30 Day DC Challenge -Day 13: Favorite Animated DC Movie

All Star Superman

I’ve stated that I find Superman to be a dull hero. Early seasons of Smallville focused on when Superman was a teen which I think was when he was (in my opinion) the most interesting. Regardless, some writers have manage to tell interesting Superman stories. Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman is one such story. I didn’t read the comic, but did watch the animated version. Generally, I watch animated DC movies out of habit. Some are good other aren’t. I didn’t have too much expectation from this movie, but I enjoy it. Released in 2011, All-Star Superman follows Superman after he becomes even more powerful after an encounter with the sun. However, he starts dying due to radiation poisoning. This is suppose to be the final adventure before Superman dies.

Superman engages in a series of challenges similar to the 12 Labors of Hercules. He reveals his secret identity to Lois Lane. At the Fortress of Solitude, a series of robots concoct a serum that give Lois superpowers for a day. He arm wrestles Atlas and Samson, saves Lois from the Ultra-Sphinx. The animated version isn’t exactly like it’s source material, but it’s a pretty good adaptation. When choosing what to adapt, it’s important to choose carefully. What do you put in, what do you leave out and will you change anything. All Star Superman makes many good choices. One of the most memorable parts of the movie was a scene where Superman as Clark Kent, has to save Lex Luther from the Parasite while maintaining his identity.

Despite the fact that I generally find Superman stories uninteresting, this was one time in which I was proving wrong. While accepting his death, Superman became more human. All Star Superman undermined my expectations. It was funny, clever, and generally entertaining. If Superman stories were more often like this one, I think I would like him more. Finally, the animation was well done, it’s not terrible detailed but that’s fine. If you haven’t seen All Star Superman, I highly recommend it.

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House of X #2: Recap and Review

To say I’m loving this is an understatement. I’ve never been a comic book enthusiasts, but I think House of X is going to mark the moment I became one. This issues centers on Moira MacTaggart. When I was a child she was featured in the X-Men animated series, but she was the non-mutant scientist ex girlfriend of Charles Xavier. Hickman has retcon her backstory. If past history is any indication, many fans will hate this. Comic book fans tend to hate it when writers retcon anything that was well established in the past. However, I think Hickman has what it takes to make it work. Besides he’s is trying to restart the X-Men.

Moira joins Apocalypse

If you read Powers of X #1, you know that MacTaggart meets Xavier but he’s doesn’t seem to know her. However, she knows him. When Xavier reads her mind he understands. This moment is confusing, but House of X #2 clarifies it. Hickman makes Moira into a mutant with the ability of reincarnation. After dying she retains all her memories from her previous life. She isn’t reincarnated into a new body and she’s not born into the present moment when she died. Meaning every time she’s dies, she returns to the day her life started the first time. This allows her to change the future, as she is aware of her past and can make different choices.

Each resurrection results in Moira becomes more and more radical. In her third life she decides to “cure” mutants, thinking that she has a disease like cancer. However, she doesn’t get a chance to as Mystique and Destiny intervene. Her beliefs regarding mutants are changed by this encounter with Destiny, who can see the future. She tells Moira that “she not immortal” and only has 10 or 11 lives to live. Destiny makes it clear that she will hunt down and kill Moira, if she doesn’t change. Moira views shift to protecting her fellow mutants. Moira is negatively influence by her experiences, eventually become evil, teaming up with Magneto and then Apocalypse.


House of X #1 Review


In her tenth and maybe final life, she plans on doing something. After allowing Xavier to read her mind, he becomes radicalize as well. This leans to the change in him that we have been witnessing. House of X focuses on her tenth life. By giving Charles the knowledge she had collected over the years give him the advantage of knowing what went wrong. Of course in Powers of X #1, we know that they fail again. Regardless, Hickman’s House of X, is exciting and new X-Men story that I can’t wait to finish.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 10: Favorite Civilian Character

Alfred Pennyworth

Universe: Prime Earth
Creators: Don Cameron · Bob Kane
First App: Detective Comics Vol 2 #1 (Nov, 2011)


Alfred Pennyworth is the fiction butler of Bruce Wayne. In many ways he’s as iconic as Batman is. Alfred is more than just a butler. He’s his best friend, aid in battle, and he been a surrogate father for Bruce Wayne. Alfred has many abilities outside of house keeping. He’s a classically trainer actor and a former Special Operations Executive. He been called “Batman’s batman.” He runs Wayne Manor and maintains the Batcave as well. He has impersonated Bruce on the phone, can provide tactical support when needed, is able to perform advance medical procedures.

