Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest!- BC.
Given that some characters find themselves with extraordinary powers, weapons, scientific genius, or other skills and gimmicks, why do so many of them choose to use their advantages for criminal purposes?
Last year I cranked out a long list of possible motives for becoming a superhero (it’s linked at the bottom of this post). As I was working on that, it occurred to me in passing that someday I might want to follow up with the flip side of the equation — a list of motives for pursuing the lifestyle of the supervillain. As I recall, I initially rejected the idea, because (I said to myself): “After you’ve mentioned greed, sadism, megalomania, and general insanity, how many other motives are there?”
Several more, actually, as I eventually realized when I reexamined the idea much later! Here’s what I came up with, thinking about various villains from comic books (and other forms of fiction) who came to mind as prime examples of people with one motivation or another. (Granting, though, that in some cases a villain may have multiple reasons for doing the nasty things he does, and sometimes different writers will appear to contradict one another over the years as they present different takes on what “really” makes a certain character tick.) Continue Reading »
Here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest list, a special Fourth of July treat for you fine readers!- BC.
In June of 2007, on various forums, I requested help from my fellow fans in compiling a list of “Flagsuit Characters” who like to dress and act in a way that will make people see them as Particularly Patriotic American Heroes. I thought it would be appropriate to post the full list on the Fourth of July of that year, and I did. On that occasion, the list had 155 entries. Afterwards more suggestions came in from various fans, and of course I somehow ended up putting off any updating of my master copy until July 3, 2008. (Such procrastination is trickier than it looks — don’t try this at home, kids!) I now have 205 entries on the list, and I’m still open to suggestions for future additions!
Here were my original guidelines: Continue Reading »
Again, here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here, and here is his latest list- BC.
A few months ago I posted my latest draft of a list of all the people who, in the years since 1986, have known Batman’s secret identity and in some cases have then “lost” the knowledge (by retcon or otherwise). It’s still available at Who Knows Batman is Bruce Wayne?
This list is something different; more suited for diehard fans of “the good old days” that ended over two decades ago. (If you couldn’t care less about Batman’s continuity from so long ago, then you might not be interested in reading the rest of this! I’m giving fair warning!) This is my second attempt to name all those who knew Bruce’s secret in the Silver and Bronze Ages, when his stories were set on Earth-1 in the Pre-Crisis Multiverse. Continue Reading »
Again, here is the archive of the lists Lorendiac posts here – BC.
Last summer I suddenly started wondering just how often Gold Kryptonite, arguably the “ultimate weapon” to use against a super-powered Kryptonian, has actually been used to depower someone. In theory, the Earth-1 Superman (of the Silver and Bronze Ages) constantly had the threat of it hanging over his head. But in practice, how often did it actually demonstrate its dreaded capability to permanently remove Kryptonian super-powers? I had no idea!
Naturally I requested help from my fellow fans in compiling a list of such occurrences. My key requirement was that I only wanted stories that were apparently “in continuity” when first published, even if the continuity might have gotten rearranged later. This allowed me to include any Silver Age/Bronze Age stories that later got erased in the Post-COIE Superman Reboot.
On the other hand, if Gold K was used on someone in a story that was clearly meant to be separate from the orthodox continuity of its day, such as an “Imaginary Story” or “Elseworlds,” then that story wouldn’t qualify. This eliminates Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” and John Byrne’s first “Superman/Batman: Generations” miniseries, among other things.
I got several helpful responses. Then I largely forgot about the whole thing for a long time, but I had always intended to go back and compile that list, someday. Here it is, in case anyone is interested! (You’ll see that most of the uses of Gold K are from Pre-COIE continuity, but it has depowered characters in at least two Post-COIE stories, too.) Continue Reading »
(For an archive of Lorendiac’s Lists, click here – BC)
Imagine that you’re a superhero. Once again, you have identified the villain of the week who must be stopped, and you’ve tracked him down, fought him in a massive slugfest, and finally defeated him. Terrific! Now that you’ve got him on the ropes, what do you actually intend to do with him? Let’s look at your options, based on what other heroes in similar situations have come up with! Continue Reading »
Just over a year ago, I stumbled across a thread on DC’s boards in which a bunch of people were throwing out names of people who knew Batman’s secret identity. However, no one had bothered to try to compile all the suggestions into one neat, orderly list, to make life easier for those of us who were coming in late and wanted to make sure we weren’t duplicating previous suggestions.
My duty was clear! I started cutting-and-pasting, and sorting the names alphabetically, and inserting several more names from my own memory of Batman lore. Then I posted my “First Draft” on several forums, accepted constructive criticism, and offered a more detailed “Second Draft” the following day. Then I waited just over a year before going back and rereading the further criticisms I got at the time, and doing a little extra research, and modifying things until I had a “Third Draft” I was ready to show the world. Continue Reading »
This is a revised version of something I wrote and posted in 2004.
Years ago I asked myself what the basic ingredients were that made a fictional character qualify as a “hero” in my eyes. Just winning lots and lots of fights with “bad guys” didn’t prove you were a much better person than your opponents, after all. It only proved you were a lean mean fighting machine. I came up with three key factors. Continue Reading »
I wrote most of this a few months ago, after I had stumbled across a blog entry at http://www.engel-cox.org/textvision/a_funny_book_bill_of_rights.html in which Glen Engel-Cox posted his own criticisms of a work called “Comic Book Reader’s Bill of Rights Version 1.0.” If I’m reading things correctly, the original was written by a guy named Marc Mason for his own blog.
I agreed with most of Engel-Cox’s criticisms of Mason’s version, so I decided to try writing down my own version, starting from scratch, instead of just rewriting Mason’s ideas point by point. In an attempt to make it easier to distinguish between Mason’s effort (from January 2004) and my own take on the same general concept, I carefully substituted “Fan’s” for “Reader’s” in my title.
To save you a little trouble: Let me assure you there’s no need to sadly inform me that I’m indulging in shameless wish fulfillment here, and that it is highly unlikely that the “reforms” my Bill of Rights seems to call for will happen at any of the big American comic book publishers in the foreseeable future. Believe me, I knew all that before I ever started typing! But a fan can dream, can’t he?
The Comic Book Fan’s Bill of Rights (First Draft) Continue Reading »
12 Rationales for a Hero-Versus-Hero Slugfest on the Cover
So you want to have the cover show two (or more?) superheroes going at it hammer and tongs. Of course, if both combatants are superheroes then theoretically they ought to be on the same side . . . most of the time. How do you rationalize your decision to show them squaring off on the cover?
This is a question that comic book editors have obviously asked themselves hundreds of times. I did my best to think of a wide range of Hero-Versus-Hero Slugfests in my collection and try to sort them out according to the general Rationales that were used for them. Most of the examples I cite below did have heroes confronting each other in the cover illustrations, either fighting or else looking as if they were right on the verge of throwing punches (or using whatever special weapons and powers they might have available, if not literally punching and kicking). However, in a couple of cases I had to settle for stories where such clashes definitely happened within the story, but weren’t featured on the front cover. Sorry, but it was the best I could do. Here was what I came up with: Continue Reading »
Awhile back, Lorendiac began sharing with us his latest cool lists that he does. I showed an archive of his past lists, but as they were on geocities at the time, the traffic we sent over was a bit too much to handle. Luckily, he has since archived his lists on livejournal, so you can now all read them!! Cool, huh?
So if you want to check out his previous efforts “to look at some peculiar aspect of the superhero lifestyle and list and analyze the different approaches that various writers have taken in dealing with such matters over the years” (quoting his explanation of his lists), read on for the links! (And then come back here in an hour for his brand NEW list) Continue Reading »
Part 1: Preamble and Ground Rules
Pop Quiz! Study these lists carefully before committing yourself! Remember, spelling and punctuation count for a lot!
And then we have:
All ten names on List #1 have something important in common. What is it?
And all ten names on List #2 have something important in common. What is it?
Take your time to mull it over . . . don’t jump to any conclusions!
Ready? Continue Reading »
Several months ago I wrote a piece entitled “10 Types of Superhero Successors” (linked at the bottom of this piece.) The mission statement was to list all the rationales I’ve seen different writers use for having a “new guy” step forward to replace an “old guy” in the superhero racket while recycling the same heroic alias. Only later did it occur to me that I might also want to attack the subject from a different angle by examining all the different excuses that can be employed to give the “old guy” the boot. Sometimes it is blatantly obvious that this is done just to create a “sudden vacancy” for a “new guy” to fill, but sometimes there are other factors at work! Whatever the exact motive may be in each case, I chose to write down examples of all the different reasons I’ve seen writers use to justify the sudden disappearance from the scene of a veteran hero. Continue Reading »
The poster named Lorendiac has been doing a series of numbered lists examining various cliches and the like that are peculiar to superhero comics.
He attempts to identify every possible, say, “excuses for bringing back a dead character” or “ways to end a superhero’s romance,” and then he proceeds to detail each one, with examples from comic books.
I think they’re entertaining reads, so I’m glad to be able to hopefully show them to some of you folks who might not have otherwise seen them (Click below for a selection of his previous lists, and check back in about a half hour for his first new list appearing on the blog). Continue Reading »
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