hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Mar. 3rd, 2013 04:30 pm)
Captain America first appeared in 1941. The US wasn't part of the war yet. Cap fought Nazi spies and saboteurs at home, and, in so doing, encouraged readers to feel like we were (and should be) part of the war.

When we did join, Cap became very popular as the symbol of the righteous might of the US military. He was deployed to the European theater of operations, and served proudly.

After the war ended, they tried to keep him relevant by having him fight communists, but it didn't last.
It was well over a decade before they revived the character. Unfrozen into a new generation, he put his soldier past behind him (more or less) to become a domestic superhero. But even so, he was inextricably tied to his WWII origins.

When Vietnam came around, Cap actually gave up being Captain America. He said he felt that America had lost its way, and that he'd lost his connection to the true spirit of the country. He took up a new identity as Nomad, got on a motorcycle, and went on a journey to find himself and the country he loved.

And then something strange happened. America got involved in the two longest wars in our history. And Cap... didn't.

He hasn't been to Iraq. He hasn't been to Afghanistan. He hasn't commented on the war at all, so far as I know. He's spent the whole time dealing with the same sort of supervillains and superhero dramas as he has for the last few decades.

Flash Thompson, once Peter Parkers high school nemesis, was deployed to Iraq. He came home some time later, as a hero and a disabled veteran, having lost both legs.

But Captain America? No. It doesn't seem like the thought even crossed his mind. It took me years to stop and see how strange that is.

It's another sign of just how detached we've become from our wars. The one superhero who was specifically created to engage the public in our wars has had nothing to do with the ones we're in now, and I'm not sure anyone noticed, let alone gave it a second thought.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Nov. 1st, 2008 08:18 pm)
Do you live in an area with a high degree of superhuman activity? Are you looking to repair or even rebuild your home, apartment building, or office... again? Are you worried about what will happen the next time there's a battle in your neighborhood?

Call the Caped Contractors!

We'll repair, replace, or rebuild just about anything. And we'll do it with modern challenges in mind.

Live in Gotham? Constantly finding yourself needing to replace damaged eaves? We'll install dedicated grapple points on the side of your building. These tough, reinforced bars make for easy, secure grappling hook targets, so you-know-who doesn't have to latch on to your antique stonework.

Buying a new property in Metropolis? We'll do a thorough lead inspection and safely remove hastily and often shoddily installed lead shielding from the walls. Want to give something back to your city's hero? We can use that extra lead to build a radiation-proof bunker with built-in sun lamps and a leaded glass skylight.

No matter where you live, you'll want to check out our amazing reinforced, cushioned roofing! It holds up during rooftop fights of all kinds, and helps reduce the impact on the rest of the building. We'll even add in extra air conditioning fans, steam pipes, water towers, and other essentials to help keep everything running even when things get ripped apart, smashed, blasted, and just plain knocked around.

Starting over? We'll build with innovative new features like our patented crumple zones, designed to minimize damage and casualties when something - or someone - comes smashing through your building.

We offer a wide variety of options for small projects or large. How about shatterproof windows? They help lessen the damage from explosions, sonic booms, nearby ground impacts, and other hazards. They also protect against unwanted intrusions.

We can even work with you on custom alterations. We'll build secret compartments and passageways to your specifications, no questions asked! (Note: Due to city ordinance, we cannot build lead-lined enclosures in Metropolis without exterior windows.)

Whatever your needs, you need the Caped Contractors! Call 555-BUILD-SUPER today!
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Oct. 25th, 2008 08:44 am)
Spider-Girl is on the cancellation chopping block. Again. (I don't want to spam you, so I'll just make this one post. If you're interested in comic books, please read on. If not, you can probably skip over.)

Fan efforts have saved the book several times over her history, from the initial outpouring that extended it from a single "What If?" issue to a 12-issue miniseries to the outpouring that expanded that to an ongoing title to the massive fan efforts that turned that ongoing title into "The Little Book That Could" (saving it at least three times) to the major campaign that got the book relaunched (after 100 issues) with a new title and actual advertising and support from the publisher.

In the book, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson have been happily married for years. (The book takes place in our present, more or less. Time is funny in comic books. Peter first became Spider-Man in the 60s... His origin story was told in Amazing Fantasy #15, published in 1962.) They have a teenage daughter, May. And now an infant son, Ben. Peter retired from the superhero biz, and currently works as a forensic scientist for the police. Mary Jane recently got a job as a guidance counselor at May's high school.

It's kind of an old school comic. Harkens back to Peter's days in high school. A diverse supporting cast with problems and personalities. Fights against supervillains. Occasional team-ups with a number of other next-generation heroes. Simple, clean comic book fun, with some real plots and dramas in the mix. It's truly an all-ages book. Entertaining for adult comics fans, but something kids can enjoy (and parents can share without fear of the content).

