DC more than Marvel

I get asked a lot why I love DC more than Marvel. I think it’s because Marvel is our world with heroes and mutants and we are all living with them in it. Trying to keep living and doing our thing. When DC is more, Superman has the power to stop everything.  All the crime all the punishment. Everything could be stopped if Superman would become a tyrant. DC shows us hope. How we should live by Superman’s example. Truth, Justice and the American way.

Most may say that Superman hasn’t stood for the American way since Bush was in office. It doesn’t matter. Superman still portrayed the vision of hope without telling you he’s hope. Without saying guys emblem means hope. He was hope. He was good and thoughtful and he meant something. Now… now he’s close to what you would call a fascist. Thankfully I can live in the past and ignore what others perceive. R.i.p. Superman, you were loved

Written by FTO : NERD TALK

Is the Bob’s burgers episode of the Equestranauts an analog of the new comic book fan culture?

The Equestranauts is a long running tv show in the Bob-verse much similar to My Little Pony. You have Tina a fan of the Equestranauts and Bronconius an “Equestical” (hardcore Equestranaut fan much like Bronies) making a deal over a Chariot, Equestranaut figure, at an Equestranauts convention. This figure is rare very valuable. Tina doesn’t realize it’s value, and trades it for a new edition Chariot with a saddle.  After finds out the true price value, she’s sadden and wants her beloved toy back. 

She forms a plan with her father to retrieve the figure. She teaches him everything she knows about the Equestranauts in a day. Bob learned everything Tina taught him through books (also Tina’s zombie fan fiction) but he never watched any of the eps. Bob finds Bronconius and joins his group of other Equestranauts cosplay friends. You later realize that Bronconius thinks that having Chariot and other legendary Equestranauts together will bring him prolonged youth.

Bob and Bronconius gain a bond and that bond nearly leads Bob to acquire Tina’s toy. Until Bob unknowingly repeats a line from Tina’s Equestranaut Zombie fan fiction. Then Bronconius figures out that Bob isn’t a true Equestical. That’s when Bronconius decides to have Bob prove his fandom by getting a Equestranaut tattoo. Bob’s family walks in and saves the day and Tina gets Chariot back.

Much like new comic fans and their “comic knowledge”. You have places like, Wikipedia, Comic Vine and Google gain comic insight. Which are cool places to fact check or remember old comic lore but never a place to learn a story. When it comes to a story you don’t learn it through someone else or you’ll end like Bob…well, not exactly like Bob. You will run into those moments where you’ll repeat something you heard from someone or heard online. Something you believe to be true but no real facts to back it up.

If you think something is interesting, go out and experience it. You wouldn’t let someone tell you a movie and take it face value, would you? You’d watch it and form your own opinion. That’s no different with comics. I don’t hate wiki, Comic Vine or Google for comic knowledge but it shouldn’t be the only place seek it.

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Written by FTO : NERD TALK

It’s so easy, being trendy.

When I say things like comic books, video games, or movies like: Batman v Superman, Captain America: Civil War, or Hellboy, or TV shows like: The Flash, Arrow, Jessica Jones, or cosplay—you know I’m talking NERD. And today, it seems like being nerd is not only cool, but it is easy. Call me old-fashioned, but there are several things that bother me in the trending nerd culture like: how the Marvel and DC universe is being altered to be screen worthy, how a the saturation of merchandise is devaluing the collectables and making new nerds lazy consumers, how the increased popularity has affected the intimacy of the nerd experience, and how cosplay is a waste of time. These all have combined to create a contemporary nerd that doesn’t care about the craft of the story and art; only the characters they view on the big screen.

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DC’s new logo of 2016

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Marvel Now! 2016

Marvel and DC Makes Superheros for Viewers not Readers
I remember when Hollywood would produce a new action or rom-com film every other month and that was the normative. Now, it’s the superhero films that are putting butts in seats. They’re making billions upon billions of dollars. Seeing the growth of these films, it makes you wonder, when did this all start? Was it with the, Spider-Man (2002) movies or the X-Men (2000) movie, or was it the rise of the Marvel-Disney movies with Iron Man (2008)? It would seem that all or part of these movies are what changed the comics and the video games based from them.

