Make It So: DC – The Manga Universe 3

Make It So: DC – The Manga Universe 3 by Jerry Whitworth and Matt Eldridge

Over the past seven years, Jerry Whitworth and Matt Eldridge have offered their interpretations of manga versions of the DC Universe. In their first installment, they tackled Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, and Cyborg drawing inspiration from the likes of Dragon Ball, Kamen Rider, Urusei Yatsura, Super Sentai, Durarara!!, and Battle Angel Alita. In 2017, they produced a follow-up with Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Shazam, Green Arrow, Hellblazer, and Mr. Terrific as Marine Boy, Dr. Slump, Saint Seiya, Umineko When They Cry, and Black Butler offered jumping off points to mash-up. This time, another six brands will be re-interpreted in the Atom, Firestorm, Black Lightning, Suicide Squad, Plastic Man, and the Justice League.

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Top 10: Young Avengers for the MCU

Top 10: Young Avengers for the MCU by Jerry Whitworth

As the entertainment world is largely on hold in the wake of the global pandemic, fans are left to speculate about the future of their fandom. In terms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, phase four with its delayed debut of Black Widow and The Eternals left in the lurch looks to be slowly coming together as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision appear to be on track to emerge on time taking the films’ place jump starting the new slate of content. It’s speculated that this coming phase will focus on key as yet blatantly identified fields in the multiverse, Thunderbolts, and Young Avengers. In terms of the latter, some groundwork has already been laid with Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Shuri (Letitia Wright), Cassie Lang (Emma Fuhrmann), and Morgan Stark (Katherine Langford) in the films as the coming Disney+ television series appear to be bringing Speed and Wiccan (WandaVision), Kate Bishop (Hawkeye), and Ms. Marvel into the mix. Lets take a look at some likely options to fill out the Young Avengers when they inevitably make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut.

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Top 10: The Next Generation of Young Justice

Top 10: The Next Generation of Young Justice by Jerry Whitworth

At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced Young Justice had been renewed for a fourth season. Since then, little news has come out what this new season could entail. Here at NerdfectStrangers.com, we’ve speculated what season four could be about from story teases to likely characters to appear. A theme within the series since its start is legacy as Justice League members both raised young partners and had children of their own, the likes of Prince Artur of Atlantis, Dawn and Don Allen, Anissa and Jennifer Pierce, Traya Sutton, Jon Kent, and Damian Wayne have appeared thus far. Only time will tell if characters such as Helena Wayne, Lyta Trevor, Martin Jordan, Koryak, K’hym and T’ania J’onzz, Connor Hawke, Robert Queen, Cynthia Lance, Hector Hall, Joseph Mason, Luke O’Brian, Tefé Holland, or Maxine Baker will emerge. Not to be outdone, Team members early on started having their own kids in Lian Nguyen-Harper, Amistad Ervin, and Rhea Duncan putting in appearances. As the show returns, odds are good the Team will continue to grow as families as their Justice League counterparts so lets take a look at some of the Team’s children we could see crop up.

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To the People in my Life

I Said Some Things

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Top 10: New Guardians of the Galaxy

Top 10: New Guardians of the Galaxy by Jerry Whitworth

Recently, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 director James Gunn reaffirmed the upcoming film would likely be his last for the franchise as its lineup will also likely be retired. Initially, the intergalactic anti-hero group featured Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Bradley Cooper voicing Rocket, Dave Bautista as Drax, and Vin Diesel voicing Groot, but its roster grew to include Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Michael Rooker as Yondu, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Little is known about the plot of the third film in the franchise (as the group is set to appear in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder first) save that Gunn revealed the origin of Rocket will play heavily in the film’s story. This follows a theme that the second film focused on Star-Lord’s origins, 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War on Gamora, and Gunn has expressed a desire to do a spin-off movie with Drax and Mantis that likely would explore the Kylosian’s origins. Keeping in mind plot threads left involving the reformation of the original Ravagers (based on the original Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics), the creation of Adam by the Sovereign to seek vengeance against the Guardians, and the search for Gamora in the wake of the events of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, some semblance of what the third film could entail begins to emerge. Lets take a look at some of the characters that could form the new version of the team in the wake of the end of its film trilogy.

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Make It So: Disney+ Lady Sif

Make It So: Disney+ Lady Sif by Jerry Whitworth

As the world continues to shelter in place due to the global pandemic, entertainment has continued to be the primary escape from the harsh reality of the present situation. Streaming services such as Disney+ have had some of the greatest impact in this regard even as that same pandemic has delayed projects in development at the provider. As such, the two mystery series being produced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the service remains yet known by the public. Recent rumors have one of these projects to be Agents of S.W.O.R.D. which allegedly will continue the adventures of Quake/Daisy Johnson (portrayed by Chloe Bennet) where NerdfectStrangers.com has speculated on Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Invaders, and Ironheart. Another viable candidate for one of the mystery series could be Lady Sif.

