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Superman turns 83!

The iconic cover of Action Comics #1

Superman premiered this day 83 years ago–the cover date says June but it was published April 18, 1938. One could argue that no character has had an impact on culture and popular culture as much as Superman has. In the first issue, he appeared, Superman was portrayed as a fighter for social justice and a warrior for common good, and he hasn’t changed much since then.

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who were both children of Jewish immigrants who fled to the United States to flee persecution. The character of “The Super-Man” was originally a bald telepathic supervillain but would be revamped and remodeled by Siegel and Shuster into the character we all know and love.

An early desciption of Superman’s powers. He would evolve and become much stronger later.

Superman has a lot in common with Siegel and Shuster, he is an immigrant himself, sent by his parents Jor-El and Lara to our planet to save him from the destruction of Krypton. Here Superman, aka Clark Kent, leads a double life as a godlike alien and a mild-mannered reporter. As Superman, Clark Kent, inspires humanity to be their best and gives them hope for a better tomorrow. The best portrayals of Superman don’t focus on his alienness but rather on his unique humanity. Superman is an inspiration in and out of comic books. He gives humanity an ideal to strive for and hopes that things can be better.

For me, personally, I look at Superman as that ideal. He doesn’t aim to destroy or damage humanity, he uses his heroism to inspire people and lead them into a new age of generosity and kindness. Superman may toss around and fight supervillains such as Lex Luthor and Zod, but his greatest strength isn’t his fist of steel but his kind heart. As a child watching Christopher Reeve fly around helping people inspired me to treat everyone I come across with kindness. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster used their remarkable creativity to inspire generations to be creative and good. Since this is the Spring of Sci-Fi, I thought it would be an excellent time to highlight an icon of Science Fiction and the two creators who helped inspire the world. I want to end this post with one of my favorite Superman moments. It comes from Grant Morrison’s iconic and essential All-Star Superman and to me demonstrates who Superman is and why he is important.

A scene that shows Superman’s true power and inspiration.
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Batman DC Comics Movies Reviews Superheroes

Wild Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I forgot to mention Wonder Woman in my review. She watches screens and helps set up the next movie. She helps fight and Batman says a terrible joke that makes no sense. Why is she on the poster? She’s not even a character, just a setup.

Batman V Superman, why did I rewatch you? The first time I watched this movie it was a miserable time. I was bored and stupified by what I saw on screen. There was nothing present in the characters of Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, or Lois Lane that I admired from the comics. I’m fine with a movie or television show reworking characters to fit the times. I’m fine with directors placing characters in new and unique narratives that I haven’t seen before; in truth, I admire that in a director; hell, I admire that about Zack Snyder. One positive–other than the perfectly executed warehouse scene–that I can say about both Zack Snyder and Batman v Superman is that at least the movie is different, and the director is trying something different. (One glaring problem the MCU has is that it is too homogenized. At the start of the pandemic, I tried watching every MCU movie back to back and, other than a few, they all formed one big gelatinous movie that looked the same but I may expand more on that in another review) Now that doesn’t mean the movie is good it’s terrible, but at least it doesn’t feel stale. I’m perfectly fine with DC making dramatic, mature movies with a serious tone, but I would prefer if the director partially understood the characters and what they represent.

Batman v Superman opens up where Man of Steel ends, but this time we get to see the destruction from the ground, through the eyes of Bruce Wayne. The opening scene seems to be agreeing with the criticisms the third act Man of Steel received, which is confusing given the fact that Superman is supposed to be a hero in this movie, and in the last movie, he helped destroy a major city possibly killing thousands of people. The opening scene tries to recontextualize the violence and destruction that we witness in Man of Steel but I would argue that this only amplifies the negative parts of the previous movie, as well as making Superman look even worse than he already did. After we witness the destruction porn from Man of Steel the movie jumps 18 months later, skipping through time so we miss important character arcs such as Clark and Lois falling in love, or seeing Clark adjust to his new position at the Daily Planet. I feel like there should be another movie or two placed between Man of Steel and Batman v Superman to help build upon every character that we see in the movie. Anyway, back to the plot. Lois is in the desert investigating a radicalized group asking their leader such riveting questions like: “Are you a terrorist?” Also, Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s Best Pal, is introduced in this movie and he gets his face blown off; Zack really respects Superman and his supporting characters so much that he puts a bullet in one of Superman’s best friends 3 minutes after he is introduced. (This review is already too long; I seriously don’t want to rant and rave and hate this movie so much, but holy shit, it’s terrible. Let me try getting back on track.)