With the popularity of the X-Men and Spider-Man movies, Marvel created a comic universe to service the movie lines, The Ultimate Marvel Universe (1610). Which had all new stories with Marvel Comics greatest heroes and villains. It had new origins for Spider-Man, The X-Men, Captain America, The Hulk, Doctor Doom, The Fantastic Four and so many others. The Ultimate Universe had some of the arguably-greatest X-Men, Avengers and Spider-Man stories.

Was it DC Comics changing their comic line to the New52 or was it the unrecognizable change in Superman in the films? From loveable boycott in the Richard Donner’s, “Superman” (1978) films to the recent Zack Snyder’s, “Man of Steel” (2013)? It’s a mix of the popularity from the movies and growing number of moviegoers. You can’t deny that these films have made money. The first Spider-Man grossed over $403 million dollars. While these movies have only made more sense from a Hollywood perspective. Changing them from the original story only damages the characters, it alters them from how they were intended, into a corporate entity.

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Bryan Singer’s – X-Men (2000)
Marvel Comics: Ultimate X-Men (2000)

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Zack Snyder’s – Man of Steel (2013)
DC Comics: New52 Superman by Jim Lee (2011)

Oversaturated Market Makes New Nerds Lazy and Collectables Worthless
Merchandise is everywhere and it’s not the same as it was in the 80’s or 90’s. It’s a growing trend, and I say trend and not a fad, because fads come and go. I recently went to Target and Wal-Mart and I couldn’t tell you how much superhero merchandise I saw. You have toys and memorabilia, such as the Funko Pop or Slideshow figures. Things that used to be difficult to get a hold of, now is found on the end caps and on the shelves for everyone to purchase and view. Add to this, you also have other types of memorabilia in the form of nightgowns, undergarments, watches, cups, dinnerware and so much more. The current superhero trend is removing that magic and thrill of the new collectable or centerpiece for your coffee table by placing everything nerd easily in one location for the consumer. It’s taking away those awesome stories of going to store in the middle of nowhere and finding that one issue you never thought you could find. It’s making being a comic nerd, lazy. It’s like most fans don’t even bother. That was never the point of collecting when it came to comics or figures. It was always about personal preference. Yeah, there was those few who had to collect everything but you hardly ever saw two nerds with the same type of collection. Much like comics, no two nerds collect the same comics.

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Funko Pop! Toys

Did Cosplay Really Help? No…It Just Pissed Off Comic Artist
Did the new trend come from the rise of a cosplayer? Cosplay has been around since the 1930’s but didn’t gain the name “cosplay” until 1984 — Cosplayers like, Ya-Ya Han who gained popularity at Anime Expo in 1999. Perhaps it was, Jessica Nigri starting her career in 2009? When her cosplay of “Sexy Pikachu” she wore to San Diego Comic-Con International went viral on the Internet? With her gained notability she was able to make a living from cosplay and many more followed. They may have been the reason for others to attend conventions and treat the visits differently.

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Jessica Nigri and Yaya-Han

Cosplayers bring many to conventions but are they people who love comics or people who love cosplay? Two years ago, comic artist Pat Broderick thought the the latter in saying, “If you’re a Cosplay personality, please don’t send me a friend request. If you’re a convention promoter and you’re building your show around cosplay events and mega multiple media guest don’t invite me….You bring nothing of value to the shows, and if you’re a promoter pushing cosplay as your main attraction you’re not helping the industry or comics market..Thank you.”. Cosplayers do bring in fans and new fans but again, they aren’t promoting the craft, only the trend. They don’t show you how to make your own costumes or gather people to comic writers, artists or new comics, they only promote themselves.