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What Could Have Been: Super Powers Season Three

What Could Have Been: Super Powers Season Three by Jerry Whitworth

When Star Wars debuted in theaters in 1977, it not only changed cinema but the action figure toy market. The Kenner line of Star Wars gave rise to the collectible action figure market that saw such titans as Hasbro’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe emerge. DC Comics, wanting to take advantage of this developing industry, awarded a contract to Kenner to produce what became the Super Powers line. Featuring figures modeled after the DC Comics Style Guide drawn by José Luis García-López, Super Powers became one of the most successful lines of the 1980s. As with other notable brands around this time, Super Powers was promoted via comic books and cartoons. For the latter, Hanna-Barbera resurrected Super Friends that saw veteran Batman voice actor Olan Soule (nearly eighty years old by that point) replaced by Adam West (who famously portrayed the character in the 1960s on television) and abandoned the Alex Toth character models in its second season for that inspired by García-López. Sadly, the action figure market bubble burst in 1986 and the Super Powers toyline died after three waves joined by its animated counterpart after two seasons (sixteen episodes in total). In the ensuing years, we’ve come to learn what future waves of the toyline would have entailed. But, we’ll never know where the cartoon would have went. Lets speculate, then, what could have been.

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Marvel’s Marvel Family

Marvel’s Marvel Family by Jerry Whitworth

When businessman Martin Goodman dipped his toe into comic book publication with his new company Timely, his first title was Marvel Comics in 1939. In time, Marvel became the name of the company and featured prominently within the books’ continuity itself. From Black Marvel to Blue Marvel, the loosely connected Marvel Family has largely been overshadowed by the group of the same name created by Fawcett Comics beginning with Captain Marvel in 1940. While Fawcett added the Lieutenant Marvels, Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, Uncle Marvel, Hoppy the Marvel Bunny, and Freckles Marvel, Timely largely missed the boat on capitalizing on its popular title that brought the company Namor the Sub-Mariner and the Human Torch. When National (today, DC Comics) and waning interest in superheroes killed Captain Marvel (leading DC to later buy the character and re-brand it as the Shazam Family in recent times), L. Miller & Son in the United Kingdom was forced to make their own version of the brand resulting in Marvelman, Young Marvelman, and Kid Marvelman, but more on them later. By the late ’60s, Timely had become Marvel and they picked up the lapsed name of Captain Marvel for themselves. But before that, there were two Marvels that Timely created during the time of Fawcett’s Marvel Family.

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Royal Family Values: Atlantis and Wakanda

Royal Family Values: Atlantis and Wakanda by Jerry Whitworth

As rumors circulate about the content of the sequel to 2018’s hit film Black Panther, speculation has the 2022 film bringing Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after years in limbo with Universal Pictures. In the comics, the characters are no strangers to each other. In addition to both royals being Avengers, Namor came to blows with T’Challa’s grandfather Azzuri during the events of World War II, sat together on Iron Man’s clandestine Illuminati (though, T’Challa stepped away after the initial meeting), and both of their nations went to war with each other to vast mutual devastation. Lets take a look at some of the notable players and the similarity in their roles.

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The Wrestling Time Machine: November of 1995

The table is set, the family is here, it’s time to turn off the big game, tell the kids to put down the Milton Bradley Karate Fighters and prepare to give thanks, it’s…November of 1995!!!

(Content Warning: Blood, Violence, Weapons)

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Make It So: Disney+ Ironheart

Make It So: Disney+ Ironheart by Jerry Whitworth

In recent articles here at NerdfectStrangers.com, we’ve taken a look at some of the options open to Disney+ for their two remaining yet revealed upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe series (specifically, Nick Fury and the Invaders). However, given the current pandemic afflicting the world, the move to streaming services has exponentially grown so it’s likely Disney+ could be looking to expand even further to take advantage. One property with a great deal of potential is Ironheart. Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato in the pages of Invincible Iron Man, Riri Williams is a child prodigy attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she designed and built a crude power armor in the vein of Iron Man. Attracting the attention of Tony Stark, Williams received the hero’s blessing to follow in his footsteps as Ironheart going so far as to supply the young woman with an artificial intelligence made in his image to aid her. Becoming a big hit for Marvel, Robert Downey, Jr. (whose portrayal of Tony Stark/Iron Man started the MCU) has openly championed adapting Ironheart in the movies and it is rumored to be one of the few moves Marvel Studios could make to bring him back to the film franchise. Lets take a look at what an Ironheart series could mean for Disney+.