As a close member of a superhero, Alfred has been kidnapped often. If you count comics outside if DCU continuity, he’s been kidnapped 27 times. He’s always managed to use his skills to escape. Due to Alfred’s age, he’s more likely to use a firearm (unlike other members of the Batman family). In more recent comics, Alfred is suggested to have mastered, several fields like rose breeding, computer programming, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, nanotechnology and biotechnology. He credited with having built the Bat-computer. Overall, I think that Alfred Pennyworth is probably the most useful and important civilian in comics.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 9: Least Favorite Villain

Sleez

Universe: Prime Earth
Creators: John Byrne
First App: New Super-Man and the Justice League of China #20 (April, 2018)

To be honest the villains in DC comics can be underwhelming. Sure they great ones like, The Joker, Darkseid, Lex Luther or Doomsday. However, they are many ridiculous villains in the DC Universe, like, Double Down, a former gambler with playing cards sealed to his skin. There’s Orca, a villain that once Grace Balin, a marine biologists. She was paralyzed in a car accident, experimented with Orca tissue. She transformed into a whale like human (with human-whale breasts to boot). She wasn’t even a great villain, as her biggest crime was stealing a diamond to fund projects for the poor. She was killed by another part human, part animal villain, Killer Croc.

However, none of these villain can hold a candle to Sleez. Not a often utilize villain, he was first introduced in Action Comics Vol. 1 #592, A Walk on the Darkside!(1987). In the issue he encounters and kidnaps Big Barda. He forces her to dance for him while he films it. Created by John Byrne, Sleez is an alien from Apokolips. He’s an empath that feeds on the ” baser emotions of the average person and use that energy to bolster his own life force.” He also has the ability to inflame desires. He was so depraved that even Darkseid was disgusted by him and banished him to Earth.

After capturing Superman and Big Barda, he tries to force them into making a sex tape. The only thing that prevents it is Superman’s high morality and intervention from Barda’s husband, Mister Miracle. His hope is to generate enough money to build an army to defeat Darkseid. He makes a return in New Super-Man and the Justice League of China Vol 1 #20 (2018). He attacks Wonder Woman, asking “what’s your deepest darkest desire, baby.” He able to “taste” her sexual desire for Batman. He refers to himself as “uncle Sleez,” and his ability to manipulate results in Superman and the Flash (a female version) kissing. I know that sometimes you run out of ideas, but a perverted villain that forces people into sexual situations is not a good idea.

Powers of X #1: Recap and Review

Powers of X #1

Story By: Jonathan Hickman

Art By: R.B. Silva

Colors By: Marte Gracia

Publisher: Marvel Comics

This week was the debut of Power of X #1 (X is pronounced 10), the sister series of the House of X. The first thing you learn is the reason that it’s pronounced “Powers of Ten.” The first page of the series reveals that four time periods will be the focus. There are referred by exponents. X⁰ is Year Zero, the period when Professor X created the X-Men. Followed by, X¹ as Year 10, the present time in X-Men depicted in House of X. Then, X² is 100 years later. And finally, X³ is 1,000 years after that.

Hence, the Power of Ten. Make sense?

I think it can feel overwhelming at first but after re-reading it, I got it. Powers of X #1, primarily focuses on the period 100 years in the future. During this period, Mutants are engaged in a war against the alliance between humans and Sentinel robots. Hickman includes the explainers like in House of X, helping us ease into this new information. At some point between X⁰ and X², Mr. Sinister was permitted to create the “Sinister breeding pits of Mars.” Similar to the Sentinel HOUND program, this program would breed mutants that had powers with “aggressive, militaristic traits.”

Why anyone would trust Mr. Sinister is beyond me. Regardless, Sinister created a “Chimera” class of mutants. The first generation had a “singular DNA source,” the second one had “DNA composed of two separate X-genes,” the third produced mutants that had a “amalgamated DNA featuring up to five X-genes.” Sinister created a fourth generation that resulted in “systemic failure,” the “destruction of 40 percent of the mutant population,” the “fall of Krakoa,” and “mass suicide.” One fourth generation mutant that survived was Rasputin.


Review of House of X #1


She was given DNA and powers from, Quentin Quire (telepathy), Colossus (Metal skin), Unus (force-field shield), Kitty Pride (Intangibility) and Laura Kinney (Healing Factor). Of course, Mr. Sinister betrays mutant-kind, and defects to the Man-Machine side. They publicly executed him. The mutant population has been decimated to merely ten thousand that mostly live out their lives as refugees and soldiers in the Shi’ar Empire. Some of the older X-Men remain alive like, Wolverine, Magneto, Xorn and Black Tom Cassidy (he looks like Groot). Meanwhile it’s revealed that Nimrod and Omega Sentinel Karima Shapandar are running the Man-Machine Supremacy on Earth.