Nerd Culture has Gotten Overpopulated
Previously when the most people went to comic or anime conventions it was to see your favorite artist or writers of their favorite comics. Writers like: Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Flash & Fantastic Four), Dan Jurgens (Death of Superman, Zero Hour, The Mighty Thor: Lord of Asgard), Chris Claremont (New Mutants, Uncanny X-Men Legacy of the Lost, X-Men: Days of Future’s Past) and artists Jim Lee (X-Men, Batman: Hush, Wildcats), Tim Bradstreet (Punisher, 28 Days Later, Hellraiser) and Alex Ross (Marvels, Justice, Kingdom Come) were all possible attendees.  Conventions even had some of your favorite t.v., movie, cartoon or video game personalities. People like: William Shatner (Star Trek), Kevin Conroy (Batman: Tas), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Cree Summer (Rugrats). With the cosplay and Hollywood making more and more comic films, comic conventions started to gain more and more popularity.

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San Diego Comic-Con panel with Avengers cast.

Trying to buy a ticket to the San Diego Comic-Con is nearly impossible after the first week of release. When you do get a ticket or badge, you have to book a hotel room (depending on how long you’re staying. two, three or four days) then you have to reserve a parking spot. Then you have lines upon lines and smells you’ll have to endure. You may see some amazing cosplayers and trailers no one but you and the few attending have witnessed; then you’ll have choose which trailer or panel is worth your wait. This is a going trend with most conventions outside of San Diego. Smaller conventions may not have as much flare as San Diego, New York, Chicago or Dragon-Con but they are still very expensive, crowded and filled with lines.

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There’s so many things it could be but I miss the days of going to different comic shops or general stores in and actually finding something comic related. Not something based from a movie or tv show. Finding those relics made me appreciate comics more, and it made me love comics more: because it wasn’t just handed to me. It wasn’t just laid in front of me. I had to work for the items and go out of my way to find something, incredibly special.

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Written by FTO : NERD TALK
Edited by Jodi Ryalls

Origins

I hear often, that people are tired of seeing heroes origins every reboot. I often wonder why that is? Think about Peter Parker being bitten by a radioactive spider, and his transformation into, Spider-Man.

Then I think about, Parker seeing his uncle’s death, and thinking it’s his fault; because he could of stopped it from happening. When something goes wrong in his life, Peter always goes back to his Uncle Ben’s death.

Gwen Stacy dies, by Peter’s hands, because he tried to save her. Even though, the Green Goblin threw Gwen from a bridge, it’s when Spider-Man tries to save her with his web-shooters. That’s when Peter believes it’s his fault, because Gwen neck snaps. Simply because, Parker grabs her incorrectly.

Peter goes back to his Uncle Ben. He starts adding more failure on top of other failures.

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“With great power comes great responsibility.”

Then take Batman’s origin into consideration. Those who understand Batman, they know he’s completely crazy. He sees his parents death often, and he thinks it’s his fault. He caused their death or he should of died with them or instead of them.

Batman often says, “Jason Todd” is my greatest failure”, but readers of the comics know. It’s his parents death. Then you think about Batman’s training into becoming Batman. Watching him become the Dark Knight and using Bruce Wayne as a shell.

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“I made a promise on the grave of my parents that I would rid this city of the evil that took their lives. By day, I am Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist. At night, criminals, a cowardly and superstitious lot, call me… Batman.”

Then you have Superman. I never understood why Hollywood kills Jonathan. Maybe to give Superman more of a struggle with life? Maybe to teach him grief or to make him relatable. Either way, I never thought Superman needed it. He’s stronger with both his parents.

In this “Man of Steel” you have a tornado hit Kansas, and before it hits; you have Clark telling his adopted father Jonathan, “you’re not my real father“. Then during the tornado touching down and wrecking havoc. Jonathan is catch in the middle and Clark can save him, but Jonathan tells Clark not to do so.

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“Truth, Justice and the American Way”

It’s a new telling of the character and a new actor. A new director and writer. Why not re-tell the origin. Yes, we’ve seen it so many times it’ll make you scream. Yes, we know what happens, but what if it’s a bit different.

Like in, “Amazing Spider-Man“. When Peter let’s the criminal go, from a convenient store-instead of the wrestling match from Sam Raimi’sSpider-Man” (2002), and the comics. It’s a different/modern telling, but the same turmoil is still there. Peter let the criminal go, and still blames himself.