I despise this movie. (Well shit, I’m back off the track. Might as well stay there.) I want to be fair and give an accurate fair review but my brain is on fire. Superman murders a man like ten minutes in the movie because he loves Lois Lane and is mad that she is being threatened. That is nothing good about what I just wrote but it happens in the movie. Batman murders nearly everyone he comes across but both he and Superman hate each other because the other murders constantly. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE! Lex Luthor is playing with prequel Palpatine powers and somehow orchestrates future events to line up exactly how he wants. Also, Jesse Eisenberg plays the characters of Lex Luthor like Mark Zuckerberg on cocaine. Batman and Superman suddenly overlook the homicidal tendencies each other have because their mothers have the same first name, and…I can’t do it. I can’t be fair to this movie. I have tried to enjoy this. Many people love and adore Zack Snyder and his takes on these iconic characters and I have tried to see what the appeal is and I can’t…I just can’t. I feel like I have lost a part of my soul watching and reviewing this movie. I’m going to watch Zack Snyder’s Justice League soon–I skipped Joss Whedon’s version–and I hope it is as good as I heard. I keep coming back to Zack Snyder movies for some reason, even though I only like 300…and Dawn of the Dead is alright (I just don’t care about it because Romero’s original is one of my favorite movies)

I’m broken.

Rating 1/5

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DC Comics Movies Reviews Superheroes

Man of Steel (2013) Review: A flawed portrayal of an iconic character.

Man of Steel. Released in 2013. Directed by Zack Snyder. Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, and Diane Lane.

Man of Steel, released in 2013 and directed by Zack Snyder, shows us the origins of Kal-El and his emergence as Superman on Earth. I should start by stating that I have a strong bias when it comes to Superman, and this story isn’t my flavor. I grew up with Christopher Reeve’s Superman movies, and while not all those are great–see Superman III and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace–I feel like Reeve’s first two Superman films capture the spirit and magic of that character that is hard to replicate. I will give credit to Henry Cavill’s performance; Cavill not only looks the part but truly seems to love the character and works hard to embody that character even though the material is weak.

The movie starts off showing the demise of Krypton and what led to their fall. The people of Krypton have not seen natural childbirth in over a century. The citizens are preprogrammed from birth to fit a certain skill set and cannot depart from their programmed setting. Jor-El and Lara have a son Kal-El through natural means and place within him the genetic codex for their species. The villain of the movie, Zod (Michael Shannon), is sent to the Phantom Zone in penis ships, (Kal-El also gets his very own penis ship. There are too many penis-shaped ships in this movie to count) and escapes after the destruction of Krypton. He comes to Earth looking for Kal-El wanting to use the codex to wipe out the human race and rebuild Krypton in the dust. If that was exhausting to read, try watching the movie. One big flaw that this suffers from is that it is all plot and barely story.

I want to like this movie when I sit down and rewatch it, but there are just too many flaws that distract me and either bore me or make me roll my eyes. A few moments I do enjoy include: Superman learning to fly, young Clark Kent saving the kids on the bus (although this is slightly diminished by Jonathan Kent’s words after the fact), and I like the moments when you see Superman stopping Faora (Antje Traue) from destroying a plane and Superman rescuing a person falling out of a crashing helicopter. These moments are not prevalent throughout the movie, instead, we see Superman committing massive amounts of damage and killing people he has claimed that he is trying to protect by not letting Zod get ahold of the codex. The biggest offender of Superman acting out of character is when he breaks Zod’s neck. Now, if Superman were in a situation where millions of lives were in danger then maybe, and only maybe, could I see him taking a life, however; the movie has already established that Superman will destroy buildings bringing them down on innocent people and possibly killing them in order to stop Zod but for some reason, Zod directing his heat vision at four people puts Superman in a situation where he has to kill. I’m sorry I just don’t buy it, and no one telling me I just don’t understand the genius of Zack Snyder will convince me either. I hate to say it but even though I enjoy Henry Cavill as Superman, this is a bad Superman movie. Unfortunately, this movie’s sequel, Batman v Superman, makes this look great in comparison.

