There are plenty of superheroes out there who don’t have physical superpowers. They are not strictly speaking “super” in any sense of the word, outside of their courage, hard work and determination. Yet you rarely see them dealing with the harsh realities of their own physical limitations. Is Doctor Strange the secret physical therapist of the non-super-powered superheroes? And if he is, does he use magic to treat pulled hamstrings?
Superhero comic books have provided me with some incredible lessons in life. Superheroes can be selfless, generous, helpful and resourceful individuals. They are flawed, just like the rest of us, but despite (and sometimes because of) those flaws, superheroes still manage to do good.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in Japan and ensuing tsunami, multiple problems maintaining the countries nuclear reactors are being wrestled with. Amongst all the recent worldwide natural disasters, this threat of nuclear radiation is a man-made one. While fears and concerns about the outcome are varied, as a source of fictional drama, comic books have always embraced the idea with a plethora of radiation-created superheroes.
In an effort to stop worrying about what the future holds, I took a look back at how comic books have treated radiation in the past. I thought about titling this “When Radiation is a Good Thing”, but that seemed a little tasteless. However, by highlighting the superheroes who got their power through exposure to radiation I hope to bring some levity to the moment, so here (in no particular order) are ten of them that I like best.
Here are links to all the Comics You Should Own essays I have written so far. Plus, I’ve added some explanation. Enjoy!
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At times it seems as if writing a comic about an established character is some sort of twisted game. Writers are asked to not only write compelling storylines, but also honor the existing character of the heroes depicted, have them speak with their own voice and language, and behave as people expect them to. While I love the freedom my favorite writers get when they create their own characters, I’m much more curious to read how they deal with well established characters. Continue Reading »
Okay, so when I finished reading the Bendis/Maleev Daredevil run a little over four years ago, I decided to put together a timeline showing how Bendis went back and forth in time (the original post was from February 2006, if you want to search the archives on the old blog, but why would you want to do that?). Now that I’ve republished my little column about those issues being Comics You Should Own, I thought I’d re-post the timeline now. This is one of the geekiest things I’ve ever done, so I hope you enjoy it! And, of course, SPOILERS ahoy!
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Ah, the Bendis/Maleev issues. Will they ever recapture the magic?
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You know, recently I got most of the early Nocenti issues of Daredevil, but I haven’t read them yet. I’ve read a few, but I can’t really comment on them. So you’ll just have to deal with these, which feature the end of her run!
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Superheroes don’t get career choices. They’re beings with powers which dictate what they’ll do. Unlike us, with our grab bag of vague skills and strengths, we’re asked to believe that having a super power is so overwhelming that it forces people into one specific career. They must be vigilantes, living outside of society’s rules… Really? Continue Reading »
There’s nothing cool or sexy about reading comics. I mean it, and I should know, I’ve been reading them all my life, since I could only understand the pictures and wonder what the hell the words meant (but when the comic books you’re reading are your dad’s stolen Fat Freddy’s Cat, not being able to read detracts nothing). Up until very recently, my comic book habit was only just tolerated by most of my friends, I’d try to get them into it, giving them graphic novels and saying “Oh, I bought too many copies of Violent Cases, you might like it…” they didn’t). Time moves on, and now at least a few of them see the value of the medium, and I’m lucky to say that some of my friends are even fellow zealots.
But when I was the only little english girl in the playground who wanted to play X-Men, running around pretending to be Phoenix with my telekinetic powers, or the Hulk (I really enjoyed growling “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry”, and then roaring a whole bunch – who wouldn’t?), everyone else wanted to play Charlie’s Angels (and what were their superpowers? Long hair?) When people saw me reading Superman, or Love & Rockets, they balked. It quickly became pretty clear that comics weren’t socially acceptable. Even on my annual visits to America to visit my New York dwelling family, I only occasionally glimpsed a world of comic-influenced play, and that place was clearly reserved for the boys. I could ask to play with their Batman toys, coveting those batmobiles that actually shot little missiles (to this day I still fantasize about inheriting my dad’s), but owning my own superhero toys was a step too far into overt weirdo territory.
Nowadays, despite the growing popularity of comic books and the superhero medium, I haven’t really changed. Continue Reading »
J.D. Dunn is one of my favorite wrestling reviewers on the ‘net, but he also writes a good game when it comes to film and comics. This review/analysis of the Death Of Jean DeWolfe storyline is a good example of the latter. If he wasn’t likely to make us all look bad (well, at least me), I’d say I’d love to see him do more comics writing. Well, beyond his reviews of Spider-Man from the beginning. As long as he sticks with Spider-Man, we should all be okay.