We’ve seen Jonathan Kent die in a very odd way this time, (might be part of the reason this telling of Superman is unhinged) in “Man of Steel“. And I heard they show you Thomas and Marta’s death in “Batman v Superman“, spoilers* (Although given the “Martha” scene in that movie, you kinda understand why. Kinda on the nose)…

My point is, these heroes have a significant tragedy or experience in their lives. It means something to them, and they would say defines them. These are the reasons why most of these heroes, wear the costume.

I think of it as, each reboot is just that; it’s a new and a fresh take. You have a new visionaries taking over, and creating a new world. Whether the characters are well received or not.  It’s their take on the character, and the most significant thing about heroes are, the reasons why they wear the costume. 

That’s why I like watching the origins when a superhero gets a new rebooted film. Maybe that’s just me, but I like seeing the drive that keeps a hero going.
Written by FTO : NERD TALK

Up, Up and Away

If you haven’t read “Up, Up and Away“, you should. Especially if you don’t like Superman or you think he’s boring, because this story may just change your mind about him. I read this story a bit late, when Superman was rebooted and made more brooding and grim. So, going back and reading this story about a Supermen who cares about people and thinks before he acts; that was a breath of fresh air.

In this comic, it is one year after “Infinite Crisis“, and Superman or Clark has lived with no powers for over a year. Clark lives his life as a reporter with his wife Lois. Even though he doesn’t have powers, Superman still does his best to protect the people; showing his love and dedication to the citizens of Metropolis.

Thankfully during the time of Superman’s disappearance, Metropolis is introduced to a new savior reminiscent of the red caped hero we know. This hero has a different approach to saving and protecting than Superman. When this new hero appeared it was a shock and kinda predictable, but still left me in a bit of awe. It was like poetry in motion like watching Superman do what he does but with a fresh face.

During the time of Superman’s disappearance, Lex Luthor still wanted to control Metropolis. The master plan that Lex formulates was devious and a bit sentimental. It was a plan of expectancy. Lex doesn’t believe Superman is gone. In his heart, Luthor knows Superman will return, and using his cunning and intellect, prepares to defeat Superman when he returns by gathering every resource available including a variety of Superman’s rogues, the entire year Superman is absent.

Yet, in the face of all of Lex Luthor’s attempts, the headstrong reporter Clark Kent attempts to take down his enemies using only his wits and fortitude — reminding the reader what truly makes him a superhero.

Up, Up and Away“, captures the heart of Superman fans while introducing a familiar hero, revealing some back story with Lex’s sentimental surprise, and demonstrating the tenacity of Clark Kent to match wits against his greatest foes in his powerless guise. The carelessness and honor are the qualities I admire about Superman. He has a special place and my heart and he will always be the best of us. Whether he’s battling old foes or getting assistance from other superhero allies, it’s never a dull moment in the world of Superman.

Edited by Jodi Ryalls

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Written by FTO : NERD TALK

Ant-Man review.

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I can admit when I’m wrong, and Ant-Man was very good. It knew what it was, a comedy. I liked Scott Lang and his interactions with the supporting cast. Michael Douglas had a big role in the movie. It was just as much Hank’s film.

I really enjoyed seeing the back, and forth with Hank and his daughter (Hope). There’s a lot of training montage’s with Scott, Hope and Hank. The thing is, they’re fun and it’s not forced, like a sappy Rom-Com.

I really loved the fight scenes. How Ant-Man and Yellow Jacket went from small to big, and when they were big, it wasn’t as epic. For example, the train-set fight. That scene was funny, epic and cute, all at the same time.

You had fighting on top of a train with lasers and explosions. Then the camera zooms out and you hear squeaks and beeps. It was just fun and funny.

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Yellow Jacket’s costume looked sick. The build up to him wearing it, was a cool villain moment. It was so much different from the comics, but still fun to watch.

I really liked the scene when you knew the Pym Technologies would blow, and the guard that was knocked out. He was grabbed and saved by one of Scott’s friend.

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When Scott went subatomic. It was beautifully done. Wish this film didn’t have so much drama around it. With Edgar Wright leaving during production. It really killed it for me, but again, I’m ok admitting I’m wrong.