Rating 2/5

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Marvel Movies Reviews Superheroes

Wild Review: X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Wow! Cyclops made the poster. It’s weird how a static image projects more character than a moving picture does. Also, “Whose side are you on?” I didn’t think that was what this incoherent piece of trash was really about, but what do I know.

When I set out to review a movie I want to make sure that my reviews make sense, that they are coherent enough so people can understand my perspective on the movie and also what the movie is about; I’m not sure if I always succeed in doing that, but that is my aim. Having said that…X-Men: The Last Stand is a pile of shit, coincidentally it was also directed by one–don’t confuse this with the professional asshole from my last two reviews this is a different person who is also a total piece of garbage. Now, I don’t dislike this movie because of the pile of shit that was behind the camera, I dislike it because he somehow displayed his shit on camera for the whole world to see. There are plenty of talented actors in this movie, many which I adore and respect, but that cannot save this movie from being the pile of trash that it is.

This movie pretty much fails on every level. Not only is it poorly directed and written, but it is also as boring as watching paint dry. Actually, I would rather watch paint dry because at least I am accomplishing something by making sure that my work is done, nothing is accomplished in this movie other than misunderstanding characters and basic storytelling.

This story is supposed to be the culmination of everything that has transpired over the past two films, but the only thing it has in common with the previous two films is that it doesn’t know what to do with Cyclops, instead, he gets a shitty off-screen death that fits the absolute nothing of material that he was presented in the previous installments. This movie is supposed to finish Jean Grey’s arc as well, showing her transition into the Dark Phoenix–this movie is the first of two failed adaptations of a classic comic book arc–but instead Jean Grey becomes a lackey to Magneto’s band of weirdo villains who are trying to destroy “cure” for mutants. This cure comes in the form of a character named…who the fuck cares. He is given no more than 10 minutes of screen time at most and serves as an object rather than a character.

The only two things I like are the castings of Kelsey Grammar as Beast (who is not used properly), and the addition of Elliot Page as Kitty Pride (a personnel favorite X-Men character of mine who again is given shit to work with). Also, can someone tell the pile of shit that directed this movie that Juggernaut isn’t a mutant so the Mutant Suppressor Non-Character boy shouldn’t affect his abilities? What does it matter? This movie doesn’t care and why should you. I have a feeling when James Marsden and Patrick Stewart read the script they went and celebrated the fact that they got to be killed off, I know I would rather die than sit through this movie again. There is a possibility that movies like this cause brain aneurysms so watch with caution. Now, you are probably thinking to yourself: It can’t get worse than this…but it does. Next up is X-Men Origins: Wolverine which is even more of a waste of time, although it wasn’t directed by a professional asshole or a pile of shit so it is a move in a proper direction…well the professional asshole does come back at some point.

Rating 1.5/5

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Marvel Movies Reviews Superheroes

X2: X-Men United (2003) Review: An excellent comic book sequel that improves on the first movies already good quality.

I like that they put Cyclops near the front of the poster but forgot to make him an actual character in the movie.

X2: X-Men United, still directed by the same professional asshole, is an example of a sequel that surpasses the original. I’ve always complained about the X-Men movies being low-key Wolverine films, and while that still somewhat applies to this movie, I forgot how much more of an ensemble this movie is. Characters like Nightcrawler (Alan Cumming), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), and Magneto (Ian McKellen) get plenty of screen time and character development that adds to the team element that I feel these movies should have more of. Some of the characters get sidelined, looking at Cyclops here who gets the Hawkeye treatment of being brainwashed by the villain early on and then doing absolutely nothing, but all in all this movie does an excellent job of building up the fact that this is a team, not a solo effort. Hell, we even have Magneto acknowledging the Wolverine-centric previous movie by saying, “You still think this is all about you,” this is probably paraphrasing, but it stands to show that this movie is attempting to be more about the team than just one character.

The plot of this movie follows the themes that the previous movie established, dealing with people’s intolerance of mutants and the lengths they will go to eliminate that threat. Following a threat on the President’s life by a brainwashed Nightcrawler–an excellent scene that remains one of my favorite comic book movie moments–people begin fearing mutants even more which makes the President contact a man named William Stryker. William Stryker, played wonderfully by Brian Cox, is an excellent antagonist. He not only serves as a threat to mutant-kind but is also a shadowy figure from Wolverine’s past that adds a layer of mystery to the action elements of the story. While Stryker’s nefarious goal seems generic, eliminate all mutants, the villain is given a clear motive and we see what dangerous lengths prejudice can lead to.

