

Eartha Kitt passed away today at the age of 81. If you don’t know her by name, you may remember her as one of the women to play Catwoman, a super nemesis of Batman in the TV series from the 1960’s. She was also the only black villain to appear on the show.

From ABC News:

Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed "sex kitten" famous for her catlike purr, was one of America’s most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and nabbing a third nomination. She also was nominated for several Tonys and two Grammys.

BTW, the other 2 women to play Catwoman on the TV series is Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether.

Catwoman - Eartha Kitt 3  Cat Woman - Eartha Kitt 2

Stan Lee Producing Gay Superhero Project

Variety is reporting that Showtime is developing a project from comic god Stan Lee that tracks the life of a gay superhero. The story is based on Peter Moore’s book ‘Hero‘.

To get a sneak peek at the storyline, here’s a synopsis of the book:

The protagonist is Thom Creed, a teen coming to terms with his sexual orientation. In an attempt to break away from his seemingly non-understanding father (an ex-hero with something to hide) and homophobic community, Thom runs away from home, only to find himself in the middle of a multi-hero rescue operation.

Using his ability to heal, he keeps an injured woman alive until the League superheroes arrive and impresses them enough to get an invitation to try out for a hero apprentice position. Thom is teamed with an old woman who can see into the future, a spiteful girl who unleashes her power through fire, a sickly boy who is able to inflict disease on anyone, and a demoted hero with insane speed.

Batman Kissing Robin

This pic is a t-shirt of Batman Kissing Robin.

[Picture is courtesy of wili hybrid via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0]

Will Beyoncé Lasso the Role of Wonder Woman?

Beyonce - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman the movie has been an on again, off again affair for Warner Bros since around 2001. It’s currently on again with a pair of writers assigned to the script but don’t anticipate seeing this flik on the big screen until 2011 at the earliest. You can keep abreast of WW movie news at IMDB’s news page dedicated to the superhero, but the latest and greatest news comes to us from the LA Times:

Beyoncé is ready for an Amazon-sized challenge — the pop superstar wants to be the first actress to wear Wonder Woman’s famed red, white and blue bathing suit on the silver screen.

“I want to do a superhero movie and what would be better than Wonder Woman? It would be great. And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It’s time for that, right?”

I’m not a fan of the singer, not because I don’t care for her music but because I only know her by name and that’s it. But based on the comments from readers of the LAT article, I have to say that we may be better off considering someone else. Are those comments off base? Should I actually look forward to seeing her in that skimpy outfit and toting the lasso of truth?

Flickr Mosaic: Superhero

Here’s a mosaic of photos from Flickr tagged with ‘Superhero’. My favorites from this set are #4 “Late for work” & #6 “Wonder Women”

(clicky for a closer view – 300KB)

Superhero Flickr Mosaic

1. Something about superhero’s, Muppets™, whiskey, stuffed animals and pink slippers (062/365), 2. March 30 – My Story, 3. [ S u p e r m a n ], 4. Late for Work / Tarde pa’l trabajo, 5. Lápis…, 6. Wonder Women, 7. Batgirl Barbie-A Portrait, 8. A Hero is Part Human, Part Supernatural, 9. Portrait of a SuperHero, 10. 138 Phoenix

 

[Mosaic Web Tool courtesy of BigHugeLabs]

Strippers vs. Zombies

The movie Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! could be called ‘strippers vs. zombies’ and in case you’re into that kind of thing, let me remind you about “Superhero Or Stripper, You Decide“.

Head on over to avzombie.com to read all about what will probably be one of the best zombie gore flicks in a while.

BTW, this trailer embedded below is the tamer of the two videos. Trailer #2 is probably the goriest, most disgusting trailer I have *ever* seen online. You’ve been warned. 🙂


Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! – Trailer #1 from zombies3 on Vimeo.

Did You Miss Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog?

Dr. Horrible

Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog was an outstanding 3 act web exclusive and had a limited lifetime on the web, no doubt in order to generate more buzz.

If you missed it before, here’s your second chance to watch it without having to pay for it on iTunes or wait for the DVD: http://www.hulu.com/dr-horribles-sing-along-blog

And remember:

It’s not about making money, it’s about taking money. Destroying the status quo, because the status is not quo. The world is a mess and I need to rule it.

Great Fun With Captain Blasto

Captain Blasto

The main character in this superhero video web series is a ‘regular Joe’ high school geek that is living a dull life. To get out of the rut he creates his own superhero costume and hatches a plan. The crazy plan has him recruiting a middle-aged crew of comic crooks to stage bogus burglaries. When the crime goes down he appears on scene to foil it in the guise of his childhood comic book hero: Captain Blasto.

So he’s showered in fame and hero worship, what could possibly go wrong, right? Watch it and see, it’s pretty funny. This is a high quality story with surprisingly good writing and audio (effects & music) as well, I highly recommend checking this one out.

You can watch all five of the episodes at http://www.captainblasto.com, new episodes appear weekly.

Here’s the trailer: