Archive for the Superman Category

Nerd Lunch Episode 116: Live Action Super Hero Television

Posted in comic books, podcast, pop culture, Superman, The Flash, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on January 28, 2014 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

This week we are joined by Elliott Serrano, a writer from the Geek To Me Blog on RedEyeChicago.com. Elliott joins us to talk about live action super hero television.

Flash vs Trickster

We talk about some of our favorite live action super hero TV shows, we talk about why we think our favorites worked. We talk about ones we didn’t like and why we think they didn’t work. We even discuss M.A.N.T.I.S. for some reason.

We mention all the classic super hero shows (Batman ’66, Adventures of Superman, The Flash, etc) and we end the show with a discussion of the new school shows (Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, Marvel’s Netflix shows, etc).  It’s a great discussion chock full of super heroes.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: DC’s Blackest Night mini-series (2009)

Posted in comic books, monsters, Superman, The Flash, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 8, 2013 by Paxton

Awesometoberfest banner

Summer of 2009 began the DC event, Blackest Night.  At the conclusion of the Sinestro Corps War, DC teased the coming of the Blackest Night prophecy.  The Guardians of the Universe told of the coming of 5 new Lantern Corps, each backed by a different color of the emotional spectrum.  This fracturing would lead to a war of light, the coming of the Black Lanterns, the dead rising and the eventual destruction of the universe.

Blackest Night 3 Blackest Night 5

The Blackest Night mini-series was eight issues long and first appeared in June 2009.  The story starts with Black Hand walking amongst the tombstones of a cemetery. He grabs Bruce Wayne’s skull and carries it with him (this was obviously during the time just after Bruce Wayne’s fate is revealed in Final Crisis).  Black Hand keeps talking about a coming war and retribution.  And the coming of “him” (who we’ll discover later).

Black Hand

We see black rings invade the Lantern crypt on Oa and start reviving all of the formerly deceased lanterns.  These “zombie” lanterns become the beginning of the Black Lantern Corps.

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Spending my kid’s college tuition on Hake’s Auction #209

Posted in Batman, comic books, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, Superman, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by Paxton

LEB This week’s assignment for The League is to browse Hake’s Auction #209 and find all the cool stuff we’d buy if we were rolling in dough like P-Diddy. So I spent my fair share of time at work this week perusing the enormous auction catalog and came up with some stuff that I would like to buy.  Assuming, of course, that money is no object.

hakes_star_wars There were several awesome Star Wars items I found interesting. Firstly, the C3POs cereal lot featuring a full size C3PO standee and three box flats. I have always had a fascination with this particular cereal and the ephemera it created. These are particularly good examples of that. The seven Star Wars Coca-Cola promotional posters are also pretty awesome. Four of them are from Burger Chef/Burger King giveaways in 1977 and feature Del Nichols artwork. Three of them feature Boris Vallejo artwork and were to promote the release of Empire Strikes Back. Finally, I am in wet, sloppy love with the full size Return of the Jedi Burger King glasses Darth Vader standee (1983).

There were lots of comic book and super hero related items that I want. Tops on that list would probably be The Great Comic Book Heroes book from 1965. hakes_great_comic_heroes_book It’s signed by several comic luminaries like Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Bob Kane, Shelly Moldoff and Will Eisner. Yes, the creators of both Superman AND Batman signed this thing. Plus, I’ve looked at this book before and it’s pretty awesome.

hakes_superman_items

Speaking of Superman and Batman, I found several items featuring those heroes that rock my Casbah. The boxed Mego Superman doll from 1977 is particularly awesome because I’m kind of in love with the packaging art. And the art on the 1954 Superman metal lunchbox is pretty close to melting my eyeballs out of my head and that’s only the picture. And these Mego Comic Action Heroes figures from 1975 (in package!) are also incredible. And speaking of incredible, check out the awesomely weird and bizarre cover to issue #33 of the comic World’s Finest. Why the hell is Superman spinning Batman and Robin in the air WITH HIS FEET?!  I love the Golden Age. I also would buy Flash #147 featuring the second appearance of Reverse Flash with a great cover homage to Flash #123.  I actually already own Reverse Flash’s first appearance in Flash #139.  And what will I put all of these comics in when I own them?  That’s right, my very own g***amn comic spinner rack from the late 70s.  I’ve wanted one of those retail spinner racks ever since I started collecting comics in the early 80s. Continue reading