While I prefer House of X, Power of X is really interesting. There’s a lot to grasp here but like House of X the explainers help. I also prefer the art style of Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva is pretty good as well. Power of X does spoil what happens to the mutant nation of Krakoa. I’m not bother by this, but it does make the revelations in House of X feel worthless or at least knowing it will all be destroyed undermines it significance. On a side note I am interested in the Empress of the Shi’ar Empire, Xandra. It was indicated that she was interested in taking over the Sol system. Also she’s the “daughter” of Charles Xavier and Lilandra.

Overall, Powers of X #1, manages to include old characters with some new ones, while introducing interesting events. Future timelines in comics an become problems, but Power of X may get them right.

Sources: Marvel fandom

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 7: Most Underrated DC Hero

Martian Manhunter

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: Joseph Samachson · Joe Certa

First App: Stormwatch Vol 3 #1 (November, 2011)

In my opinion most of the heroes in DC are probably underrated. Generally, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman are largely relied upon for “saving the day.” That said, the MOST underrated superhero is the Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz/John Jones). The last survivor of the martian race, John came to Earth. He would join the Justice League under the name of Martian Manhunter. I’m mostly familiar with John from the Justice League animated series where he largely remained in the Watchtower. This is where he’s the most underrated.

From the Watchtower, John is responsible for manning the Watchtower and serving as mission coordinator. He is able to determine which heroes go to which conflict, based on how effective their abilities are. This is a passive but very important job that he’s been given. Obviously, this isn’t the most gratifying and admittedly “heroic” thing for a hero to do or at least that’s how it will be received. John himself is quite powerful. He possess the standard group of powers. superhuman strength, durability, flight, regeneration, shape-shifting, invisibility, telepathy and telekinesis. The grouping of these powers are somewhat different, but they’re among the most common powers for superheroes.

He is the most powerful telepath on Earth, he can link minds of all superheroes at once from the “distance of the Moon to all corners of Earth.” He can even read all inhabitants of Earth simultaneously. His mind control abilities is so profound, he was apparently able to temporarily make the Joker sane. John can see across the electromagnetic spectrum, has X-ray vision, project energy beams and according to Batman he’s an “amalgam of Superman and Batman.” If this doesn’t convince you that he’s underrated I don’t know what will. While, he’s underrated he’s not ignored. He has had a number of series to his name. However, unlike, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, he’s mostly known by comic book fans.

Source: dc.fandom

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 6: Favorite Green Lantern

John Steward

I’ll admit that I haven’t always had the highest respect for the Green Lantern Corps. Particularly, their weakness to yellow. I spent a lot of my childhood superhero conversations, making jokes about Green Lanterns being defeated by yellow crayons or pee. Juvenile jokes aside, a weakness to the color yellow is ridiculous and deserves to be mocked. Regardless, this is about which Green Lantern is my favorite. They one thing that I like about the Green Lantern Corps is that they don’t discriminate. I mean they REALLY don’t discriminate.

They are willing to recruit just about anyone. Gender, race or species doesn’t matter. There’s, B’DG (pronounced Badge), a squirrel-like being and Mogo, the sentient planet. There are probably too many Green Lantern to really care too much about many of them. The Guardians were surprisingly terrible for “good guys.” Positioning themselves as Guardians of the Universe they have no one to answer to. They decided that they should destroy all magic and magical beings, left Darkseid alone because he’s too strong, and exiled Hal Jordan for protecting the Earth “too much.”

He’s kinda cute though

Anyway, there have been a few human Green Lanterns that I’ve liked. I’m torn between John Stewart and Kyle Rayner. I liked Rayner because he was funny and he was an artist that was more creative with the ring. John Stewart was one of the first black superheroes, that also didn’t have “black” in his name. The third human Lantern, he was introduced in 1971. Unlike Kyle, John was featured in the DC animated series. He was a bit uptight but had a since of humor. I liked his romantic relationships with Hawkgirl and later Vixen. He would become the first human Guardian of the Universe. When the Guardians were absent he became the leader of the Green Lantern Corps.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 5: What is your Favorite DC Team

The Justice League (Prime Earth)

Art by Alex Ross

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: Geoff Johns · Jim Lee

First appearance: Justice League (Volume 2) #6

After choosing a newer DC character for my favorite female villain, I’m back to my clique path. The Justice League is hands down the best DC team. How could it not be. It features the most iconic and important superheroes in the DC Universe. It’s almost unfair. If Justice League Unlimited the animated series is to be believe eventually almost every hero joins the League. Regardless, I’m focusing on the founding members of the Justice League. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, The Flash, and Green Lantern (the animated series added Martian Manhunter).