I was laughing through out most of the movie. A lot of the scenes were predictable. It was just a really safe film, but still a blast to watch. If you haven’t watched it, you should, and if you have doubts you shouldn’t.

It’s a new modern Disney film. Definitely nice watching it after all the Batman/Superman talk.
Written by FTO : NERD TALK

I know comics aren’t real. Please stop telling me.

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With the growing trend of superhero movies, and tv show references, it would seem that everyone thinks they are an expert in the comic book genre, and have the freedom to comment about the passion I have for the universe created between the covers of these books.

Newcomers to the comic book world, like to remind avid readers that comics aren’t real. It’s not about being real or fake. It’s about investing your time and passion into something that is the mental equivalent of a sport or hobby. Much how certain athletes and their fans put into sports. When Eli Manning won his first Super Bowl, no one thought it would happen. Many laughed and said, “Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, did better this year”. Then Eli did it again. This passion is no different.

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Yet, none of these passions have no actual merit beyond what it means to the individual and those they share it with. You have your kids take part in it or share it with them. You’ll share it with your friends or family. It’s no different than the passion a person has for comics. You learn who is highly regarded amongst other enthusiasts, within the comic book culture. Just like fans of athletes, car designers, artists, writers or any other passion a human chooses to engage their time in.

You become invested in comics. You learn as much as you can. You get better at understanding what you are engaged in; maybe even learn where the story originated. Even if that character has a bit part that florist into something more. Like Wolverine in the pages of The Incredible Hulk #180 (Oct. 1974); and The Incredible Hulk #181 (Nov. 1974). Even the appearance of the Punisher in the pages of The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974).

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Newer fans are getting into comics for entirely different reasons than some of us that did years ago before they were considered popular. For those of us that grew up in the not so “cool” world of comic book reading, we don’t demand that the comic mimic a show or movie; we learned to anxiously wait for the next issue to introduce characters and challenge old ones in a continuous story with often unpredictable future storylines.

Now it seems comics are more of a trend. Comics are everywhere, stores, restaurants, commercials, movie theaters, clothing,…etc. Now, it isn’t shameful to know about superheroes through the pages of comics. I think that’s one divide for most new and old, readers/fans.

I’m not trying to be rude. It’s just very condescending when people say, “I don’t get why you take comics so emotionally/personal“. To me, like other things, you put time and effort into, you have a bond to it, a sentiment.

Add to this, that I have a long history of understanding the artform and characters within the pages of the book. This is the second divide between long time fans and new. For example, many comics from a company combine to share a cohesive universe. In this case you’re not just creating a story or a world. You are building a universe. A cohesive universe where things connect, and are relevant to those characters.

So, when someone says, “I don’t get why people like Superman, he’s pretty much unstoppable”. They don’t understand that Superman has been beaten in some part of the universe. Superman has been defeated. You see the fuller picture and understand that Superman is much more his than strength. He’s about compassion and the betterment of man, because the multiple experiences I have indulged in within the Universe has show me this. Or like when Batman fought Captain Marvel and Solomon Grundy — opponents as strong as Superman. Or when Superman went up against Deathstroke and other highly skilled martial artists. He’s won and failed against them.

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So when someone from outside the Universe, peaking at a small piece of a larger story makes uninformed comments, it is infuriating. If you knew the characters, you would know their opponents, and what they’ve gone through, or even if they’ve fought before. So, when someone reminds me that comics aren’t real. It’s as if people are telling me, “you’re dumb for liking this and taking it seriously“. I do take it serious, because I spend my time and energy developing a fuller understanding of the big picture that is being presented by the industry’s artists and storytellers.

Regardless of the fact that comic books represent a cohesive universe with a strong lineage and lore, the fact remains I do understand that it is nothing more than a passion of the mind. I understand that the universe created within the pages of the book, though complex, spring from the imagination of the artist and my interpretation of their work. You do not need to remind me or any other long standing fans of the genre for that matter, that comics aren’t real.

Edited by Jodi Ryalls

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Written by FTO : NERD TALK