Superman Week 2013: Favorite Scene Friday on To the Escape Hatch blog

Posted in comic books, movies, nostalgia, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , on June 21, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

For Superman Week, Robert over at To the Escape Hatch asked me to write another Favorite Scene Friday. This time, themed, obviously, for Superman. If you remember, I’d previously written a Favorite Scene Friday involving Young Guns.

So for this week’s Fav Scene, I talk a lot about the Christopher Reeve Superman movies.  And specifically about Lex Luthor as played by Gene Hackman.

Gene - Lex
(Via Criminal Movies)

Head over to To the Escape Hatch to read all about it.

There’s a very slight possibility that I may get to see Man of Steel this weekend.  If that happens I’ll post a review of it next week mainly because I know there are precious few reviews of that movie out on the ‘net right now.  So, let’s hope that happens.

Superman Week 2013: BB Hiller’s Superman IV novelization (1987)

Posted in books, comic books, movies, Superman with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

So the new Superman movie, Man of Steel, made it’s theatrical debut on Friday.  To celebrate, I thought it would be fun to do another Superman Week.  I convinced CT over at Nerd Lunch and Robert over at To The Escape Hatch to join along.  So leap in a single bound over to those wonderful blogs and see what Superman content they are offering up this week.

Continuing Superman Week 2013 with another look at one of the Superman novelizations.  Here’s a review of the Superman IV movie novelization from 1987.  And yes, I’m pretty sure I hate this weird cover.

Supes 4 novel

The book is written by B.B. Hiller who is a veteran of movie novelizations. This guy has penned novelizations for Little Monsters (the one with Howie Mandell and Fred Savage), Ghostbusters II, Big, ALL of the 90s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies and ALL of the Karate Kid movies.  So this guy has been around…so to speak.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at these things, Hiller didn’t adapt any of the other Superman movies.  Only this one.  The last one.  And, ostensibly, the worst one. However, to be perfectly honest, I’m a fan of this last Superman movie.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely f**king terrible but I love it anyway.  And I wanted to see if the book makes an attempt at explaining ANY of the crazy ass insanity that goes down in the movie.  A quick check of the page count (144) tells me that, no, this probably won’t explain a g**damn thing.  But I decided to try it anyway.

The verdict?  It’s actually not that bad.  Somehow, the ridiculous story on the page comes across better than it does on the big screen.  However, there are several added scenes and subplots that help explain some of the ridiculousness.  Just so you know, about 45 minutes of footage was removed from Superman IV including an entire subplot about a first failed attempt by Lex to create a Nuclear Man.

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Superman Week 2013: William Kotzwinkle’s Superman III novelization (1983)

Posted in books, movies, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week
It’s Day 3 of Superman Week.  I convinced CT over at Nerd Lunch and Robert over at To The Escape Hatch to join along.  So leap in a single bound over to those wonderful blogs and see what Superman content they are offering up this week.

For Superman Week in 2006 (“celebrating” Superman Returns), I reviewed all of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. So, for the release of this new Superman movie, I thought I’d go back and read the novelizations to two of those same movies. There weren’t novelizations of the first two Reeve Superman movies most likely due to a clause in screenwriter Mario Puzo’s contract that forbade anyone other than him from writing the novelizations. But for whatever reason, Puzo never got around to writing the books.  So Warner Books only released novelizations for the second two movies.  I looked forward to reading these novelizations because I love the two Superman sequels in a retarded sort of way and I wanted to see if there was any more awesomely insane weirdness in the books.

So, today, let’s take a look at the novelization to Superman III.

