Young Justice: Phantoms

Young Justice: Phantoms by Jerry Whitworth

Announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Young Justice was renewed for a fourth season. With the majority of scripts completed and the show well into production, the season’s subtitle in Phantoms was announced during the second day of DC Fandome. Few details have been released about the season save that it would focus more closely on the show’s founding cast. Speculation has begun on what the season could entail with the latest nugget of news. With the tease of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the final moments of the previous season Outsiders, some have suggested Phantoms could allude to Legionnaire Phantom Girl. However, it’s challenging to fathom what role Phantom Girl could play to warrant the entire season being based around her. It makes about as much sense as focusing around the Freedom Fighters’ Phantom Lady. Instead, it may make more sense to consider the Phantom Stranger.

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Anime: A Brief Guide

Anime: A Brief Guide by Jerry Whitworth

A year ago, Netflix released a documentary entitled Enter the Anime (2019) which purported to define anime and its origins. However, in practice, it was a glorified advertisement for the streaming service’s available Japanese animated series. Recently reminded of the film and the frustration from its lack of educational content, inspiration arose to try and, albeit briefly, discuss anime’s origins and history. Japan’s line from its remarkable and prolific breadth of animation is drawn primarily from one source before blooming into a vast forest (the current landscape dominated by the genre of isekai). Referred to as the God of Anime, Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka Prefecture in 1928, mere years before Japan’s invasion of the Asian mainland that lead to its alliance with Germany and Italy as part of the Axis faction during World War II. Born into an affluent, educated, liberal family, Tezuka became enamored at a young age with French cinema and American animation, characters like Mickey Mouse, Popeye, Betty Boop, and Felix the Cat a great influence on him. Whereas manga had existed for years prior to Tezuka’s life (the Toba scrolls dating back to the 12th century), the creator blended cinematic impressionism with the expressive nature of American animation to produce a new form of art that became the standard for both manga and anime.

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Superman: Man of Tomorrow, a Review

I was talking with some friends last night, and the topic of Superman: Man of Tomorrow came up. I had been pretty excited about this one coming out, but with all the media I consume, I had lost track of the release schedule. The good news is that it came out yesterday, and my friends that had seen it thought it was sort of a “meh, it’s okay” kind of movie. Meh? For something that makes all the promises this one does? I mean, dude, have you seen the trailer?

Man of Tomorrow, at least on the surface feels like something incredibly interesting. A story that gives the Man of Steel a fresh modern coat of paint, around a more modern looking Metrolis backdrop. The look and feel of it is intentionally very now. Sort of. But this world of Superman and Metropolis does diverge from ours in some pretty big ways, and some of them are distracting.

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Top 10: Stargirl Season Two Characters

Top 10: Stargirl Season Two Characters by Jerry Whitworth

With the recent finale for the first season of Stargirl, the stage has been set for the second season exclusively on the CW with teases for * * * S P O I L E R S * * * the Shade, Eclipso, and the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The two-part “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.” seeing Dragon King, Icicle, and Brainwave seemingly dead, Solomon Grundy missing, Sportsmaster and Tigress defeated, and the Gambler in the wind, we’re undoubtedly getting new foes, new heroes, and likely a new direction. With this in mind, lets take a look at what characters could be on the horizon when the show returns.

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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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