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What Could Have Been: Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk

What Could Have Been: Rebirth of the Incredible Hulk by Jerry Whitworth

With 1990’s The Death of the Incredible Hulk, television’s Incredible Hulk featuring Bill Bixby as Dr. David Banner and Lou Ferrigno as the Hulk was, effectively, dead. While the film’s title alludes to this as being the desired effect, the truth was that a sequel essentially starting off a new series of television films was planned immediately afterward beginning with “Revenge of the Incredible Hulk.” Therein, Dr. Banner was revived and cured of his condition only to be forced to make gamma creatures. Banner would have been forced to repeat the experiment that turned him into the Hulk but Ferrigno claimed he would have retained his scientist mind after his transformations. Sadly, the ratings for Death were so bad, the sequel was shelved. A spin-off in She-Hulk was also planned to the degree filming had begun with former Baywatch star Mitzi Kapture as Jennifer Walters and volleyball player Gabrielle Reece as her green alter ego. Bixby returned as Dr. Banner who was forced to transfuse his blood to a dying Walters to save her life while afflicting her with the same gamma condition he suffered from throughout his television run. Studio executives, however, weren’t confident in Kapture’s star power and abandoned the project (leaving Kapture to become a star instead in the series Silk Stalkings). A She-Hulk film starring Brigitte Nielsen as the titular character was later put into development only to also be dropped. In the wake of the cancellations, Bixby managed to secure Fox (who had already picked up Marvel’s Power Pack pilot dropped by NBC) to produce another television film only for the star to then sadly die from prostate cancer in 1993. But, what could have a new Hulk television film meant for the future of that brand?

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Top 10: Gamma Characters for She-Hulk

Top 10: Gamma Characters for She-Hulk by Jerry Whitworth

When it was announced She-Hulk would be getting her own Disney+ series, fans’ thoughts immediately went to Dan Slott’s critically-acclaimed run with the character combining science fiction and legal comedy while mining Marvel’s rich history. Early reports appear to indicate the adaptation will certainly borrow from this run, but rumors also emerged the series could be a means to introduce gamma-empowered characters in lieu of a new Hulk movie. With this in mind, lets take a look at some of the characters that could make their debut.

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Who Are The Thunderbolts?

Who Are The Thunderbolts? by Jerry Whitworth

With the return of Baron Zemo (played by Daniel Brühl) in the upcoming The Falcon and Winter Soldier and Thunderbolt Ross’ (portrayed by William Hurt) role in Black Widow (2020), rumors have swirled that the Thunderbolts are being brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The hero hunters who played a critical role in 2006’s Civil War Marvel comic storyline and ascended Norman Osborn from Spider-Man foe to global threat, the Thunderbolts have drawn comparisons to DC Comics’ Suicide Squad. However, both groups owe much of their genesis to the Dirty Dozen. A 1967 film based on the novel of the same name by E. M. Nathanson, The Dirty Dozen featured a star-studded ensemble cast including Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, Telly Savalas, and Donald Sutherland. The film presented Project Amnesty, a secret mission during World War II where the Army’s worst prisoners (including those on death row) were trained to be commandos and take on a suicide mission where those that do their job and survive would have commuted sentences. Prior to the creation of the Thunderbolts, Marvel adapted the concept for the team Freedom Force.

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Marvel: Phase Six

Marvel: Phase Six by Jerry Whitworth

Marvel Studios has become the most dominant brand at the box office and with its phase four across the years of 2020 and 2021, it looks to similarly take over streaming. While movie theaters will feature the Eternals and Shang-Chi and continue the brands of Black Widow, Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, and Thor, Disney+ is going to expand the Falcon, Winter Soldier, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Loki, and Hawkeye while introducing Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk (as former Disney CEO Bob Iger let loose two other series have yet been announced). It’s also rumored the various streaming television series will introduce the Young Avengers and Thunderbolts while setting the stage for the multiverse to be the next realm the company will tackle after the Infinity Saga (perhaps even setting up an adaptation of the 2015 Secret Wars comic book crossover). Marvel Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige went so far to even tease the Fantastic Four, Blade, and mutants in the future leading to rumors of their forming the basis of phase five (though not named by Feige, rumors persist Nova and Namor the Sub-Mariner will also be adapted). It is also known the yet announced phase five will continue to expand Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, and Captain Marvel (as it’s likely the next Avengers film will come along as well, with Norman Osborn rumored to be the villain). With what we already know about phase five, it begs the question what a phase six might entail.

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