I’ll admit I’m neutral on Cyborg, and have made fun of Green Lantern for his weakness to yellow and Aquaman for his somewhat useless ability to talk to fish. However, watching the Justice League animated series and becoming more familiar with the Justice League changed that. Together the Justice League acts as the first line of defense against inter-dimensional and extra-terrestrial threats. The often came into conflict with Legion of Doom and the many forces of Darkseid.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 4: Who is your Favorite Female Villain

Bryce Wayne (The Drown)

Universe: Earth – 11

Creators: Scott Snyder · Greg Capullo

First App: Dark Days: The Casting #1 (Sept, 2017)

Don’t be the victim who drowns. Don’t sink with the rest. Be active. Rise up, … reclaim the light, … and be the one who does the drowning

 The Batman Who Laughs

I was going to choose Catwoman, but technically she’s not a villain. However, recently a new character has been introduced to the DC Universe. Bryce Wayne is the Batwoman of Earth-11, also known as The Drowned and she is one of Barbatos Dark Knights. She became a crime fighter after her boyfriend Sylvester Kyle is murdered by metahumans. She became a murderer as a result. After a year she had killed all the super-powered beings on land. Aquawoman arrives to offer a treaty, however, it’s a hoax and war breaks out. Bryce sides with the surface and defeats the Atlanteans, including killing Aquawoman with her own trident.

To get revenge, the Atlanteans “drown” Gotham City. Bryce performs several surgical and genetic procedures on herself. She was able to “imbuing her human form with vast biochemical augmentations, such as the ability to breathe underwater, heal faster, and bolster muscular, skeletal and bodily tissue density, along with the capability to perform a type of dark hydrokinesis which could corrupt and convert those fighting against her into ravenous sea beasts under her command.” With the trident, she was able to conquer Atlantis, then drowned the rest of the world.

The Drowned is a vengeful mass-murderer that has a tragic backstory. She also has cool abilities and her appearance is a combination of epic and hideous. I loved her “destroy them all mentality” and was strangely on her side throughout her war with the Atlanteans. She doesn’t really say a whole lot and it’s difficult to gauge her personality, but I was instantly hooked on her story, appearance and abilities.

30 Day DC Challenge -Day 3: Who is your Favorite Male Villain

The Joker

Universe: Prime Earth

Creators: Jerry Robinson · Bill Finger · Bob Kane

First App: Detective Comics Vol 2 #1 (Nov, 2011)

“C’mon Bats, get crazy. It’s the only way to beat me!”

Batman: Arkham Asylum, 2009

I can’t tell you how much I love the Joker. He’s a terrible monster that is a criminal mastermind with a sadistic sense of humor. I love him. I can’t quite put my finger on why. There are probably worst villains in DC (in terms of murders) but the Joker stands out. He loves to create chaos. Unlike most villains, the Joker likes to kill in the “funny” ways. His pasts is as unclear as his mental state. Was he a failed comedian. A mob enforcer. How did he get his skin. The most common story suggests that he fell into a ” tank of chemical waste which bleaches his skin white and turns his hair green and lips bright red; the resulting disfigurement drives him insane.” Regardless, the Joker likes to strike at the mind of his victims, at least before he murders them.

Art by Alex Ross

The Joker is considered to be the antithesis of Batman. He believes that Batman hasn’t killed him because he “makes Batman better.” They’re polar opposites, the extroverted, loud, colorfully dressed and chaotic Joker, compared to the introverted, silent, and disciplined Batman. Both are highly intelligent and like Batman, the Joker doesn’t possess any superpowers. He defines himself through conflict between him and Batman. When he believed Batman died he tried to lead a normal like, but returned to his normal self when Batman reappeared. He has expertise in chemical engineering, that he uses to develop his many toxins. The most important characteristic of the Joker is his insanity. He lacks empathy and the ability to determine right from wrong.

In A Serious House on Serious Earth, he is described as “capable of processing outside sensory information only by adapting to it.” This allows him to create new personalities based on what which one would benefit him the most. This has been described as the Joker being “super-sane.” It has been on occasion been speculated that the Joker isn’t actually insane, but simply pretends to be. His alleged “insanity” has made him immune to the Spectre’s judgement. According to Batman it’s impossible for the Spectre to successfully judge him if the Joker doesn’t know right from wrong. Overall, I find the Joker to be hilarious. Maybe it’s how he’s characterized, the tone of his voice and his iconic laugh. He also has a knack for memorable quotes.

A lion doesn’t pass judgement on a gazelle. Cancer doesn’t pass judgement on a brain. I’ve been saying this all along. Evil doesn’t exist. There are only actions. We got to the same place–the top of the food chain–just on different paths. Mine was more fun.

The Joker