It's a book about a strong female hero with realistic physical proportions and a costume that covers every inch of skin. And underneath that costume, she's a fleshed-out character. A high school kid with flaws and virtues, friends and enemies, strengths and weaknesses.

If you're at all interested, check it out. If you like it, tell a few friends. If you want to do more, you can write letters to Marvel, talk to people at comic book stores, and/or mail fliers to other comic stores. You can also check out the Spider-Girl message boards. It's a small, friendly community where the ringleaders gather to plot the grassroots campaign. Tom D., the series writer (for every issue, every appearance, and all the spin-off miniseries titles) will sometimes stop by to answer questions or respond to letters. Artists, editors, and others have been known to drop in, too.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Jan. 26th, 2008 01:56 pm)
You know, if I was in charge of an intelligence-gathering orginization in a comic book universe (some part of WayneTech or LexCorp or the gov't or whatever), the first thing I'd do is put a close eye on anyone buying (and perhaps selling) spandex.

The second thing I'd do is look around to see who else was doing the same thing.

(Also, I'm not sure why, but it seems like no one has had anything to say to me for the last few days. Journal comments, comment replies, email... Nothin'. I haven't been on IM, and I did mention that I was going away and stuff, and I know a fair number of you are busy with your own lives*. It just feels a little odd.

*Can you believe the nerve of some people?)
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Mar. 18th, 2007 10:08 pm)
Since there are probably a couple of you who would be interested in this, but might not have heard...

Joss is working on next season of Buffy!

In fact, it's available right now... on the shelves of your local comics shop.

Taking a page, so to speak, from Greg Weisman (writer/creator of Gargoyles), he's continuing the series in comic book format. Issue 1 is, as I mentioned, out on the stands now.

It's pretty cool. I mean, most comics based on TV shows are just subpar attempts to squeeze a little more profit out of the franchise. But when you have the guy who, in some sense, is the series as the guy in charge of the comic book (writing it, making the major calls, etc), that's a whole different ball game. It's like that with Gargoyles (which I mentioned a few entries down), and now with Buffy.

Issue 1 shows us what some of the major players have been up to, has a bit of good action, a few surprises, some humor, and even manages to fix one of the stupid nonsensical things they did in one of those awful eps from the end of the last season of Angel. In short... it's just like any decent ep of Buffy.

The only thing that could make it all better was if John Cassaday (Joss's partner on Astonishing X-Men - Yes, Joss had his own X-men book. It's in the final arc now.) was doing the art. I mean, the art is pretty good as it is, but Cassaday's work on AXM just rocks.
hatman: HatMan, my alter ego and face on the 'net (Default)
( Jan. 5th, 2007 01:13 pm)
For those interested in such things, the Gargoyles comic is starting to pick up.

Gargoyles was one of the coolest cartoon shows of the 90s. One of the best cartoons I've ever seen. Epic fantasy, complex plots, good characterization, multilayered storytelling (so there's something for every age group), and a bit of humor thrown in. All compressed into 30-minute cartoon episodes.

The show went off the air after 2 seasons. There was a brief attempt at something like a sequel/season 3, but it didn't make it too far before they cancelled the whole thing (and the block of afternoon cartoon shows where it was running).

The comic used the first episode of that quasi-S3 as material for the first two issues. Things got off to a bit of a slow/bumpy start as they got their act together. I'm eagerly anticipating Issue 3 (the first of the new material). Meantime, I just ordered my copy of Issue 4 out of Previews Catalog.

Previews is the giant catalog that comics stores use to order their stock. It's about 500 pages long, plus a seperate magazine with all the stuff from Marvel Comics. Things in Previews usually come out about two months after the Catalog. (So something in this issue, Jan 07, would ship around March.)

Now, out of this whole giant catalog, less than 30 comics were given the special "Certified Cool" label. These are comics handpicked by the Previews staff as being cool and different, stuff to put on your shelves for the discerning customer who's looking for something a little off the beaten track. Gargoyles was chosen this month for the honor.

So, things are picking up. If you're at all interested, I'd suggest keeping an eye out for Issue 3, when the time comes.

For more info, you can click here for the comic's Wiki entry, or try here to get Issue 1 directly from the publisher. At $3.50/issue, the cover price is a little higher than average, but it's worth it.

(Hey, Hero Squared is coming along with an even higher cover price and a more erratic schedule. And Noble Causes has the same price, got off to a bumpy start, had to go B&W for a while to scrape by, and is now going strong.)

Check it out. The Previews Cool Cat has given it his official "Certified Cool" stamp. What more could you ask for?