Written by William Kotzwinkle, the guy who also wrote the ET novelization.  The overall structure of the movie story is intact in the novelization.  The biggest difference with the book is that Kotzwinkle adds a sh*t ton of internal dialogue by nearly every character, but mostly Superman/Clark and Gus Gorman (Richard Pryor).  Many of the internal monologues are weird and in the case of Superman/Clark, completely against character.  A lot of Clark’s internalized conversations are him saying how he could fly someone he doesn’t like to the moon and leave them there.  You know, stuff like, “If only you knew I was Superman…” or “If I could, I would <fill in the blank with some super powered vengeance>”.  I’m fairly certain these are supposed to setup the evil Superman later in the book, but I wasn’t buying it.  It was against everything you think about Clark and Superman.

And as for Gus Gorman.  Ugh.  I didn’t really like Pryor’s character in the movie.  Pryor did good with what he was given, but the character was dumb.  This guy who can’t hold a steady job discovers that he’s some idiot savant when it comes to “computers”.  What?  And it’s even worse in the book.  It’s made more clear in the novel that Gus literally has no idea what he’s doing or how he’s doing it.  It’s like all of his computer skills are some sort of super power he can only barely control.  Pryor makes the character somewhat likeable, but you don’t have that luxury in the novel.  And it’s painfully clear that Pryor ad-libbed many of his lines in the movie because in the book, the dialogue for Gus might be some of the worst written crap I’ve ever read.  Filled with weird late 70s-early 80s colloquialisms that make no sense.  Pryor must have agreed because in the movie, he gets the same information across but in a better way.

As for the villains, the characters of Ross and Vera Webster and Lorelei aren’t much better in this novel than they were in the movie.  Their back stories are fleshed out a little.  We get that Vera is fiercely protective of her brother and craves his approval in everything she does.  There are even a few flashbacks to their childhood.  Lorelei, is still mostly one dimensional.  A poor man’s Miss Tessmacher.  She’s pretty and the book expands a bit more on the fact that Lorelei is actually smarter than everyone thinks she is.  But it’s honestly to no further end.

Unfortunately, there’s no extra story to the evil Superman stuff.  I was hoping we’d get more scenes, but we really don’t.  Although, the book does say that Superman’s suit turns fully black and his eyes glow green.  THAT is pretty awesome and I wish the movie would have taken it the whole way.

evil_superman_superfriends
I’m Superman. BITCHES.

The book’s climax is essentially the same.  Not really much to add.  No further explanation about how Gus came up with the Super Computer idea.  It’s essentially taken from drawings on napkins to fully realized in the cave.  Who developed the AI software the computer runs on?  Gus?  He acts like he’d never seen the computer before when he walks into the cave after riding the donkey down the mountain.  Don’t you think he would have supervised the entire construction?  When the computer shoots the “correct” Kryptonite ray at Supes, how does the computer synthesize the .052% of unknown in the chemical makeup?  It’s UNKNOWN to humans.  Stuff like this needed a better explanation.

I was very disappointed with this book.  I love movie novelizations and it’s rare that I don’t actually enjoy one.  Especially if I like the movie.  I didn’t like this and I can’t recommend it.

If you want a peak into the Superman III movie that could have been, take a glance at this unused Ilya Salkind story treatment.  Prepare for appearances by Supergirl, Brainiac and Mr Mxzyptlk.  It’s weird, but I think it could have been spectacular.

Superman Week 2013: Nerd Lunch Episode 90: Superman retrospective

Posted in comic books, movies, podcast, pop culture, Superman with tags , , , , on June 18, 2013 by Paxton

Superman Week

Welcome to Episode 90 of the Nerd Lunch Podcast.  Since this week is Superman Week, CT and I recruit Michael May and Thom Holbrook to take the place of a missing Jeeg and join us for a lively discussion about Superman during his 75th anniversary.

Superman 75 years

We talk about our first exposure to the Man of Steel, we talk about our favorite incarnations and we even cast a dream list of Superman actors. So leap iTunes in a single bound and join us for the discussion.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or listen to it online right here.