One of my favorite aspects of this movie has always been the team up the X-Men have with Magneto and Mystique, the only remaining members of Magneto’s Brotherhood–they get a new addition at the end with Pyro joining the team. This team-up shows that while the X-Men and Magneto have differing goals and methods, their viewpoints are not that different and they are fighting similar fights. We see that Magneto is less of a pure villain and more of a misguided man that has been corrupted by the darkness he has witnessed over his lifetime. We even see Mystique (Rebecca Romijn) getting some deeper character development with limited screen time. We know that she is someone that has been judged by her appearance, and based on her brief conversation with Nightcrawler we gain some sympathy for her even though she has been apart of some atrocious acts. This movie gives mutants a common enemy in William Stryker allowing for the filmmakers to develop the world.

X2 is an improvement on a movie that was already good. The characters are given more screen time and the filmmakers build out the world by giving the mutants a common enemy in William Stryker. The movie ends with a set-up for a sequel, and I can already tell you that payoff is not worth it–that review will be coming soon.

Rating 4/5

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Marvel Movies Reviews Superheroes

X-Men (2000) Review: An early and important entry into the superhero movie genre.

X-Men. Directed by an asshole and starring some impressive actors who deserve the movies credit over him.

X-Men, directed by a professional piece of shit, was released in 2000, way before the onslaught of comic book movies and television shows that audiences are used to today. Before X-Men, the primary comic book/superhero films that had been released were four Superman films of varying quality–and by that I mean it ranged from good to abysmal–and four Batman films of varying quality (see my comment about the Superman films). Comic book films in the early 2000s weren’t at the same level that we see now. X-men was something unique and special and we can attribute the success of the MCU to its success and the success of the Spider-Man trilogy that would begin shortly after this movie was released.

X-Men tells the story of a group of people called mutants and explores how they are faced with prejudice and bigotry from a world that doesn’t understand them. It is common knowledge that Stan Lee began writing the X-Men series to comment on the civil rights movement that was brewing in our own country at that time. One could argue now would be the perfect time to see the X-Men come back into the forefront of superhero media as a way to comment on the turmoil we see minorities still facing to this day.

This particular X-Men story focuses on the character of Wolverine, iconically portrayed by Hugh Jackman, and Rogue, played by Anna Paquin, as they enter into the larger mutant world. Both Wolverine and Rogue are taken in by Professor Charles Xavier, played by Patrick Stewart, who runs a school for mutants. There they meet Cyclops (James Marsden), Jean Grey (Famke Janssen), Storm (Halle Berry), and come into contact with radical mutants such as Magneto (Ian McKellan), Mystique (Rebecca Romijn), Toad (Ray Park), and Sabertooth (Tyler Mane). The differing viewpoints of Xavier’s X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants drive the primary conflict of the story. Charles wants cohabitation with humanity, but Magento wants superiority. Magneto is a holocaust survivor and is plagued by the haunting memories of what humans are capable of, ironically he becomes the same kind of monster subjecting others to violence and terror through prejudice and fear.


If I had one complaint about the movie, it would be that Wolverine takes too much of the center stage. He is an iconic character and I think it is an excellent idea to use him and Rogue as a way to help explain the world to the audience, but for me, X-Men has so many excellent and iconic characters that fall to the wayside so the movie can show the badassery of Wolverine. Cyclops, who is a massively important figure in X-Men comics and stories is here played as the butt monkey. His heroism and leadership are portrayed as corny and unnecessary next to the gruff and gritty Wolverine. Another complaint, and this is a personal preference, I hate the black leather costumes. The costumes from the comics are colorful and add layers to the characters that wear them; what we get here are knockoffs from a Joel Schumacher Batman film, minus the nipples.

X-Men is an iconic and important movie that helped design and influence the culture of blockbuster movies today. It is not without its flaws, but if you are looking for an entertaining action film with some excellent performances you can’t go wrong with X-Men.

Rating 3.5/5

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N1A Streams: Injustice 2

Third stream of the day. Let’s keep grinding. It’s time for some heroic beatdowns. I’m getting back to work on my Aquaman build. Come join in as the stream begins shortly.